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Prologue to the Gospel of John Part 6: And the Word became Flesh
John 1:14, Revelation 21:3-4. He dwelt among us, full of Grace and Truth
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 1:14 NASB1995
John uses “Word” for the last time in this passage in the prologue to his Gospel. This verse is absolutely electrifying - The Word that was with God and was God and was in the beginning (eternal past) and the Word that is creator of all things came down to this planet and became a perfect Man to be among us. He is glory, grace and truth and the only begotten from the Father. Begotten in the Greek is monogenes and means one of a kind or only one (Son).
Jesus is alive and dwells among us, becoming flesh and moving into another plane of existence in our material world through the womb of Mary. Doing another word Origin on dwell or dwelt results in the Greek word skenoo, with this remarkable meaning:
to fix one's tabernacle, have one's tabernacle, abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent), tabernacle
Jesus is the living tabernacle, reflecting the dwelling of God among His people in the tabernacle among their tents in the wilderness. You don’t have to struggle to find Him - He came to us and “pitched his tent”. He is close to you and has come to you, but so many sinners feel this closeness, then turn and run away from Him. Here is Commentary from Enduring Word (David Guzik) about this living tabernacle:
And dwelt among us: The idea behind this phrase is more literally, dwelt as in a tent among us. From the sense and the context, John connected the coming of Jesus to humanity with God’s coming to and living with Israel in the tent of the tabernacle. It could be stated, and tabernacled among us.
The tabernacle was many things that Jesus is among His people:
The center of Israel’s camp.
The place where the Law of Moses was preserved.
The dwelling place of God.
The place of revelation.
The place where sacrifices were made.
The center of Israel’s worship.
“If God has come to dwell among men by the Word made flesh let us pitch our tents around this central tabernacle; do not let us live as if God were a long way off.” (Charles Spurgeon)
“The Shechinah means that which dwells; and it is the word used for the visible presence of God among men.” (William Barclay)
The tabernacle theme continues in Revelation 21:
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.””
Revelation 21:3-4 NASB1995
The Word is full of Grace and Truth. He is not part Grace and part Truth, but fully Grace and fully Truth. Grace brings love and compassion to guilty sinners through the redemption on the Cross; Truth brings a warning to those who do not repent about their judgment. We can rest easy in Grace and trust in the Truth. I found a marvelous passage to end this devotional about the Word becoming Flesh from 19th century Bible commentator J.C. Ryle (from Expository Thoughts on the Gospels):
Did the Word become flesh? Then He is One who can be touched with the feeling of His people’s infirmities, because He has suffered Himself, being tempted. He is almighty because He is God, and yet He can sympathize with us, because He is man.
Did the Word become flesh? Then He can supply us with a perfect pattern and example for our daily life…. Having dwelt among us as a man, we know that the true standard of holiness is to “walk even as He walked” (1 John 2:6). He is a perfect pattern, because He is God. But He is also a pattern exactly suited to our needs, because He is man.
Finally, did the Word become flesh? Then let us see in our mortal bodies a real, true dignity, and not defile them by sin. Vile and weak as our body may seem, it is a body which the Eternal Son of God was not ashamed to take upon Himself, and to take up to heaven. That simple fact is a pledge that He will raise our bodies at the last day, and glorify them together with His own.
My next devotional is the last for this series and examines The Prologue to the Gospel of John 1:15-18, Bearing Witness to God’s New Order. The next devotional series will deep dive into 1 Corinthians 13, the beautiful and essential chapter in the Epistle of Paul about love.
Heaven on Wheels Daily Prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dwelling among us as the Tabernacle of Grace and Truth, becoming perfect Man to point us to redemption and sanctification through your sacrifice on the Cross. Your Glory shines upon us! Amen
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. lockman.org
Commentary from Enduring Word by David Guzik is used with written permission.