In the first few verses of his Gospel, John introduced Jesus as the Word and established Him as the Creator. When God said Let there be light, not only were those the words of Jesus, but Jesus is the origin of words themselves. The languages of the world were created by Jesus at the tower of Babel. It is commonly believed that languages evolved from ‘cavemen’ grunting at each other, but consider this: In WWII, the Germans were able to decipher the secret codes used by the intelligence networks of the Allies. When traditional coding techniques failed, the Americans came up with a code the Germans could not break: Comanche. Code talkers also used Navajo, Lakota, Meskwaki, Mohawk, Tlingit, Hopi, Cree, and Crow. Comanche code talkers substituted their own words for things that could not be translated. For example, they called tanks ‘turtles’. Navajo code talkers simply substituted one of their words for a letter of the alphabet. For example, the word for ant was used to represent the letter A. These simple codes could relay messages far quicker than conventional ciphers and they were 100% reliable. God created these languages not as unbreakable codes, but as ordinary means of communication, yet they were sophisticated enough to be unbreakable by the Axis powers.
Father, give us understanding as we read thy word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
……And the Word was made 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.
Consider the implications of John 1:14: If this is true, we do not need to climb a mountain in Tibet to ask someone questions about God. We do not have to search through dusty scrolls or forgotten tomes looking for clues to tell us who God is. If John 1:14 is true, and it is, then God was already here. We already know who He is and what He is like. He dwelt among us.
The Greek word for dwelt, eskēnōsen, could also be translated ‘tabernacled’. As far as we know, Jesus did not dwell in tents. Therefore, John is saying that Jesus Himself was the tent. (Rev 21:3) The Tabernacle was a type of Christ. On the outside, it was made of badger skins, plain and unassuming. On the inside of the Tabernacle, however, there was gold, silver, precious stones, and fine embroidery. Inside the Tabernacle is where God met with his people as the Shekinah Glory. (Ex 40:34) Jesus looked plain and unassuming on the outside. (Isa 53:2) As far as we know, people never remarked on his appearance. The Glory inside Jesus, however, the Living Water that flowed out of his belly when He spoke, people took notice of that. His flesh was just a tent. Jesus said, Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. The good news is we each have that same power available to us: Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Col 1:26f) Although Jesus had an unassuming appearance, Peter, James, and John got a sneak preview of what He would look like once He was glorified when He was transfigured before them. (Matt 17) Likewise, we will receive glorified bodies as well. We are instructed to begin preparing for this now:
….That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
….And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
….And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Jesus is a God of grace and truth. Grace is ‘unmerited favor’. I do not know about you, but I need mercy. Jesus therefore gives me grace. I did not do anything to deserve it, or else grace would not be grace. The psalmist wrote Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. (Ps 85:10) This verse is fulfilled in Jesus. It would not be right, or righteous, for God to pardon me because I deserve to be punished. However, Jesus not only gives me mercy, He also paid my debt. That way, Jesus gives me the peace of forgiveness while satisfying the righteousness of the law. He can have mercy on me while staying true to the law because He provided Himself to be my sacrifice. If it was not for Jesus, I would be doomed; but as the psalmist also wrote, his mercy endureth forever. He is a God of second chances. In fact, He is a God of 490 + chances. (Matt 18:22) Jesus can offer this mercy and truth (or grace and truth) because Jesus is God, the only begotten of the Father.
Jesus was never interested in aggrandizing Himself. Although He did welcome and receive worship, He never built Himself a house, never raised an army, and never took a woman. He denied Himself. He came to serve us and ultimately to die for us, then rise again from the dead. He always found the people that nobody else cared about. He went to the untouchable lepers who society had forgotten and he healed them. The traitor Zacchaeus, the woman at the well, the widows, the thief on the cross, the woman caught in adultery, even those who crucified Him (and many more); He had compassion on these people. He was patient with each of them as He besought them to consider their ways and come to Him that they might have life. In other words, He gave them grace, showing us the true nature of God. If that is who God truly is (and it is), then I am ‘all in’ so to speak.
Father, thank You so much for Jesus. As Thanksgiving approaches, we have a lot to be thankful for, but most of all, thank You for your Son. As far as the situation with the election goes, thank You for this opportunity to learn to trust You more. May your will be done, in Jesus’ name. Amen.