"I was thinking..."
I was thinking…Pastor Steve
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1: 14 (NIV)
I was thinking about how profound this Scripture is. The Word became flesh. We know that this was Jesus, the Son of God. He took the form of man and divested Himself of His Godly attributes, so that we would come to know God in a new way. For Jesus is making it clear to humanity that God wants a relationship with us, not blind obedience.
This must have moved John to his marrow to write this about his friend, the one he had followed for some time, only to see Him crucified on a cross. John and his fellow Apostles had seen the glory of God. They had seen the Transfiguration on the mountaintop, where Jesus met with two men who were leaders of the Israelites in times past, Moses and Elijah.
They had seen Jesus heal cripples, the blind, and the lame, raise Lazarus from the dead, and feed thousands with only a small portion of food. They had seen Him cast out demons and share His Gospel with a Samaritan woman. Jesus spoke Truth to the powerful elites of the day, the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
They saw Him beaten, crucified, and buried. Then, they saw Him in His resurrected body, ate with Him, and watched as He ascended to the throne room of God. There was no other like Him, full of Grace and Truth.
This doesn’t sound like a very happy Christmas article, does it? Where’s the joy, Pastor Steve? Well, as great a miracle as Jesus did in coming to earth as a man, He did a greater miracle in taking on the penalty of our sins. And, for those who claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior, He has paid the ultimate price for them. He has taken on all the punishment they deserved for their sins and given them the gifts of His Forgiveness, Grace, Mercy, Love, and the in-dwelling of His Holy Spirit.
It’s important at this time of year to understand the full story of Jesus. Sure, we can celebrate His birth in Bethlehem and sing songs of that glorious event in a manger. We can even have nativity sets on mantles and angels on trees. But, remember “why” He came as a baby. Remember His purpose, His mission, His destination, His plan. The Word of God became flesh!
Jesus came to earth to give us the best gifts of all time, Salvation and Eternal Life. He has opened up a new way of life for us and given us a part in His Kingdom, along with the throne room of God. John and the Apostles had seen His glory. Amen and amen!
Jesus also came to bring us joy. In the letter to the Romans, Paul writes this in Chapter 15, verse 13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” “The God of hope fill you with all joy.” May that be a blessing on all of you this Christmas and through the coming year. That the power of the Holy Spirit will fill you to overflowing with hope and joy. “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”
God bless and Merry Christmas.