by Jeff Patterson
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Reflections of Christmas during this time of year often include thoughts of Joseph and Mary, shepherds and mangers, wise men and angels, as well as a whole host of other popular ideas. And while many of us acknowledge and celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmastime, we can unintentionally forget to carefully think about who Christ is. The advent of God coming in human flesh is not only the core of what Christmas is, but this truth is an essential element of the Christian faith. The Bible clearly and unmistakably presents Christ as God, and we as believers in Christ need to remind ourselves that Christmas is not about our Savior’s infancy, but rather it’s about His deity. The humble birth of Jesus Christ was never meant to conceal the fact of the reality that God was being born into the world.
I don’t suppose anyone can ever fathom what it means for God to be born in a manger. How does one explain the Almighty stooping to become a helpless infant? This is the greatest condescension the world has ever known. Our minds can never fully comprehend what was involved in God becoming a man, and yet He did. Without forsaking His divine nature or diminishing His deity in any sense, He was born into our world as a babe.
While at the same time that we say He was born a tiny infant we likewise confirm that He was also fully God. How can both things be true? I don’t know, but the Bible clearly teaches that it is so. Despite the various explanations that skeptics and false religions say about who Jesus really is, the fact is that all of them make Jesus less than God. If we open up the Bible to let scripture speak for itself, we are confronted with the reality that Christ is fully God and fully man.
In John’s Gospel, John wants us to know that that’s what Christmas is about. God becomes man and dwells among us to reveal who He is. He is the clearest representation of who God is. John’s gospel begins with a clear statement that Jesus is God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:1-3). Who is “the Word” spoken of in these verses? Verse 14 removes any doubt: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” And these verses are just a few of many that we can look at because the biblical evidence is overwhelming that this child in the manger was the incarnation of God. The Word became flesh, dwelt among us without giving up any of His glory. This is the story of Christmas.