The Word Became Flesh
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14).
I often sit in amazement at the line "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." The Word of course is God the Son who left His heavenly throne to descend to Earth and become man in the person of Jesus Christ. God became man. God, the creator of all things and the greatest and highest of all, lowered Himself to become a man. And not a man like Caesar who lived in a palace demanding his citizens worship him as God. No, Jesus literally is God, but was born in a stable and grew up in a tiny speck of nothing town called Nazareth, in the backwater province of Galilee, in an insignificant land known as Palestine. Even though Jesus is God the ruler and creator of all things He "did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men."(Philippians 2:6-7).
Do you know what it is like to be a human? Most of you probably do. Being a human is not a great time. It's hard. Especially if you live the life of a poor laborer in ancient Nazareth. So why did Jesus do it? Why did He become flesh? Why did He become a servant when He was a king? Would you become a servant if you were a king? I doubt I would. So why did He?
The answer of course is Love. For whatever reason God loves us. He loves us enough to come down to Earth as one of us, to experience all of the terribleness of life that we experience every day. Worse. I mean, I live in modern America. Relative to most of the world life is pretty good here. But Jesus chose ancient Palestine. He chose a time and place where He would have to walk everywhere, there would be no way to check His Facebook status, and clean water was not all that abundant. Yet God chose to become flesh and dwell with his creatures because He loves us. He does not just sit high in Heaven far from His creation angrily demanding obedience as he is often portrayed. He comes down to us, demonstrates obedience, and shows us how to do it right. He teaches us, helps us, and forgives us when we fall. He sacrifices Himself for us--even giving up His life in a very painful way. In other words, He's a kind and loving parent. A much better parent than I am.
Yet I still do not trust Him. Not in the way I should anyway. Not completely. God demonstrated His pure love for me in the most remarkable way He could, and yet I still sometimes wonder if He truly has my best interest in mind. I sometimes wonder if He even cares about the pain and suffering I and billions of others are going through. Of course He does. He is a loving parent. Unfortunately, too often, I act more like a pain-in-the-butt teenager--self absorbed and ungrateful. Too self absorbed to see how much God loves me and too ungrateful to realize that He has already given me more than I could ever want or deserve, when he gave me Himself.
Lord, thank You for loving me. Thank You for coming to Earth, for humbling Yourself and becoming flesh that I might have eternal life with You. Please help me to love You the way You love me. Help me to stop being absorbed with myself and the cares of this world. Help me to be grateful and loving toward others. Allow me to be willing to sacrifice for others the way You sacrificed for me. Amen.
R.C. VanLandingham is the author of the Christian fantasy novel Peter Puckett & The Amulet of Eternity. He lives in Florida with his beautiful wife and three wonderful boys.