As part of the men’s discipleship group that I am a part of at Southbrook Church under Rob Singleton, we are all partaking of the reading of all four gospels in thirty days. Earlier in the week I began at the first chapter of each gospel (excluding Mark), and I was captivated by one single verse out of John 1:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 ESV)
Let’s read that again: the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. That statement alone is something that should endear us all to our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! Think about the implications; Jesus came to live WITH us. He dwelt with us. All of the fullness of the divinity of the Godhead was present in Jesus. Yet, for all of His glory and power, He willingly surrendered it to the point of death on a cross, an undignified and horrid sentence for anyone to suffer, much less the Lord of the universe. This was no ordinary love. The magnitude of love that our God has for us is summed up by this statement by Paul:
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:6-8 ESV)
How many people do you know would be willing to die for someone that was their enemy? My guess would be none. However, while we were unsaved and lost in our sins, that is essentially what we are. We are enemies of God. But God’s love for us was such that the Father was willing to accept the death of the Son on a cross to not just declare a truce, but to accept us as sons and daughters through Jesus’ blood. So, through the sacrifice of Jesus’ precious life, we have been declared righteous and adopted by the King that we were at enmity with.
And it all started with “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Jesus traded His royal robes of heaven for a sweaty and duster carpenter’s apron. He didn’t hold fast to the universal adoration of the hosts of heaven, but instead received the indignation of hearing “is this not the carpenter’s son?” Jesus traded glory for a cross, and you and I were the beneficiaries.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
We have a King who was tempted in the same ways we all are, yet did not fall. Through His suffering and life on earth, He knows our pains and stands ready to hold our hands as we walk through our own suffering and pain. He is not a God of the far-off, and He did not start the world turning and walk away. Instead, He descended into our midsts, shared our pain, and bore our burdens, that we might be able to have the Lord as our inheritance.
How amazing is it that our God loved us enough to sacrifice His Son on the cross?
Better yet, what SHOULD it mean for us? When we consider what Jesus was willing to reduce himself to, what should we be willing to reduce ourselves to?
Helping the hurting?
Loving the unlovable?
Protecting and loving the “least of these?”