“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … 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.” (John 1:1,14 NIV)
As Christmas draws near each year, I instinctively find myself drawn to John’s account of the Gospel. From his unique perspective as the self-described “disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23), John understood better than anyone that the true meaning of Christmas reached far beyond the spectacle of the night Christ was born as detailed in the Gospel of Luke.
That precious babe lying in the manger was God incarnate – God in the flesh. During his short public ministry, with John by his side absorbing every word he spoke, Jesus showed us the Father and spoke to us the very words of God with a clarity and purity unmatched in all of Scripture.
Only through John do we hear Jesus tell Phillip, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. … The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” (John 14:10-11 NIV)
That is the unparalleled message of Christmas – that Jesus came to show us our Heavenly Father – a message so uniquely and profoundly articulated by John with those memorable and poetic words, “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
I pray this Christmas you will ponder those words, treasure them in your heart, and reflect upon their implication for your life. Almighty God is now Immanuel, God with us. He walked with John in the flesh 2,000 years ago and to those of us who have welcomed him, he dwells within us still in the person of the Holy Spirit.
May you experience that reality and the power of His presence this Christmas as never before.
“Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.” – C.S. Lewis