The Word and Incarnation
“He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, and yet the world did not recognize Him. (11) He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. (12) But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, (13) who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. (14) The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (15) (John testified concerning Him and exclaimed, "This was the One of whom I said, 'The One coming after me ranks ahead of me, because He existed before me.'") (16) Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from His fullness, (17) for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (18) No one has ever seen God. The One and Only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father's side – He has revealed Him.” - John 1:10-18
Concept Summary – The God we can hug.
There are multiple accounts in the Bible that show the greatness of God’s love for people. Seeing people’s love of God isn’t quite so common. None show the intensity of love between people and God though, as dramatically as the account of Mary Magdalene encountering the risen Christ in the garden.
Interesting that the very first person Jesus sought out after His resurrection was a grieving woman. Her heart was precious to Him, and the honor of being the first to discover Christ was alive was given to her. If you read John 20:11-18, you can see the account. Jesus reveals Himself to her by calling her name, and she shouts “Teacher!!” and bam. It’s bear hug time!
MercyMe has a song called “I Can Only Imagine” which you really want to take the time to hear. It talks about the same thing, what happens when we discover Christ face to face. I have a feeling the most common reaction will be like Mary’s. When I see the One who loves me best I think a mutual bear hug is coming! I love the Father, I love the Spirit, but I’m so glad I can hug Jesus.
Again, to get the doctrinal flavor of the passage above you really ought to also read Hebrews 1 and 2. Those chapters put a big magnifying glass on the verses above. One of Jesus’ big roles is to make God real and known to us. Christmas is one of two great Christian holidays, but so many completely miss the significance by chasing gift-giving and partying. Taking Christ out of Christmas is missing the point completely.
Yet, while man may be fickle, God’s love is always sure. The incarnation, or coming of Christ to be born to us on Earth, is like a diamond shining out God’s great love for us. His birth was just phase one of His journey to the cross to redeem us. The battle for man’s redemption entered the crucial phase with God invading Earth personally with the birth of Jesus Christ.
Interesting isn’t it? It says above that His own people didn’t recognize Him. People still today can gaze at the evidence of Christ and not see Him. But to those who do, and believe in His name for their salvation, they become children of God. Part of the best forever family, and the more we focus on knowing Jesus in real time the more we discover the wonder of knowing God.