The Word Became Human

Article from the Swindoll Study Bible

Read John 1:1-18

THE SON OF GOD, as “very God” (to quote the Nicene Creed), arrived on this earth as a man. He came to the mountains He created. He faced the rivers with their rushing currents. He crossed the valleys. He gazed upon the sea. He walked beneath the skies and the stars and the moon and the sun. But the tragedy of all tragedies is this: “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him” (John 1:10). The world didn’t recognize the One who had created it. In other words, “He came to his own people, and even they rejected him” (John 1:11).

In our world, people look at the beauty of creation but refuse to acknowledge the Creator. Imagine Walt Disney coming to Disneyland on its opening day in 1955—but nobody even acknowledging him or acknowledging the fact that everything in the park had come from his imagination and creativity. Imagine them all saying, “Oh, it just happened.” Such an illustration can’t really do justice to this magnificent passage of Scripture, but you get the picture.

We all know the Christmas story: The Creator came to our planet as a baby, but there was no room at the inn for the One who had created the rocks from which that inn was made. There was no welcome mat for Christ. Isn’t it remarkable that the One who is coequal, coeternal, and coexistent with the Father and the Spirit—the One who divinely decreed the events that would run their course on this earth in perfect timing with His profound plan—could come to the earth and be beaten and spit upon, have spikes driven through His hands and feet, be hung on a cross, and be cursed until He died? Even after being raised from the dead, He is still denied, rejected, and refused some twenty centuries later. There is still no room for the Savior.

What about you? Do you know what it means that God, who made everything, reduced Himself to take on skin, subject Himself to the very gravity that He put into effect, and limit Himself to a tiny space of property—for you?

From the vanishing point of the past to the vanishing point of the future, Jesus Christ remains in His nature and His attributes very God. But Christ, in order that human beings might be able to see what God is like in tangible form, became a human for all eternity future. This introduction to the Gospel of John concludes, “No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us” (John 1:18).

Do you wonder what the Father is like? Make a study of Christ. Do you wonder how God could be a God of grace, at the same time both gentle and full of justice and purity? Look at Christ. He shares the Father’s divine nature, and He explains it and models it in perfect terms so that we can grasp the person of the Father.

The world didn’t recognize the One who created it. Do we?

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Joseph’s Quandary

“Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.” Matthew 1:19, NLT

We aren’t given many details about Joseph, but we can draw a pretty
accurate portrait from what we do know. He was a “good man” and betrothed to Mary—meaning he was in a covenant almost as unbreakable as marriage and bound by God and his own sense of honor to fulfill it. These covenants could only be broken if the terms had been misrepresented or if one of the parties fell into sin. And from Joseph’s perspective, that’s exactly what had happened. Those around him would have affirmed his right to cancel the wedding.

That’s what Joseph planned to do, though not publicly with his indignation
on display. He could have divorced Mary and openly answered the
questions that would follow, but he preferred to endure any questions quietly and let the silence cover her. As Mary’s betrothed, Joseph was just as chosen as she was, and his quiet sense of honor may be one of the reasons God chose him. Most men would have a hard time letting God rearrange their expectations for life and marriage and then fading into the background of the story. Joseph took on a responsibility no man before or since has taken on, and we hear very little else about him throughout the Gospels—an early death in Jesus’ late childhood or early adulthood seems a natural conclusion. But we know God trusted him to handle earth’s greatest treasure and allow his wife and her son to get far more attention than he ever would.

In Their Steps
Some of the most vital roles in God’s Kingdom remain in the background of the Kingdom story. Many personalities aren’t equipped for that level of humility. Joseph was. Mary apparently lived long enough to tell Luke some of the things she stored in her heart (Luke 2:51), but Joseph must have treasured the story too. And he submitted himself to it honorably.

Taken from the Dancing in the Desert Devotional Bible