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JOHN - The Light Shines in the Darkness
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to John
PART 1 - The Shining of the Divine Light (John 1:1 - 4:54)
A - The Incarnation of the Word of God in Jesus (John 1:1-18)

3. The fullness of God appeared in the incarnation of Christ (John 1:14-18)

JOHN 1:14
14 The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Who is Jesus Christ? He is true God and true man. The evangelist John shows us this great secret as the motto of his gospel. When he mentions the incarnation of the word of God, he shows us the foundation of his message. Verse 14 is the key to all the following news. If you perceived this spiritual pearl in all its meanings, you will obtain deep insight into the knowledge of the following chapters.

The incarnation of Christ is fundamentally different from our spiritual renewal. We all have bodies and were born of a father and a mother. Afterwards, the word of the Gospel reached us and generated eternal life in us. Christ, however, was not born of a worldly father rather, the word of God came to Mary through the angel, who told her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, also, that holy one who is to be born will be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35). When the virgin accepted this wonderful message by faith, she found the unique embryo in her womb, which the Holy Spirit united with human blood. That is how God became man.

Our thinking stops before this reality. Biology cannot clarify this secret. Human experience is unable to understand it. Some theologians try to ease the impossibility of the birth of Christ for a scientific mind by saying that he only appeared in a body without truly having a material body that feels pain and sorrow. We, however, confess that Christ was completely human and completely divine at the same time.

The incarnation of Christ is the best interpretation for this wonderful birth. The eternal Son of God, who proceeded from the Father before all ages, took part in our physical nature without sin, for the Holy Spirit in him overcame all inclination towards sin. Thus Jesus remained the only human being that lived in innocence and purity, without blemish.

The Son of God mixed with rebellious, uncaring and evil humans, who all pass away. He however is eternal, unable to die due to his divinity. In spite of his exaltation he loved us and left his original glory and lived among us in humility. He became one with our kind and understood our situation perfectly. In his pain he learned complete obedience. This way he became compassionate indeed. He did not refuse us, the evil ones. Christ became man to draw us to God.

The body of Christ resembles the tabernacle in the Old Testament where God met people. God was in Christ and declared himself to people in the form of a man, in which all divinity was present. According to the Greek text, John actually said that he "tabernacled among us". This means that he did not build a durable castle to remain with us always on earth, but that he dwelt as Bedouins dwell in their tents for a short period of time. Thereafter he takes his tent down and moves it to another place. In the same way, Christ was among us for a short period before going back to his heaven.

The apostles testify together that they saw the glory of Christ. Their testimony is an acclamation and a rejoicing. They are eye-witnesses to the presence of the Son of God in the flesh. Their faith opened their eyes to understand the love, the patience, the humility, the loyalty and divinity of Jesus. In his purity they saw God himself. The expression, "his glory" in the Old Testament signifies the summary of all divine attributes. The apostle John courageously laid down in his testimony all these attributes of Jesus. He perceived his hidden majesty as well as his beauty and greatness.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, John called God Father and Jesus Son. There is no escaping these terms. The Spirit's inspiration tears down the veil that hides God's name, assuring us that the eternal Holy One, the mighty Creator is Father and has a Son likewise holy, glorious and everlasting, full of love. God is not simply a vanquishing judge destroying and avenging with might. He is compassionate, tender and patient, and so is His Son. By understanding the Father and the Son we reach the core of the New Testament. He who sees the Son sees the Father. This revelation transformed the image of God found in other religions and opened our eyes for the age of love.

Do you want to know God? Then study the life of Christ! What did the disciples see in Jesus? What is the summary of their testimony? They saw God's love interwoven with grace and truth. Think about these three meanings as you pray and you will feel the fullness of God's glory present in Christ. He comes to us in healing grace undeserved by us. We are all guilty; none of us is good. His coming to us, corrupt as we are, spells grace. Not ashamed to call us his brethren, he has cleansed us, sanctified us and renewed us, and he has filled us with his spirit. Are not these saving acts "grace upon grace"? And even more than that: we have obtained a new right, for Christ planted us into his grace to have the right to become children of God. The message of grace is not deception or imagination but a new right. The incarnation is proof of the reality of God's working, which perfects us in his salvation. Grace is the basis of our faith.

PRAYER: We bow to you Babe of the manger, as did shepherds and Magi in Bethlehem. You are God in the flesh come to us, not ashamed to call us brethren. Your light shines in darkness. Purify my unclean heart, so that it may be fit to become an eternal manger for you. With all believers I magnify you, because your glory has become a humble body. We beseech you that many of the wretched folk in our area may perceive their new right and receive you.


  1. What does the incarnation of Christ mean?


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