There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done. There’s nothing you can sing that can’t be sung. Those are the famous words that start the Beatles song All you need is love. One of the most popular songs from one of the most popular bands in the world. The words are simple but meaningful. Just a few words that let us know that we can do and make so many great things, we can save so many people, we just need love.
Long before John Lenon was John the Evangelist who wrote about Jesus and John the Baptist. And in the verses that we get the chance to study this morning, we see something happen, that we couldn’t do. We hear about the impossible becoming possible. And yes it is because of the Love that God has for us, but only God could make it happen.
The Word became Flesh. Four words. Four simple little words that are a milestone in the history of the world, because prophecies about this moment have been taking place back to Genesis chapter 3 when Adam and Eve were being talked to about the consequences of their sin.
So what does this mean? Who is the Word? And why is the word becoming flesh such this impossible thing that we need to take note of? John 1:1-5 says this about the word
In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.
Before the creation of the world. There is this word. The word is with God and he is God. He is distinct from God and at one with God at the same time. To make this as simple as possible. We are talking about Jesus.
Just insert Jesus here into these verses. In the beginning, was Jesus. And Jesus was with God. And Jesus was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Jesus, all things were made. Without Jesus, nothing was made that has been made. Jesus was life and that life was the light of all mankind. The light that was is Jesus shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.
That is who the word is. The word is Jesus. So God became man. What’s the big deal? That’s what we have heard every Christmas forever. It’s just this fact that we believe but do you ever really think about how amazing it is.
It’s like us thinking about us living on a giant rock moving thousands of miles an hour hurtling around a star in the universe. That’s not something we think about very often but that doesn’t mean its not incredible. God became a man. Think about that. What do we know about God? We know that God is a spirit. We know that God is without a body. We know that he is ever-present, If I go up to the heavens you are there if I go to the depths of the sees you are there. He is everywhere. We know that he is all-knowing, We know that he is all-powerful, we know that he is eternal. We know that God is limitless is so many areas. There are no ends to his existence, or his reach, or his authority, All of these things about God just go out into infinity. And God became man. He had a body. He lived in a world with sin even though he is sinless. He experienced being in one place. He experienced learning, and struggle.
A God that was limitless since eternity became flesh like you and me. And he did that because our God as limitless as he is, as much as he is without borders and ends, has a boundary that we can’t cross. No sinner can be around him. That is why John says at the end of our paragraph here, No one has ever seen God.
I was driving down wigwam the other day heading west at the end of the day. And it was after a rain. And the sunlight was reflecting off the oil and water on the road at just the perfect angle and it was this blinding light that even with sunglasses and my sun shade down. I couldn’t see what color the stoplight was. I could barely see the cars. I just wanted to look away but I was driving so that’s not a good idea. I had to turn and drive north. Because of the light.
Now when we talk about God and his unapproachable light it's a bit different. It’s not just that it is uncomfortable, it's we really would be destroyed if we went near him. No person since the fall has ever been able to look upon God’s presence. Because it would destroy us. A God who can look into your soul and see your deepest darkest secrets, and all of your weaknesses and who promises to punish all sin. Without Jesus, we can’t be around him.
Which is why God did something that we couldn’t do. Saving yourself isn’t something that you could do, so the word became flesh. God became a man.
On Christmas Eve we read Luke chapter 2 the Christmas story. And when you read through the Christmas Story of Luke 2 that talks about Caeser and Mary and Joseph and the Angels and the Shepherds and the innkeeper, it seems like everyone is doing something. The Jesus in our Christmas pageant put on by the kindergarteners and the Sundays School they have a doll play the part of Jesus. Because Jesus is there, but it’s everyone else doing something. Joseph and Mary are traveling, the shepherds are tending, the angels are singing, Mary is swaddling, and pondering. Luke retells that story for us.
John when he tells the Christmas story to us in John 1 here. He focuses really on what Jesus is doing. The word is becoming flesh. The word in making his dwelling among them. The word is revealing parts of his glory. The word is explaining to the people around him this is who God is. The word is the one that saves us from our sins.
John the Baptist knew who he was.
Just like John said the ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’
Even though Jesus was born after John and his ministry starts after John, and his popularity rises after John He was still always God. He still has an eternal existence that is far before John, and even though for a little while he was humbled to be a child and grow up in Israel the glory of God is only going to increase.
Because that child that was born was the word became flesh. And he came to earth fulfilling God’s plan of salvation for you and me. And the plan was to reconcile our broken relationship with our God. To purify us from our sins through the perfect life of Jesus Christ sacrificed on the cross for us, so that you and I can approach our God. Instead of being separated from our God and his love because of our sin. You and I get Jesus. Instead of being blinded by the light, we now see him for who he truly is, not just a God of high standards, and rules, but a God of love.
This is what enlightenment means for us. We aren’t blinded. We aren’t staring into the sun wondering who or what made this. What is our purpose in life? Just turning other directions trying to figure out which way to go. We can see God for who he truly is. Isaiah wanted you to know that he said, The nations will see your vindication,
and all kings your glory;
Paul prayed for it in Galatians I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
It’s a big deal. And it is easy to use all of these big terms that are incredibly important and talk about how we have been justified before our God, and we have been reconciled and receive salvation, through the atonement given to us by Jesus Christ. But John keeps this simple.
He wants you and me to see what Jesus means to you and me. We get grace in place of grace. Undeserved love in place of undeserved love. Undeserved love from the all-powerful God of the universe and on top of that you get more undeserved love. There is no catch or downside. A God that loves you and provides for you and has given you life also has saved you from your sins fully through his plan of salvation. Grace on top of Grace. Just piling on the love that he has for you. It just keeps coming and is never going to stop.
And we got to see that love in Jesus. The people that lived around the time of Christ. They got to see that glory. They got to experience some of that power. They got to see the word in the flesh walking around them, talking to them, eating with them. They got to see God himself without being destroyed. They got to know God and God wanted them and you and me to know about who our God is. He is a God that gives us grace on top of grace. He is a God that saves you even when you break the laws of Moses. He is a God who gives you everlasting life in heaven. He is a God who has shown you all of these things through his one and only son Jesus Christ.
And all of that could only happen through Jesus. Through the word become flesh. I like the Beatles, I’ll probably still like them when I’m 65. They are people with some interesting insight into life and love. But you know, Jesus did something, that couldn’t be done. He saved you and me who couldn’t save ourselves. Only our God could have made that happen. Only our God could open our eyes so that you and I through eyes of faith could see the salvation that God has given to his people. You and I get to see God’s love. Amen.