One Of Us
At the crossroads of humanity, at just the right time following four centuries of silence on God’s part, He sent not simply further word but “the Word” of God. In Jesus of Nazareth, God became a man. To put it another way, Jesus Christ was God being fully human. This event is referred to as the “incarnation” (a word meaning “in the flesh”). God stepped into history, or rather He crawled into history as a human baby. There is deep mystery involved in this event which is beyond us. But there are very plain and powerful lessons which not only inform us but gladden our hearts and give us rich encouragement and good hope for our own journey in life.
Our God came to earth and lived life on human terms. He was fearfully and wonderfully knit together inside His mother, Mary (that’s right, He had a mother). He developed through embryonic stages, was born just like any other baby (excepting that He was virgin-born), and grew through infancy, toddler– and child-hood, teenage and young adulthood. He went through nearly all the normal experiences that go along with all those stages of development. Have you thought of the wonder of Mary nursing the infant God? Or of God learning to walk, falling and crying and getting back up to try it all over again? Is it not amazing to think of God as a child playing with friends, doing chores and learning the Bible that He Himself wrote?!! I say He knew nearly all the normal human experiences except that He never married, and He never sinned. He experienced the full array of temptation just like the rest of us humans. In fact, He experienced the power of temptation more fully than the rest of us do. That’s because somewhere along the line, every single one of us caved in to one temptation or another. And that “caving in” opened the flood gates of sin in our lives, didn’t it? But Jesus never caved in. He successfully resisted all kinds of temptations in every condition and every moment of His life on earth. These two facts alone…the fact of His temptation and the fact of His success against all temptation…mean that He is uniquely capable of blessing us. He understands through His experience what we face and how we feel as far as temptation to evil is concerned. And being untainted by sin, He is able to do for us what no one of us can do for the other…save us from and help us overcome sin. He also showed us how to do kingdom-living. The life that follows Christ is not just about heaven, it is about serving right here and now. That’s exactly what Jesus, Who was God being a man, did! In the act of Jesus becoming one of us, God was telling the world, all of us, a number of truly wonderful things: 1) that He was unwilling to give up on us; 2) that He was willing to give up heaven’s greatest treasure for us; 3) that He wants us with Him; 4) that true life is not about self, but about service and sacrifice; 5) that learning Who our Father really is as we see Him in Jesus is life’s greatest quest; 6) that Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth and the life” and that no one comes to God except through Him; 7) that we do not have to live any longer in darkness and fear; 8) that we are not in this alone; 9) that no matter what our circumstances in this life, we have “joy unspeakable and full of glory” in God. And these are only a few of the things God speaks to us through the Word Who became one of us. Today, as we think back to the time when the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we, too, behold His glory. John saw His glory with his own eyes. We see His glory by faith in what John wrote…but also, surely, in our own experience of the life, light and love the Word of God brought us when He became one of us! Glory to His Name!