Luke 1:1-4; John 1:1-18
“So the Word become human and made his home among us.” – John 1:14 NLT
As we begin this reading through the four Gospels, it is significant that we start with a solid foundation and a clear understanding of the significance of what we are about to read. This is not some fairy tale devised by men or some religious myth created through someone’s fertile imagination. This is the truth regarding the coming of the Christ – the chosen one, promised by God thousands of years ago and sent by God at just the right time in history to accomplish the divine will of God regarding mankind.
This is not just some quaint story reserved for reading at Christmas. These four accounts of the life of Jesus Christ are a window into the the divine rescue plan for a doomed planet and all the people who live on it. These are four men, divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit, writing what they saw and heard, from their own unique perspectives. They are writing to four different audiences and each provides a unique viewpoint, based on their own personalities and aimed at giving a different glimpse of the life of Christ.
But no account of the life of Christ would be complete without the fact that this unique, one-of-a-kind man was more than just a man – He was God. Without that foundational truth, His life becomes meaningless and these four Gospels become nothing more than historical accounts of some obscure Jewish prophet who lived and died. But Jesus was more than just a man – He was the God-man. He was God in human flesh. A difficult truth to comprehend, but no less the truth because of it. What sets this story apart is how it begins. At just the right time in human history, God chose to send His own Son on a rescue mission. And He chose to do it by sending Him in the very form of the ones He was being sent to save. “So the Word became human and made his home among us” (John 1:14 NLT). That’s what Emmanuel means, “God with us.” God became one of us. How remarkable is that? But wait, there’s more. “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him” (John 1:10-11 NLT). That’s the story we are about to read for the next five months. Don’t lose sight of it. Don’t get lost in all the stories, parables, healings, miracles and messages. God sent His Son in human flesh in order that He might save some. He sent Him to rescue “all who believed him and accepted him,” but not took Jesus up on His offer. And there are still those rejecting that offer today.
These four Gospels are just that – the Gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial, substitutionary death on the cross for sinful man. This is good news about salvation, but also about sanctification. God has provided a way for men to live in harmony with Him that isn’t based on our own self-effort. He has taken care of our sin problem by sending His Son and having Him die in our place. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start at the beginning, but let’s not forget the significance of how this story starts. The Word became human. Amazing.
Father, open our eyes to the unbelievable nature of this story. Don’t let us read it with the same boring, been-here-before attitude. Make it come alive. Show us things we have never seen before. Bring the miracle of this story to life again for us. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men