“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”
The 5 verses from today’s reading bring to a close this prologue in which the complete divinity and complete humanity of Jesus Christ is first presented to us. This is John’s theme for the entire book. Jesus is the eternal, preexistent Word of God. He is the one-of-a-kind Son of the Father and He is Himself God. Jesus, in His full divinity, did not cease to be fully God, but He took on complete humanity in addition. Just imagine!!! The eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, infinite, holy Son of God took on a human nature and lived among humanity as One who was both God and man at the same time, in one person.
The phrase “dwelt among us” could better be translated “pitched His tent.” The Old Testament, being a foreshadowing of things to come, alludes to Jesus through God dwelling among the Israelites in the tabernacle. God manifested His presence to His people in the Old Testament in the tabernacle and in the temple. Now the Incarnate Word takes up residence among the people in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus fulfills the Old Testament symbolism of God dwelling with man.
“The only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…”
Much of my scripture memorization comes from years back and so much of it is in the King James Version. This verse is one of the places where I really appreciate the King James, because the KJV uses the phrase “the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.” It may be a more accurate translation to say “the only Son from the Father” but hearing John use the term “begotten” here always takes my thoughts to John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Not only is the whole of the Gospel summed up in that 1 verse, but the “only begotten Son” is clearly identified as Jesus. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
“He who comes after me ranks before me, because He was before me…”
What true humility John the Baptist had! He could have exalted himself. After all, he was the man sent by God to prepare the way of the Messiah. His flesh HAD to be telling him that he was someone important, and yet he exalted only the Name of Jesus. May we all be as humble as John!
“He has made Him known…”
No one has ever seen God. The Father, that is. Jesus is the image of the Invisible God. Check out Colossians 1: 15-20. God has revealed Himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. The final conclusion from this prologue is that Jesus is the revealed Word of God and that salvation comes only from true belief in Him.
I hope these first few studies in the Book of John have been good for you. I know they have been great for me! Please take a few moments and leave a comment here to let me know how it’s going. Let me know what you think, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Next post in a couple days…