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SIMPLIFIED JOURNEY (22): The Word Made Flesh


The Bible begins with God speaking the world into existence then commanding the ordering of the world according to His plan. In the Garden, God continued to speak with the Man and the Woman as He had continual fellowship with them in the Garden where He placed them. When sin entered the world, God banished them from the Garden – but He continued to speak with them and their descendants.

This continued throughout all the days of the Old Testament until the voice of God fell silent after He spoke through His prophet, Malachi. God Speaks Again Through His Son Then, after a silence of four centuries, God spoke again:

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. – Hebrews 1:1-3

The Word of God Created

This time, instead of sending a prophet to speak for Him, God sent His own Son who had been with Him in the very act of creation.

The fourth gospel also testifies to this:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2)  He was with God in the beginning. (3)  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made…. (14)  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:1-3, 14
The anonymous writer of Hebrews said that the Son “is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.” John declared that the Word who became flesh was with God in the beginning, and is in fact also God. What God the Father is, God the Son also is.
This is the One who emptied Himself of His heavenly glory to become flesh and to live among us, as the prophet had declared long before:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. – Isaiah 7:14
When the angel announced to Joseph, the espoused husband of Mary, that her pregnancy was through the Holy Spirit, he quoted this verse and explained it.
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” – Matthew 1:23
Immanuel, or “God with us” received the human name, Jesus, for “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
The story of His coming into the world is so familiar to us that we have ceased to marvel at the mystery of it. Paul described this mystery (and marveled at it) in these words:
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: (6)  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, (7)  but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8)  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! (9)  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, (10)  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (11)  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:5-11

The Son Introduced In Israel

His first introductions were private, but there were overtones of coming grandeur. A  barren woman, suddenly pregnant after her husband saw an angel – a virgin girl who saw an angel – a betrothed man who  suspected his fiancée of infidelity: these were the first to know, even before He was born.
At His birth, angels praised God as they appeared to shepherds watching their flocks in the fields and as they told them of His birth in the city of Bethlehem. About six weeks later, Joseph and Mary took Him to present Him at the Temple in Jerusalem – when Simeon and Anna recognized in Him the promise of God from of old. At some point after this, Wise Men from the East came to do homage to Him, which aroused the malevolent interest of King Herod and made it necessary for the young family to flee into Egypt until after the death of the evil king.
At the age of 12, He returned to the Temple. This time, He amazed the doctors and lawyers there with His knowledge displayed in both His questions and in the answers He gave. When Joseph and Mary found Him there and rebuked Him, He responded, ““Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49), or as the venerable King James Version puts it, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”
It was not until about 18 years later, when He was about 30 years old that He came to the Jordan River to ask John the Baptizer to Immerse Him among the many sinners who came to John confessing their sins. John demurred, saying “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Matthew 3:14). Did John recognize in Him the sinlessness that others would comment on later?
Jesus prevailed on John to baptize Him “to fulfill all righteousness.” When He came out of the water, the Spirit descended on Him in the form of a dove – and a voice spoke from Heaven:
This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. – Matthew 3:17
After about six weeks in the wilderness where Satan tempted and tried Him, He returned to the Jordan.

John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! ( 30)  This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ (31)  I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” (32)  Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. (33)  I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’  (34)  I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” – John 1:29-34

From that time forward, Jesus began to gather a band of disciples around Him and entered into His Public Ministry in Israel. In His work – His words, His deeds, His mighty works – He showed the glory of God in such a way that many came to believe in Him as the Christ, the Messiah of God.

PREVIOUS: SIMPLIFIED JOURNEY (21): Between the Testaments

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