The Word became Flesh
Key Verse 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.”
Praise God for John’s gospel which leads us to Jesus. Last week we learned who Jesus is. Jesus is God, the eternal word of life and the true light that gives light to everyone. He is the Creator God. “Through him all things were made.” My life is not an accident but it is created with absolute purpose in Jesus. Through Bible study, the light of Jesus gave me absolute meaning and purpose of life to live for the glory of God as a shepherd for God’s flock in campuses. Young people who are walking in darkness need Jesus, the true light. May Jesus’ light shines upon them this fall through our campus fishing and one-to-one Bible study! Though today’s passage is short – just 5 verses, it has the powerful gospel message that “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The Creator became a part of his creation by taking on human flesh. God became one of us. What does this mean for us? Here John who had been with Jesus for three years testified, “We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” May God help us to accept the truth “The word became flesh”, so that in Jesus we may also see the glory of the one and only Son, who came from God, full of grace and truth.”
First, The Word became flesh (14)
Look at verse 14a. “The Word became flesh…” Verse 1 says, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God.” As we learned last week, the word is Jesus, the Creator God. God is holy, glorious, powerful, imperishable, and eternal. Then what is “flesh”? A Human being. This flesh is weak, perishable and dishonorable. It always becomes prey of the devil because of its sinful desires. It suffers from all kinds of sickness and pains, and aging. Then, think verse 14a again. “The Word became flesh.” The creator who is holy, glorious, powerful, and eternal became flesh which is perishable, dishonorable, and weak. Simply Jesus, the eternal God, became man, fully human. Can you imagine this? It is inconceivable. This might be the worst demotion in history. “The word became flesh” is not just demote its position, but even its existence. Once I compared this to “the President Obama becoming a bagger in NYC”. Someone compared this to “man becoming a earthworm” Is it too much? We cannot fully understand what Jesus might give up or sacrifice to be man because we never seen the real glory of the kingdom of God. Paul says about this in Phi2. “(Jesus) who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death–even death on a cross.” We want to be promoted and have a better title, more prestige, more honor, and to make more money. We are so proud that we cannot take even a critical advice; we cannot take humble training – like cleaning Toilet Tub. Paul said, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Jesus demoted himself from heaven to earth. He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of human.
Verse 14b also says, “...and made his dwelling among us.” Jesus was born through Mary as a tiny, poor, helpless baby in a manger. Indeed, he lived as a human among humans. He shared life together with all kinds of sick and needy people. Just like us, He ate and slept. He became tired, hungry, and thirsty. Jesus was also tempted through his flesh desires by the devil. He became one of us. Yet, his humiliation went further than that. Jesus, the holy Son of God became sin – the object of God’s wrath - for sinful man. He bore in his own body the shameful, dirty, wretched sins of all mankind. In the sight of God, Jesus became the immoral Samaritan woman, the utter selfish tax collector, and even the arrogant religious leader. Taking the sin of the world upon himself as the Lamb of God, Jesus suffered and died on a cross.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” What a terrible thing to do! Who would do this or who would obey this kind of plan? But, this is what God has done and what Jesus had obeyed to save us from our sins. Sin has deeply rooted into our hearts. There is no other way to cleans sin, but the blood of Jesus. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
“The word became flesh.” What does this mean for sinners like us then? What a wonderful gospel. Jesus, the creator, came to save us! Praise God! Religions seek to way to reach to God. It is impossible to reach to God because sinners fall short of the glory of God. But, God has reached down to such hopeless sinners. “The Word became flesh.” It means we sinners have a new and living way to have relationship with God. Simply, by the grace of God, we are saved. Eph 2:4-5 says, “Like the rest, we were by nature deserving wrath. But because of his great love for us, God… made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.”
When John understood what "the word became flesh" meant, he testified “We have seen the glory, the glory of one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” As John listened to Jesus, lived with him, walked with him, touched him, heard him and slept beside him, he saw the glory of God in Jesus. Of cause whenever Jesus performed miracles like healing the sick, driving out demons, and bring dead to life, he was amazed. When he saw Jesus suffered and died on a cross, he saw the glory of God ; the love of God which gives, serves, and even sacrifices his own life for sinners. When Jesus emptied himself at the cross for us, when he was abandoned by God and cried out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” We, sinners, see God’s absolute and unconditional love for us. Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” In the cross of Jesus, we see the glory of God which loves sinners unconditionally and sacrificed his son to free them from the power of sin and death. So what? The glory/love of God changes sinners into glorious people of God. At first, the disciples were slaves of sinful desire. But when they saw the glory of God in Jesus’s death and resurrection, they were transformed into a new creation. At last, such selfish sinners repented of their sins and became shepherds for God’s children in the world salvation work. Those who have seen the glory of God in Jesus become glorious people who serves, who gives and who sacrifices for the glory of God. People love to see the glory of the world in their achievement, titles, size of their houses, and so on. I cannot see any glory of God in the President Donald Trump, but I see the glory of God in Sh.David’s life of giving, serving and sacrificing for God’s flock. We may see the glory of God among us through serving one sheep with life giving spirit in this fall. We may see the glory of God among RURP.
Second, Jesus is full of grace and truth. (14-17)
Look at verse 14. Jesus, the one and only Son, is full of grace and truth. Jesus is full of Grace. Look at verse 15. John the Baptist testified that Jesus, who came after him chronologically, actually existed before him. He recognized that Jesus is God who became flesh. He is the superior one, the great one. Then, how could the great one become flesh? He did not have to come. He did not have to live such a simple, humble life. He did not have to talk to a smelly Samaritan woman or go to the house of a greedy and despised tax collector. He did not have to touch a leper or talk to an ungrateful paralytic. But he did so not because they deserved it, but because he was full of grace. Jesus was full of Grace so that he sacrificed his life for undeserving sinners. This grace of Jesus is sufficient to forgive all our sins and to lead us to live new life. Without Jesus, there is no grace. Only through Jesus, we can find forgiveness, healing and learn to forgive others. Jesus is full of grace. Look at verse 16-17. “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” The law was given through Moses to the lawless people. It was God’s blessing for Israel to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. The law was the teacher who made them realize their sins. However, the law could not save them. The law could not make them acceptable to God. Instead, the law demanded them with sense of condemnation. They were doomed to death because of their sin. However, out of his fullness of grace, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. The grace of God comes through Jesus only for he satisfied the law by offering his life as the sin offering. As the Lamb of God for the sin of the world, Jesus was suffered, rejected, condemned and died in our places. So, we received the grace of forgiveness of sins through Jesus.
Jesus is full of grace because he gave up his privileges as the Creator God. Likewise, when we give up our privilege for others, we are filled with his grace. We like to show ourselves off before others even with very small privileges. Then we will be full of pride, jealous, anxiety, and fear. But when we humble ourselves as Jesus did, we will be full of grace. The fullness of his grace enables us to forgive others. The fullness of his grace empowers us to accept each other and serve each other.
When people are touched by the grace of God, they become gracious people. In John 4, there was a Samaritan woman who had had 5 husbands. Because of her immoral life, she was despised most. How did Jesus change the woman? It was not by lecturing about ethical and moral teachings. He offered God’s undeserving favor and love to her. Jesus offered her the living water. “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
In John 8, one woman was caught in the vary act of adultery. The Pharisees and religious leader accused her, and condemned her to stone to death. She was guilty and the law required her to be stoned to death. How did Jesus help her? Jesus forgave all her sins unconditionally. Jesus declared her, “Neither do I condemn you.”(Jn 8:11)
The grace of Jesus is sufficient to forgive any sinner. Any terrible sinner can find hope in Jesus for he is full of grace. Thank God that I can find true hope to be a disciple-maker for Jesus’ grace is greater than all my sins. I can have hope for 2 generations because the fullness of his grace will change them as shepherds, bible teachers, and powerful servants of God for this generation. What we need more than anything else is grace, God’s grace. This grace comes through Jesus only. Jesus is full of Grace.
Jesus is also full of truth. He is light shining in darkness, exposing all the sin. He tells us the truth about God; the truth about ourselves; the truth about the world. Ignoring or just covering up sins is not the grace of Jesus. Out of grace, he told the Samaritan woman, “Go, and call your husband… God is spirit, and his worshipper must worship in spirit and in truth.” The word of Jesus guided her to repent of for sin and to worship God in spirit and in truth. Out of his grace, he told the woman who was caught in adultery, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” He told the truth that she deserved to be stoned to death, but he also told her, “Neither do I condemn you. Leave your life of sin.” His truth shines in her heart to seek the new way of life in Jesus. Jesus is the full of truth that sets us free from Satan’s lie and leads us to the kingdom of God. In the light of the truth, we must repent of our sins and hold on to the word of truth. When we hold on the truth of God, the truth of God will set us free.
Jesus is full of grace and truth! “Son, your sins are forgive.” This is the word of Jesus that opened my eyes to see Jesus who was full of grace and truth. The truth was that I was a sinner though I had been such an obedient and good boy to my mother. I was a sinner who was full of lust, envy and emptiness. The grace of Jesus was that all my sins were forgiven by the blood of Jesus. The fullness of his grace and truth led me to repentant of my sins and to live a new life for the glory of God.
Third, no one ever seen God. (18)
For ages, people have wondered, “Where is God? Does God understand us? Does he hear our cry?” It was because no one ever seen God before. Look at verse 18. “No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” Where is God? God has been with us through Jesus. Through Jesus, God has come to dwell among us. Jesus is Immanuel God. Once Phillip asked Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (Jn14:8-9) Have you ever wondered what God looks like? Then see Jesus. When we see Jesus, we see God. When you know Jesus, you can know God. If we want to see God, firstly we need to study Jesus’ word humbly through one to one Bible study. If we want to know the will of God for us, we need to study the word of Jesus. Do you want to know God’s plan for your life? Study the word of Jesus. Do you want to hear from God? Study the word of Jesus.
As a matter of fact, God himself is revealed in Christ Jesus. That is why God sent Jesus. Jesus said in John 3:11 “Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.” Jesus taught the word of God, not his own. Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught the kingdom of God through many parables. Jesus has made God known to sinners; the heart of God, the love of God, the power of God. Through Jesus, we come to know that we are loved, protected, and blessed. In his words, we hear God speaking and in his deeds, we see God at work. How much do you know Jesus? Let us study the Bible! Let us meditate the word of God through DB and Weekly Testimony Writing, so that we may come to know Jesus and God.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwell among us.” God’s glory is revealed in Christ. God’s grace and truth is revealed in Christ. We may see the glory of Jesus, the one and only Son, full of grace and truth. We may see God and meet God personally through Jesus.
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