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Merry Christmas, Jesus Has Come

John 1:14 (ESV) … “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.”

Christmas day is so unique and unlike in other day of the year. The reason for that is the birth of the Lord Jesus is unique. When any other child is born into this world, it is the creation of a new personality. A new life is created, one that never existed before. But when Jesus was born, it was not the creation of a new personality at all. It was the coming into this world of a person who had existed from all eternity. This was something new in the history of the universe. No wonder the angels awoke the slumbering echoes of the Judean hills that night with their anthems of praise.

In verse 14, John says “the Word was made flesh.” In that simple phrase John is describing the incarnation. In the Greek it is just four words. By contrast the gospel of Luke uses some twenty-five hundred words to describe this divine event.

Furthermore, John goes explains to us that Jesus also, “dwelt among us.” The Greek word in that little phrase is “eskenosen,” that word carries the idea of pitching a tent. Another way to say this is He, Jesus, tabernacle among us. John’s use of the word tabernacled gives rise to many other thoughts related to the rich typology of the Old Testament tabernacle.

John Phillips writes: the tabernacle was “all glorious within,” but its glory was a hidden glory. There was no great beauty about the tabernacle’s outward appearance. All the furniture of the outer court was made of ordinary brass (copper). The curtains of the outer court were of unadorned linen bleached white by the sun. The only flash of color was at the gate, which gave access to the brazen altar and hinted at the hidden beauties within. From without, there was nothing particularly glorious about the tabernacle. To the eye of the casual beholder it was just another tent, spaced off from the tents of the common people and more imposing in its dimensions, but just a tent. Even when the tabernacle was moved from place to place, every piece of golden furniture used within the tabernacle itself was carefully covered from the eyes of the curious.

Thus, too, the glory of the Lord Jesus was a hidden glory. When he came to “pitch his tent” among us he did not lay aside his deity, but he veiled his glory.

The inside of the tabernacle, seen only by the priests, was glorious. The inner hangings were of blue, purple, and scarlet, and were fine linen. All the inner furniture was of gold or overlaid with gold. That mysterious shekinah cloud, which overshadowed the camp of Israel, came to rest on the mercy seat in the holy of holies where it bathed all with the light and glory of another world.[1]

Finally, John says “we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” The glory that was hidden can now be seen in Jesus. Jesus says, “he who seen me has seen the Father.” No more do we grope in darkness to try and figure out God, for we have seen HIS GREAT LIGHT. That light is Jesus, he is the light of the world because he is the light of another world that has come. So, this Christmas, may the light of the Christ give light to you and your family.

[1] Phillips, J. (2009). Exploring the Gospel of John: An Expository Commentary (Jn 1:14). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

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