God in the flesh (1)

One of the most challenging questions known to man and the most fundamental part of Christianity share the same address. That is, how can Jesus be God and man at the same time? How can God leave heaven, come to earth and be one of us, in the flesh?

To accept that Jesus is God in the flesh, we must first understand that this is a spiritual, rather than a physical truth. Nothing exists within the human experience or in human knowledge that can mimic the incarnation. If we limit our vision only to tangible human precedent, we will never grasp the profound nature of Jesus.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, NKJV).

In other words, we must accept things that the scientific method cannot explain. We must be courageous enough to step outside of our self-imposed cell.

The Gospel of John is a masterful examination of this very question. John wrote his book after the other gospels were in circulation. False doctrines about Jesus were spreading. John wanted to set the record straight about his beloved Savior.

John opens with the most audacious prologue in history and continues to prove his startling premise throughout the book. Read in this manner, John is a remarkable study that culminates with Thomas’ exclamation, “My Lord and My God!” (John 20:28).

Jesus then adds, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). The Gospel of John is for ages to come to learn anew that Jesus is God and the Savior of the world (John 20:30-31).

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:1-3).

The depth of this passage transcends time itself, to an eternal realm beyond our imaginations. John clarifies the picture later in the chapter.

“And the Word became 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).

The Greek term for “Word” is “logos,” which can be defined as the thoughts and intents of the heart of God. Jesus is God’s “divine self-expression.”/1 Jesus declares the Father, so we can know him (John 1:18). Jesus “is the full and complete revelation of deity to the world.”/2

“The Word was with God, God’s eternal Fellow; the Word was God, God’s own self.”/3 The term “was” is significant because it means, “continually was.”/4 The Father and Son have a timeless relationship predating time, as we know it.

Mark begins his gospel with the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Matthew and Luke begin before Jesus’ birth. John, however, goes back before everything. His canvas is eternal.

God is so immense in every way compared to humanity. Therefore, God sent an emissary to us, so that we would know God in a more personal way.

Through Jesus’ life, he proves that he is like nothing humanity has ever seen before. His wisdom, knowledge, miracles and teachings transcend all of man’s meager offerings.

Jesus is truly different. However, that is only natural considering he is God in the flesh.

__________

1/ Guy N. Woods, “John” (Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1984), 22.

2/ D.A. Carson, “The Gospel According to John” (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), 116.

3/ Ibid.

4/ Leon Morris, “The Gospel According to John” (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971), 73

 

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

4 thoughts on “God in the flesh (1)

  1. Richard, I enjoyed reading your article immensely. is the rest of the material in your Hinesville series avail online? If not, are they available in any other format? Our men’s class recently had a discussion of the subject, with differing opinions. Imagine that!! 🙂

    Larry

    1. Larry, I had notes for what I taught at Hinesville but they were very brief and the rest was in my head. These articles will be the best representation. This is a great subject! Thanks for the kind words.

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