Apr 30 2013 - John 1:1-28 – The Word made flesh
John begins his account of the life of Jesus in a very different manner from all the other Gospel writers. Mark begins his Gospel with the ministry of John the Baptist. Matthew begins with the family tree of Jesus, tracing his ancestors all the way back to Abraham – Jesus is the one in whom God's promises to Abraham and David will at last find their fulfilment. Luke traces Jesus family all the way back to Adam – Jesus is the one who has come to put right all that went wrong when sin entered into God's creation; he is the Saviour of the world. But John takes us back even further, to the time before the world was made; he begins his Gospel with a deliberate echo of the account of creation with which God's Word, the Bible, begins.
Jesus is the Word made flesh; he is God incarnate. He is the power through whom all things were created and the means by which God makes himself known to his creation – the one in whom the entire revelation of God finds its focus and clearest expression. He is the source of all life; he has come into a dying world to give it life. He has become part of the world he created that it might be created anew.
This is the wonder of the gospel. God has not remained far off but has come to us in his grace and mercy in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has come as the Word, come to communicate himself and make himself known. He has come to show us the glory of God but he has also come in grace to save. "The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). He is the truth in that he is the one who fulfils all that was written beforehand and who brings to fulfilment all of the symbols of the Old Testament – he is the truth of which they were the shadow. Above all, he reveals God as a God of amazing grace – a God who forgives the sinner at cost to himself. And through the fullness of God's self-revelation in Jesus we receive "grace upon grace" (1:16) – a never-failing stream of grace to meet us in all our need.
How are we going to respond to the God who stoops and speaks and saves – the God whose revelation of himself in all the Scriptures now finds its focus and fulfilment in Jesus? We can turn away from the light and skulk in the darkness of our own ignorance and rebellion, but that will be to our loss. Or we can come to the light, embracing Jesus as our light, our hope, our salvation.
Embracing him in faith gives us the power to become children of God. This is no mere acquisition of a title - 'the right to be called the children of God.' It is the power to become. The person, power and glory of God became a human being in him; he was God incarnate. And in him and through him the presence, power and glory of God finds its home also in us – in a life born of God with power to become a child of God, full of grace and truth. The power to become comes from him who in power became.
Great God, thank you that you have not left us in darkness and ignorance. You have come to us and shown us the light of your glory, truth and grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. You have made yourself known and embraced us in you love in Jesus. Live in us by your Spirit and help us to shine in the darkness and to make you known.