Posted December 25, 2012
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
Merry Christmas to all!
This verse captures the beauty & wonder of the Incarnation: God Himself took on flesh and dwelt among us, or as Eugene Peterson put it, “moved into the neighborhood”. The ESV Study Bible explains:
“Became flesh does not mean the Word ceased being God; rather, the Word, who was God, also took on humanity (Phil. 2:6-7). This is the most amazing event in all of history: the eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, infinitely 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.”
Christmas is first an indictment of humanity. Had we not needed a Savior, God never would have had to send His Son... God saw our helpless state and yet refused to be passive about it. He wasn’t sitting around waiting, crossing his heavenly fingers, hoping we made the first move but rather had His own Son exchange the high throne of glory for a lowly manger of shame! He saw the depth of our sin, our brokenness and rebellion against Him, and though he could have rejected us, he instead pursued us by sending His only Son to take on human flesh and ultimately give his life for these wayward rebels.
Christmas is secondly an announcement to the world. Of what? Of God’s incredible mercy & grace toward those who turn from their sinful and self-righteous ways and put their faith & trust in the Son of God who died in their stead. While we deserve wrath and judgement, mercy and grace are found at the feet of Jesus.
Christ came as a shining beacon of both grace and truth. He didn’t opt for one or the other, but displayed both in every action he took. In “The Meaning of Marriage”, Tim Keller teaches, “Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. God's saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us. The merciful commitment strengthens us to see the truth about ourselves and repent. The conviction and repentance moves us to cling to and rest in God's mercy and grace.”
May God give us eyes to see the Manger King who came and dwelt among us that we might dwell with him!
This week’s song was written by Charlie Hall, Jeff Capps, Ryan Gikas, Chris Clark, and Joel Limpic. While this verse is not part of the Fighter Verses Memory System, our intent was to release a song that helps everyone engage with Christmas. Charlie Hall has a new record coming out entitled "The Death of Death" and he released a free Christmas song on his website (http://charliehall.com/). Jeff Capps and The Village Church just released a great live record here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/look-and-see-live-ep/id583133264