14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, ‘This is the one I spoke about when I said, “He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.”’) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
THE WORD BECAME FLESH
The Word who John introduced in the very first verse of his Gospel, the Son of God, who was there in the beginning – it is that very person who took on human flesh and was born of Mary and whose glory we have now seen (v. 14).It really is the most amazing spectacle in human history – that the Eternal Son would take on human flesh, to become one of us and live with us – this is the kind of God we are talking about here – an intimate and deeply caring God who wants to be involved in the messiness of our lives.
In verse 18 we have one of the most important pillars of the Christian faith – that Jesus Christ is the revelation of God. God the Father has never revealed himself to us directly. That is why in Colossians 1:15 the Father is referred to as the ‘invisible God’. Even when we look back at at the Old Testament we can see that it is the Word of the Lord who is often specified as appearing and speaking to the patriarchs and prophets – e.g. Genesis 15:1. Even then, before he became flesh, the Son of God was acting as the Mediator between God and humanity – revealing the Father to us.
This has life-changing and far-reaching consequences for humanity. It means that firstly we can know God – he has made himself know – he has revealed himself to us in his Son – and this is a joyous and wonderful thing for us to constantly give thanks for. And secondly it means that we can only know God through his Son – there is no other way to know God – there is no other revelation of God – no philosophy or human understanding of God will do – it is only in Jesus that we can truly know anything about God because that has where he reveals himself to us.
This places Jesus right at the centre of our faith. We can’t truly know or worship the God of Jesus Christ if we don’t go to him – and that is where he calls us. He calls us to look at his Son – he puts him on centre stage – and that is where we will find life.
Question: Do you hold Jesus at the centre of your faith? Here at the beginning of John’s Gospel we are given a big picture of Jesus. Do you think you understanding of Jesus matches what John’s presents us with?