The nativity is a familiar scene —wooden figurines of Mary and Joseph, shepherds and farm animals, all surrounding the baby Jesus. This simple Christmas decoration is meant to remind us of the coming of Christ into our world. Thousands of babies are born every day, but this event is the most debated birth-story in human history. Christians have celebrated it for over 2000 years. But through the eyes of a sinful and skeptical world, the story is also shrouded in controversy. After all, God becoming a man exceeds human intellect and imagination and confronts us with our sin. Therefore, it’s critical that we do not minimize the significance of this event down to the size of a Christmas nativity. His coming was not just a birth; it was an incarnation.
Each gospel writer has a record of the incarnation, the coming of Christ into the world. But John takes an interesting approach and will be the focus of our discussion this week. John 1 uniquely shows the deity of Christ as the eternal Word (Greek word, logos) of God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). This is how John chose to introduce Jesus to the world—not as a baby in a manger, but as the eternal word of God.
John borrows language from Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created…” God created by speaking it into existence. The Latin phrase is creatio ex nihilo—creation out of nothing. God spoke a word and it existed. So in John 1, John is helping us understand creation and Jesus. That the word God spoke to create everything was not simply a sound—it was a person. Therefore, creation is not just a cosmic accident, but it was personally created with meaning and purpose.
So what is John saying to us with this opening line? John is making radically important claims about Jesus that are meant to show Him as THE unique hero of humanity:
• That he was with God in the beginning and is, therefore, divine.
• That this eternal, life giving word became a man (v.14)
• That He is the supreme revelation (logos) of God.
As Sinclair Ferguson put it, “[John] wants us to understand that if we know Christ the Logos then we know the one that has been from eternity, always is, and ever will be, face-to-face with the heavenly father.” So to believe in Jesus is to know personally the God of creation, the one who spoke and the universe was made, the one who sustains all life and exists face-to-face with God.
But the incarnation tells us something else about Jesus: that his love for us was so deep that he would willingly leave the glories of heaven and the face-to-face relationship with the Father and enter our slimy, stinky world to redeem us. Like going from a non-smoking section to a room filled with the stench of tobacco. This transition can be nauseating; it gets all over your clothes and into the pores of your skin. It is hard to grasp the magnitude of the Holy God entering our fallen world – but that is what He did.
So what does all this mean for us? It means that Jesus alone is able to save us from our sins. That is what makes the incarnation so amazing and significant. It is what makes Jesus the unique hero of humanity. Jesus is the God-Man. Fully God and fully man. This is important because only God has the power to save and forgive sins. But only someone with a human nature can act as a substitute and sacrifice for human sinners. As some men in church history have affirmed: the Son of God became what he was not in order that we might become what we were not.
To conclude, Man has always wondered if they are alone in this universe. The incarnation of Christ proves we are not. God came to us; the word that spoke creation into existence entered into his creation and became like us.
Jesus wants to go even further than that. He wants to dwell inside of you – To shine his light into the darkness of your hearts and bring life to your soul. And from his fullness, give you grace upon grace (John 1:16).