“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 I read about a portrait that consist of approximately 185,000 words on a scroll with an average of a thousand words per line. The letters are drawn, some thick and some thin and as you look at the scroll you see a picture of Christ. There are twenty-seven angels surrounding Christ and looking to him, representing the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. The original work was six feet long by four feet wide. The figure of Christ is not imposed onto the words, these words make a form that when you look at it you see a picture of Christ as they are inked light and dark to bring out the portrait of Christ. The words have become flesh, the words represent a person. Let's take a quick trip through the Gospel of John and look at Jesus as The Word, the Life-Giver, and Light Bearer as He walked the earth. The Gospel of John allows us to see Jesus in a new reality that exists beyond the way we normally perceive Him. This Gospel gives us glasses of faith in Jesus; glasses of faith that are necessary for us to see what we normally can’t see with our natural eyes. John proposes that there are two realities:
- the one we see literally with our physical eyes and
- the divine reality we see through spiritual glasses.
The bridge between the first and second realities is faith in the person of Jesus, who He is, and what He accomplished. And, John says, when you see the second, more profound reality, you will behold the glory of God and the beauty and assurance of what Jesus has accomplished on our behalf: eternal life.
Throughout John’s Gospel, Jesus reveals Himself through seven signs (not just miracles, but testimonies of who He is) and seven “I AM” statements:
- “I AM” The Bread of Life (6:35)
- “I AM” The Light of the World (8:12; 9:5)
- “I AM” The Door (10:7)
- “I AM” The Good Shepherd (10:11,14)
- “I AM” The Resurrection and the Life (11:25)
- “I AM” The Way, the Truth, and the Life (14:6)
- “I AM” The True Vine (15:1)
Are you ready for a breathtaking experience? God became flesh! And we are about to enter into the picture – so put on your faith glasses and BE AMAZED! Through our faith glasses you will see one of the most amazing mysteries of the universe.
John 1:14 says, “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Unbelievable! The eternal God became flesh. The Word became Human. This is the mystery that we call the Incarnation: God becoming one of us in order to redeem us. I can image John saying when you see Jesus -- know the reality that the eternal God of Creation is in human form. God has moved into our neighborhood.
The words used in John 1:14 are important to us:
- First, because his choice of the word flesh is designed to highlight the fact that the Word did not make just a spiritual appearance but had a real physical body. Jesus is fully God and fully man.
- Second, the word dwelt means that He encamped or tabernacle among us.
- Third, He uses the word glory, Exodus 40:34 says, “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” The tabernacle is the flesh, and we see God’s glory through Jesus Christ. He is the fullest revelation of the glory of God. His utmost glory is the cross, where God is revealed more fully.
John’s Gospel highlights who Jesus is (through His signs and testimonies), and the realities that were manifested in His glory at the cross.
No longer do we just hear the Word of God speaking, we see the Word of God because He walks among us. What do we see? John 1:14 – we see grace and truth! We are seeing grace and truth fully realized in the person of Jesus. Jesus words in John 14:6. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” When we put on our faith glasses we can see clearly that the Truth is the Person of Jesus. The person of Jesus in the flesh that talked with:
Nicodemus – John 3:1-21 - Nicodemus was a man of distinction and outstanding character. He was intelligent, honest and upright. Nicodemus had heard about Jesus. Nicodemus was a man of discernment in his own words to Jesus. “We know that You have come from God as a teacher." Nicodemus was a seeker - a person who was sincere in his searching for the kingdom of God but, a spiritual failure in spite of all his religious knowledge and enthusiasm. I believe that he was a sincere man with a sincere hunger for truth. He came to have a private talk with Jesus, in the quietness of the night, away from those who would distract him. He came to Jesus at night so that he could have a private conversation concerning his own very personal needs. Jesus had something he did not have. Nicodemus, like each of us, was seeking for that something more in life – looking, longing for spiritual bliss and truth to fill the hole that he felt in his heart. You see, like us, Nicodemus needed to understand that salvation comes from Jesus’ perfect life and death on our behalf, not from our own keeping of the law. Jesus our Savior is THE ANTIDOTE. The Holy Spirit transforms us, changing us to desire the law of God – it is not the Gospel; it is the outcome of understanding and accepting THE ANTIDOTE – Jesus.
THE ANTIDOTE is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Each of us stand in need of THE ANTIDOTE.
The "ultimate word picture" was given to us from God - Christ is the "ultimate word picture."
This will be in the form of a 4-part series. To get the full impact and meaning you should read and meditate on the scriptures in each part. Read through the Gospel of John and let it speak to your heart. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me.