In this sermon, Pastor Neil preaches on the Word became flesh. Christ Jesus, the Son of the Living God, came to Earth and lived among us. Here are some excerpts:
…[T]he late James I. Packer wrote in his masterpiece Knowing God: “The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more than lie and stare and wriggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. And there was no illusion or deception in this. The babyhood of the Son of God was a reality. The more you think of it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation” (Packer, Knowing God, 45-46). And the truth it is.
The Word – Jesus, the Logos of God – became flesh. In other words, He became a real human being, a real human baby who grew to become a real man. The word “became” speaks of a change in condition or state of being. What it means is that at a particular moment in history (2,000+ years ago), in a particular place (in Bethlehem of Judea), the eternally pre-existent Son of God, who was fully God Himself, became the incarnate Son of God and made His dwelling – for 33 short years – among us.
The Message paraphrase that I shared with you earlier says: “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14). If you’ve ever wondered what the “neighborhood” was like that Jesus moved into – not so much the immediate neighborhood of His birth in Bethlehem (we know how modest and sparse the surroundings were when He was born), nor the immediate neighborhood of His growing up years in Nazareth, where He learned from Joseph the trade of carpentry, but the “neighborhood” of the world into which He was born, I can assure you it was not like Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood… “First-century Israel was a conquered, cowed nation. This, then, was the neighborhood Jesus moved into: a sinister place with a somber past and a fearful future.” (Adapted from Yancey, The Question That Never Goes Away.)
In this Christmas season and every season, in the best of times and the worst of times, in periods of pandemics and prosperity, in all the ups and downs of life, in the midst of sadness and joy, remember that “the Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood,” embodying the fullness of God’s grace and truth, in order to save sinners. Including you.
Lord, let it be so, to the glory and praise of God. Amen.
Pastor Neil has a lot more to say about this topic. Please click on the link below to hear the sermon in its entirety.