Beliefnet
Mark D. Roberts

Christmas Day: The Word Became Flesh

READ John 1:1-14

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

John 1:14

The prologue of John’s Gospel tells the story of Christmas, but not in the usual manner. We don’t have angels and shepherds here, or wise men and a star. We don’t even have a babe born in a stable and laid in a manger. Rather, John reveals the theological essence of Christmas.


And what is this essence? It begins with the Word of God, the living Logos, who was with God in creation. This eternal, divine Word “became human” (v. 14). That’s a valid rendering of the original Greek, which states literally that the Word (logos) became flesh (sarx). The Word of God didn’t just look like a human being. He didn’t just appear among us. Rather, he became one of us, flesh and all.
Here is the wonder of the Incarnation, the in-flesh-ment of the divine Word. For centuries, theologians have sought to explain this mystery, but their efforts only take us so far. We’ll never fully comprehend how an infinite God could take on finite flesh, how an all-powerful God could become a weak, vulnerable baby.
Yet this truth is absolutely central to Christian theology and Christian living. We must beware the tendency to deny the full humanity of Jesus, even as we also affirm his full deity. In fact, one of the oldest heresies claimed that Jesus was divine but not really human (see 2 John 7, for example). Though most of us wouldn’t agree with this theology, we may have never taken time to reflect upon the implications of the Incarnation for our faith and life as Christians. In the next few days, I want to explore some of these implications with you.
Today, however, we focus on the fact of the Incarnation, something we an affirm without ever plumbing its depths. In Jesus, God became human. In Jesus, the all-powerful Word became weak and vulnerable. In Jesus, God reached out to us in a costly, humble, and fully incarnational way. Merry Christmas, indeed!
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What does the Incarnation of the Word of God mean to you? How are you going to celebrate the Incarnation today?
PRAYER: All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, because you are the Almighty Word of God!
All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, because you are the Word made flesh. You are Emmanuel, God with us!
All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, because you, the all-powerful Word of creation, became weak and vulnerable.
All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, because you became human in order to be with us, so that you might reveal the Father to us, and so that you might save us.
All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, Word of God Incarnate, Savior of the world . . . and my Savior too! Amen.

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This devotional comes from The High Calling of Our Daily Work (www.thehighcalling.org), a wonderful website about work and God. You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace.

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