30th November 2016
John begins this five-chapter book with a clear purpose and objective. He was providing an eyewitness account of the most life-impacting and life-changing event in human history.
From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, and verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us. We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy! 1 John 1:1-4 (The Message)
The apostle wanted there to be no doubt that God had actually come to earth. Jesus Christ was “The Word of Life” who came down to live on earth in real flesh and blood. Earlier, when he wrote The Gospel of John, the apostle had used similar language to explain the event that we call the incarnation (the word “incarnation” comes the Latin translation of the Bible and means, the act of becoming flesh). John 1:14 describes this clearly: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14 NKJV).
For Christians, the fact that God became a man is hugely important. Much has been written on this subject but I want to offer a few things that we learn about God because of the incarnation.
Because of the Incarnation:
- WE KNOW THAT GOD IS PERSONAL, APPROACHABLE AND TOUCHABLE. This is what John said in the verses above (1 John 1:1).
- WE KNOW THAT GOD IS WILLING TO BE VULNERABLE. You can’t get much more vulnerable than by becoming an egg implanted into a teenage girl’s womb! (Matt 1:23).
- WE KNOW THAT GOD COMES TO THE LOWLY. Mary described it like this: “He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly” (Luke 1: 52).
- WE KNOW HE CAME TO GIVE US JOY. The Angel told the shepherds, “I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people” (Luke 2:10).
- WE KNOW HE KEEPS HIS PROMISES. The hundreds of Old Testament prophecies about the coming of Christ, The Messiah have all been wonderfully fulfilled in Jesus! (Isa. 9:6)
- WE KNOW HE CAME TO LOVE US (I John 3:1). The coming of Christ is all about love coming down to our dark hurting world and right into our empty and lonely hearts. God could not stay away from us. Love is what compelled Christ to come (John 3:16).
As we get ready to celebrate Christmas, keep love in view! God’s heart for the world has not changed. He still loves us all so much that He sent his Son to give us everlasting life!