Presenting: God in the Flesh

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 1:14.

This may not seem humorous to you who read this blog but I find it funny anyone reads this passage without grasping who John thinks Jesus is.  It also amazes me we have an argument about the God/man thing still.  I know, I know, people consider the deity of Christ a later addition, yet if they simply read the discoveries of the last ten years or so, they would realize this is our tenet of belief set down by the apostles and a not a later insert.

The first 13 verses establish Jesus as Creator, God, eternal and Savior; verse 14 establishes the incarnation.

John dealt constantly with Greek philosophies worming their way into the church of his day too.  There were those who believed Jesus came merely as man infused with God’s power and designated by Him to be the sacrifice; others who taught that God could never inhabit human flesh so Jesus was but a phantom that looked and felt like a real person.  Since God cannot die, Jesus’ didn’t really die either because that would make Him less God and more man in their eyes.

It hasn’t changed much has it.

While I can’t presume to answer every Tom, Dick and Harry on these subjects nor their assertions to the supposed facts  they present, I can state pretty emphatically what the Bible says:  Jesus, Creator, God, One with the Father, Son, Eternal, the Lamb of God, also became human flesh and lived among us for a time.  The book of John continues this them throughout its storyline, refusing to sidestep the issue anywhere.  When John wrote this gospel, he was probably towards the end of his life, for my NIV study Bible puts the dating of it at around A.D. 85 or so, which would make him close to that age himself.  Remember, he followed Jesus, who was around 30 years old (see Luke 3:23), when He began His ministry, so John would have been either in his late teens or early twenties when he decided to follow Him.

What’s the significance of this?

Let’s just say that a disciple who walked, talked, ate and handled the Messiah (see 1John 1:1)  wrote this gospel 50 years after the facts and still maintained they were true.  This fact doesn’t make the book true, but it does establish the author’s work as authentic and true to his mission, belief and stance.  Since we also know a first century copy of this book was discovered recently, we can conclude John probably knew about it and approved.  This sucks the life out of any argument which supposes the disciples didn’t teach Jesus as not only the sacrifice for sins (Savior) but also God incarnate.

This is the fact of our belief, folks, for the source manuals we have available to us make it clear.  Detractors preach, teach and scorn this gospel as foolish, inaccurate and deceptive, and it may well be, but the facts remain clear:  John declares Jesus to not only be the long looked for Jewish Messiah, but Savior, Lord of all Creation and equal with God the Father as God the Son.

In the other gospels this fact is never quite as emphasized as it is in John, and for good reason:  John was facing the teachings we discussed earlier.  It’s one of the reasons he wrote this gospel, the three letters to the churches and Revelation to be quite frank.  He had to establish Jesus as God incarnate and an apostolic teaching. 

It’s fascinating that of all the disciples John was the only one to live to a ripe old age—no martyrdom.  It’s rumored (through one of the church fathers’ essays) that Caesar tried to kill him by throwing him into a vat of boiling oil, but to no avail.  John went under, came up and swam to the side of the pool.  At this the emperor exiled him to Patmos where he wrote Revelation.  This disciple survived to tell the tale and troubleshoot heresy in the latter part of the first century.  If I know God, this is one of the main reasons John survived.  No one who knows Scripture or the history of archeology can deny the doctrines of the Christian teaching surrounding Jesus now.  They can call them loony, unfounded, inaccurate, foolish, fairy tales and a bunch of other things, but they can’t deny the first century authorities on the subject taught Jesus as Lord, Savior and God.

In one fell swoop (the first chapter and twice more in other chapters) John takes on all the contrary teachings and knocks them down.  And who else would know better than a disciple what the tenets of belief for the new religion called “Christianity” would be?


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One Response to “Presenting: God in the Flesh”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    You gotta love it!

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