In the great Christmas Hymn “Hark The Herald” we find the words; “Veiled in flesh the God-head see Hail the incarnate deity…Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel.” This is where we find ourselves this morning, looking once again into the manger of Bethlehem at the baby Jesus, and trying to understand something that we truly can’t comprehend… and that is the fact that this child was indeed God.
In J.B. Phillip’s New Testament Christianity, a senior angel is showing a very young angel around the splendors of the universe. They view the whirling galaxies and blazing suns, and then flit across the infinite distances of space until at last they enter one particular galaxy of 500 billion stars.
As the two of them drew near to the star which we call our sun and to its circling planets, the senior angel points to a small and rather insignificant sphere turning slowly on its axis. It looked as dull as a tennis-ball to the little angel, whose mind was filled with the size and glory of all he had seen.
“I want you to watch that one particularly,” said the senior angel, pointing with his finger. “Well, it looks very small and rather insignificant to me,” said the little angel. “What’s special about that one?” To the little angel, earth did not seem so impressive. He listened in stunned disbelief as the senior angel told him that this planet, small and insignificant, was the renowned Visited Planet.
“Do you mean that our great and glorious God…went down in person to this fifth-rate little ball? Why should He do a thing like that?” The little angel’s face wrinkled in disgust. “Do you mean to tell me,” he said, “that God stooped so low as to become one of those creeping, crawling creatures of that floating ball?”
“I do, said the senior angel, and I don’t think He would like you to call them ‘creeping, crawling creatures’ in that tone of voice. For, strange as it may seem to us, He loves them. He went down to visit them to lift them up to become like Him.” The little angel looked blank. Such a thought was almost beyond his comprehension.
That God became man is probably just as perplexing to angels as it is to us but that is exactly what we are confronted with in John 1:1 –
So Jesus is the Word here. But John goes on to say that that “Word was with God and the Word was God.” The literal Greek – I have found – he declares, “God was the Word.” For some people, that is where a problem arises. For you see, the Word is distinct from the Father. They are two separate Persons. And a lot of people have a hard time with that. For this introduces us to the mystery of the trinity, three persons, one God. Some might object and say “Wait a minute”, 1+1+1 doesn’t equal 1 but 3. Ah yes, that is true…But 1x1x1=1 and such is the mystery of the trinity.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God.” “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Logos is the Greek word that we translate – “word”. So, to say Jesus was the “word” means that Jesus was God’s way of expressing to us, and declaring to us, and showing us, HIMSELF.
There are a couple of interesting things that I would like to point out about our scripture for today. One is that in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 1, we are given the genealogy of Jesus; tracing his ancestry back through Joseph – “the father of…the father of…and so on. In the Book of Luke, we have a little different version. My study note for this says “From Abraham to David, the genealogies are almost the same, but from David on they are different. Some scholars suggest that this is because Matthew traces the legal descent of the house of David using heirs to the throne, while Luke traces or emphasizes the line of Mary.” But John, gives the genealogy of Jesus in its real form; “In the beginning was the Word” – He has always existed. When he became flesh, it was eternity entering the realm of time. One author put it this way; “He who eternally existed, came to earth and began to be what he never had been, then he died and rose again to continue to be what he eternally was”! … “I tell you the truth” said Jesus, “before Abraham was born, I am!” Jesus was at the Father’s side in unbroken fellowship since before time began.
This, the Bible tells us was our intended purpose and has now become our destination; unbroken fellowship with the Creator. However, sin interrupted that fellowship and separated us from God. Jesus stepped into time in order to reconcile that relationship, and made it possible once again for us to complete that which we were created for!
Are you still with me?
More next week…