A Bible study through John 1-6
God is often viewed as a distant being, separated and uninterested in the affairs of men and harshly critical of any transgression. Since the beginning of time, humanity has sought after God. While many today in our post-modern world would deny this fact, the reality remains that mankind has always searched for something greater than themselves.
This is a God shaped hole that was put within us by the divine Creator Himself. Unfortunately, humanity has blindly searched for God in all the wrong places. Over the millennia, people have claimed to find the divine in statues made by their own hands, in creation and the earth, in complex stories and legends their own imaginations have devised, in sacred places, meditation, and all manner of other strange places. However, the truth is that God is not far from us. In fact, He came near so that we would no longer have to vainly search in all the wrong places to find the One our hearts yearn for.
The core message of John is that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. God incarnate. The invisible One made visible. Divinity clothed in humanity. Jesus stepped down from heaven and became like His creation so that we could know and see the love of God. The perfect One walked the fallen, broken earth to show us God. He came to redeem and rescue the lost, reconciling sinful man with a holy God.
John gives us many unique insights into Jesus that the other three gospel writers do not cover in their accounts. Rather than giving a somewhat historical account of Jesus’ life, John uses his stories and memories of the signs and wonders Jesus performed to highlight one central theme: Jesus is God incarnate. The theme of belief in Jesus as the Son of God is emphasized throughout this gospel. Near the end of the book, John states that his reason for writing was: “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31b).
From the very beginning of this long gospel to the end, Jesus’ divinity is clearly revealed and highlighted. However, John 1:14 provides a powerful summary of the message and heart of this book and is our central theme for this study.
“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.”
The timeless, eternal Word became flesh. The One who spoke the universe into existence became like His creation. But Jesus didn’t just embrace our humanity in a comfortable way. He fully became like us and joined in our human experience. He became flesh and dwelt among us.
The Creator who gave man breath and language, needed to learn how to talk and read. Jesus was fully God and became fully man. He shared in our pain, our sorrow, our joy, and our trials. He walked the earth and experienced the rigors of life on a fallen planet. He came as a baby and thus needed to learn how to walk, eat, and communicate. He experienced the challenges of learning fine motor skills and the rollercoaster years of puberty.
Jesus grew up with imperfect parents and sinful siblings. The perfect, holy One was surrounded by broken, fallen individuals with short tempers, mood swings, and annoying habits. In all ways, Jesus shared our life and experienced the full spectrum of life on planet earth.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Jesus drew near to us and chose to not only join us, but live among us. He didn’t choose a mansion in the most beautiful place on earth to live out his thirty odd years of life. No, Jesus came to the most humble of life stations and walked among ordinary men so they might know that He came for all of us. He came to show us that he knows and understands our struggles. He’s seen the worst side of humanity and knows how painfully people can hurt us. He lived during an era when indoor plumbing wasn’t even a remote possibility, so He knows inconvenience and the mundane struggles of life.
God dwelt among us to show us His love and gives us salvation and hope for the future. God incarnate. Emmanuel.
Therefore, as we embark on this journey through the pages of John 1-6, may God open our eyes anew to the wonder and amazing gift Jesus is. May we see with fresh perspective how fully divine and also fully human Jesus was so that we might fall deeper in love with our Savior. May this time studying, pondering, observing, and reflecting on the life of Jesus highlight the extreme love God has for us and fill our hearts with gratitude and hope.
So let’s dive in and start studying the Word made flesh.