January 5 in Christmas

John 1:1-18

And the Word Became Flesh

In the twelve days of Christmas that we celebrate, should this passage come at the beginning or at the end?  I really don’t know.  On the one hand, it should come at the beginning since John takes us all the way back to the beginning, indeed, the beginning of beginnings, the beginning before the beginning, eternity in the past, back when all there was was, uh… well, God.  This One, called the Word, was in the beginning with God and was God, plainly meaning that He is both one with and distinct from God.  And this is basic Trinitarian theology, though we have not yet mentioned the Holy Spirit.  Thus, the first five verses of the Gospel of John tell us that the Word, who is the Son, has ever been with the Father from the beginning; indeed, is begotten of His Father such that the Son is also God as God can only beget God.  God may create a cat, a donkey, and any number of worlds, but He may only beget God—who is His Son.

But on the other hand, this passage may come at the end of the Christmas season as well; after all, what passage sums up better theologically what the other passages we read describe historically: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.”  This is the One who is at the Father’s side; he is the one who has made the Father known to us, since as God Himself only he can make Him known.  Indeed, the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth (i.e., God, Himself) was revealed to us by the Son (“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father, John 14:9).  And to think that Almighty God dwelt (literally in the Greek, “pitched his tent,” or “tented”) among us in the flesh!

But the passage also tells us a sad truth.  Though the world’s Creator came into His own world, and though the Lord and Master came unto his own people, that world and those people neither knew nor received him.  And why did they not know him?  Because they did not recognize him disguised in flesh?  Sure, but that’s not it.  Jesus said that his works proved who he was (John 10:37-38).  Then why?  Because their proud and impenitent hearts kept them from seeing the majesty veiled in flesh.  And the only reason we recognize this is that our Lord and Savior has enlightened our minds through the regenerating and sanctifying work of His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:18).  And since we have thereby received him by faith, he has given us “the right to become children of God.”  And it’s all because he became flesh and dwelt among us.  Merry Christmas.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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