John 1:14a The day God became an ordinary man
John 1:14a The day God became an ordinary man
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. John 1:14a
1. “And the Word became flesh”. The “Word” or divine wisdom came in the form of a human being. From the perspective of a Jew, the scripture came alive and took on human form; it is no longer a lifeless set of principles, but lived out through a human being. “… the Word became flesh” depicts divine wisdom personified and coming alive through a human being. In so doing, Jesus brought divine wisdom and life into humanity through His life and through the Holy Spirit.
The implication of Word became flesh is immense. When God became flesh, God’s omnipotence or divine power is unleashed into the world. Unless the God became flesh, there is no way God can exercise His saving power or omnipotence over humanity. Much like the light that enters the eye cannot be part of the eye or have any lasting effect on it; or the scent that enters the nose cannot have any permanent effect on the nose. Because God is Spirit, God’s omnipotence cannot save humanity unless God becomes human and part of the physical world (see the below figure).
For God to become flesh involves putting on the sinful inclinations of man. Paul said, “God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh” Romans 8:3. In coming in the flesh, Jesus struggled against sin in His flesh and destroyed its power by overcoming temptations, and through His death.
2. “… and dwelt among us”. Jesus dwelt among ordinary men, being exposed to the rigours and temptations of the human life. He was exposed to the full spectrum of human suffering and tragedy. Jesus endured betrayals, loss of loved ones, injustice, extreme tiredness, grief, struggles against sin etc. There was never a tribulation or temptation that Jesus did not experience.
As the believer subjects His will to the Word, the attributes of God are manifested in his flesh.
When Christ was glorified as a human being, humanity is given to operate in God’s attributes through His Spirit. Therefore, the believer’s humanness no longer pose a insurmountable hindrance towards Christ-likeness. The attributes of Christ-likeness include divine love, divine power (omnipotence), divine wisdom (omniscience) and omnipresence. The only way for humanity to be saved is for divine attributes to be regenerated within him through the Spirit.
That said, the Word or divine wisdom holds the key to the regeneration of divine attributes. And that is the reason why Christ, the Word was sent into the world to regenerate humanity towards the attributes of God. As the believer increases in divine wisdom and subject his will to it, God’s attributes are manifested in full measure. However, it is important to note that the generation of divine attributes involves the assimilation of divine wisdom into the heart. The assimilation of the Word must not stop at the mind, but to be believed and received into one’s conviction and beliefs system. Paul said,
“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” 1 Corinthians 1:21.
Knowledge (of the written word) when perceived by the seemingly wise did not result in knowing divine wisdom. But when knowledge is believed and received into the heart by the humble, it produces divine wisdom for life. For such, knowledge translates into divine wisdom which manifests itself through the heart as pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy (see James 3:17).
Divine wisdom also contributes towards divine power. Jesus said, “These signs will accompany those who have believed…” In other words, divine attributes and power will accompany those who believed: who live in divine wisdom, which is the Word became flesh.
Jesus does not despise our human weaknesses because He Himself is beset with them.
Jesus understands our struggles because He personally experienced what it means to be human. As a human being, Jesus possessed all of man’s physical, mental, and emotional characteristics. Because Jesus experienced the full spectrum of the human life, He understands how it is to be poor; to be in pain; to be grieved; and to be forsaken. By dwelling in the midst of man and experiencing the darkness, despair, poverty and sickness, He unites Himself with humanity in love and solidarity.
Are you accustomed to reading the Word to increase biblical knowledge, but short of yielding your will fully to God. We study the word so that we may believe and to assimilate its values into our lives: The Word must become flesh. Every time when you study the written word, ask the question: What is God saying to me? What must I do in response to His word? Eternal life does not come from knowledge, but through obedience to the Word.
In your moments of weakness, you must run to God, not away from Him. People have a tendency to run away from God in their moments of weakness thinking that God has despised them. However, Hebrews 4:15-16 encourages believers to draw near to God despite their tendencies towards sin:
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Christ, being beset with weaknesses Himself is familiar with the sinful inclinations of the flesh. Hence, He will not despise us but will empathise with our frequent failings. As long as we do not support our sinful behaviour, we can be confident to draw near to the throne of grace. Every time we draw near to God, we receive divine empowerment to overcome sin. No matter how many times we have sinned, God wants us to return to Him to receive grace to fight another day. Divine grace over time will cause us to be sanctified towards perfection.
Dear Lord, I praise God that Christ’s overcoming has forever crippled the power of sin that works in my flesh. I will not run from you, but will run to you in my moments of weaknesses. Imbue me with your grace and divine wisdom and cause me to manifest your divine love and power. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.