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The Deity and Incarnation of Jesus

(John 1:1-18; 20:30,31)

Lesson 1 -- second quarter 1999
March 7, 1999

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1999, Christian Light Publications

The Word. What do you think of from the Old Testament? We know that today's lesson highlights Jesus as The Word, but let's "lay aside" that concept for a bit. Let's note God's first words recorded in the book of beginnings.

"Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3). God uttered the words...and it was so! Did you ever marvel that God could be so powerful that even His words could accomplish so much? Generally we measure a person's power by what he does, not by what he says. Why? Because mere talk gets little done. And that's understandable. After all, the power of speech lies in its ability to motivate, not in its ability to actually accomplish something. But God is absolutely different! Even His words are saturated with doing power.

One of the difficult questions from this lesson is, what is the relationship between the words of God and Christ, the living Word of God? Is it safe to say that the words of God were made flesh in the incarnation of Jesus? Shall we say that the man Christ Jesus was the sum total of the words of God? I am certain that, even if this page were filled to the brim with words readable only with the most powerful electron microscope, there still wouldn't be enough words and enough room to explain the answer. So I won't even try in words his size. Besides, I don't know the answer!

But I do know "the Word was made flesh." After centuries and millennia of telling mankind about His love and showing mankind His love in various ways, God sent His Son. And thus "was manifested the love of God toward us" (1 John 4:9). Any view of the Incarnation that does not focus on this truth cheapens the whole purpose of God and mission of the Son. Jesus came! And the love of God "dwelt among us." Jesus came! And the Word revealed God's love toward us.

Do you see any problem here? I do. And that problem seems quite significant to me: The Word, as flesh, no longer dwells among us! Too bad for us that we came along about 2000 years "too late"? Too bad for the world that they can no longer see the living manifestation of God's love? No!

I believe the Word still dwells among us. Because He dwells in us. Can you accept that? Pretty tough sometimes, I know, because it means that as I look around a roomful of Christians I see exactly where the Word dwells among us. And some of these Christians...well, you know what I mean.

So let me ask you another question. Since the Word still dwells among us by dwelling in us, can the unbelieving world say, "Herein was manifested the love of God toward us"? Or to consider it from another angle, are you a manifestation of God's love towards all of those around you?

I will tell you one thing I am wondering for myself right now: Is this part of the solution? You see, I am trying to resolve major conflicts in the lives of some...and in my own life. Hmm.

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