Christmas

The word became flesh

This devotional was written by the man, the legend, Matt Coombs.

John 1:1-17

The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, "This is the one I spoke about when I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'") 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Reflection

Word.

The theologian, N.T. Wright, characterises "Word" (Logos) as being incomprehensible in human language.

Which is so typical of a theologian to say!

Let me give it a go anyway…

For the gospel writer, John, there is deep mysterious hidden power, the Word or Logos, a life force that was there before creation, and through it everything is made and sustained. 

The Force.
Click here for a Star Wars video.

I think our culture is quite content with impersonal forces provided they remain impersonal. Star Wars is a great example - the Force is this presence in all things that only the elite can access. It’s in the blood. It is powerful - but not personal. 

I think the New Age movement has been very good at emphasising this too with; vibrations, hum and positive energies. But it stops there. It remains impersonal. 

Let's get personal.
John’s introduction gets personal. Verse 1 - In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Impersonal. 

Verse 2 - He (personal pronoun) was with God in the beginning.

I love how Eugene Peterson puts it.

3-5 Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
    and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
    the darkness couldn’t put it out.

14 The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighbourhood.

Oh yes! Now we're talking - up close and personal.

Particular Perspectives & Points
All the gospel writers are trying to engage a particular audience and communicate particular points about who Jesus is. 

Luke wanted to give an accurate account of his life, actions and teaching (Luke 1:1-4).
Matthew wanted to connect Jesus to the Hebrew story (Matthew 1:2&6).

John wants to connect Jesus to the creation of the cosmos. 

But not only that, but to the re-creation of the cosmos.

'In the beginning' echoes back to Genesis 1. But, John's creation is a creation in chaos, in trouble. It was good but we have spoiled and abused it. We have rebelled against the peace and grace of God and done it our way.

But God the giver and sustainer of life has not stepped back and said "you made your bed now lie in it." He is on a rescue mission. Not a distant force or energy, but the Word enfleshed - a first century Jewish man. Light shining in the darkness.

Thank you, Jesus, that you have come close to us. In many ways you are far beyond our comprehension; extraordinary and wondrous, but also, you have made it possible for us to know you, and to be called children of God. Shine in us and through us, recreate and regenerate us and lead us in your way of peace and grace. Amen.

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