“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
The gospels give a complete and trustworthy account of Jesus’ coming, but they don’t all repeat the same events. In Matthew and Luke we learn details about Jesus’ birth. John doesn’t mention Jesus’ birth, but he explains its deep meaning.
Dramatically, John links Jesus with the creation of the world: “In the beginning was the Word.” Who is this eternal Word? As the rest of John’s gospel shows, the Word is the one and only Son of God. But he did not create the world and then step back, remaining aloof from his creation. He entered the world he had made, took on flesh, and became just like us.
Wholly divine and wholly human? Christians have pondered this question since the earliest days of the church. We can’t explain it logically. God, who is not bound by human logic, sent his Son, who became flesh, to provide the very Savior we need. Fully divine and fully human (though without sin), he makes us right with God by his sacrifice on the cross.
Tracing the branches of the Jesse Tree brings us to Christmas, where we see, as Joseph, Mary, and the shepherds saw long ago, the glory of the Son of God, who became like us to save us from our sins. Now that’s good news of great joy!
Jesus, full of grace and truth, great Creator and gentle Savior, be born in our hearts today. Amen.