The Word Becomes Flesh
1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him, not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” ~ John 1:1-5 (NRSVACE)
Starting with Adam and the fall of man, to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Salmon, to King David; God has been with us. He sent many prophets to foretell of His only son, God hinted through all this time that sin equaled death and that He only wants life – salvation for all of humanity. Isaiah’s message gave details; his words would become the road map, bringing us closer to the fullness of God’s plan; bringing to us that new life for all mankind. God promised there would be a day when sins could be forgiven and that men could be saved because the light and the life had come to pay the price.
6 “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” John 1:6-9 (NRSVACE)
John the Baptist came with a specific mission and through his mission he accomplished three specific things with his ministry of baptism. First, John stated that he came as the voice in the wilderness. (Matthew 3:3). Second, John witnessed before the Pharisees that he came baptizing with water, (Matthew 3:11). Finally, in John 1: 29 – he testifies to the divinity of Christ. John describes in detail what he saw and experienced. In these three scriptures, we are given the outline of what it means to be called to serve with fidelity. These descriptions of John’s service required of him specific talents so that scripture would be fulfilled. Within his service to God – John the Baptist gave witness to the signs which directed him to Jesus and which drove him to accept his call to serve with his whole heart, mind, body, soul, and strength – never shying away from the good work of God – even unto death. In John’s voice we can hear his testimony come to life as found in the Message Bible;
29-31 “Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world! This is the man I’ve been talking about! ‘the One who comes after me but is really ahead of me.’ I knew nothing about who he was – only this: that my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer. That is why I came here baptizing with water, giving you a good bath and scrubbing sins from your life so you can get a fresh start with God.”
32-34 John clinched his witness with this: “ I watched the Spirit, like a dove flying down out of the sky, making himself at home in him. I repeat, I know nothing about him except this: The One who authorized me to baptize with water told me, ‘The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay, this One will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ That’s exactly what I saw happen, and I’m telling you, there’s no question about it: This is the Son of God.”
10 “He was in the world, and the world came into being through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:10-13 (NRSVACE)
Jesus finally is born to his people, the people of Israel, the very people who ironically had been calling on God for a savior to come deliver them from the Romans. Yet when He was born the world did not know Him, and the people of Israel would not recognize their prayers had not just been heard but now answered. To the Israelites Jesus was not the Son of God, for He did not come with a sword, or a legend of Angels to smite the Romans, nor was Jesus the Zealot they were looking for. But there were many who began to hear his words, follow Him as He went working miracles and demonstrating His divine authority over the natural world who believed and thus saved.
But on Christmas day we celebrate the word that became flesh in the body and blood of the baby Jesus, born to Joseph and Mary who are within the line of King David. We celebrate the love and mercy of Jesus who was with God who chose to come for the salvation of all mankind. We celebrate the gift of salvation that His divine blood grants to all who repents and walks in His divine light as a child of God. Finally, we celebrate the very fulfillment of the promise of God who has always been there with us throughout all of human history and who paved the way for the day we all can be with Him forever and ever.
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