2022-12-25 “And the Word Became Flesh…”

Cornerstone EPC                                                                                  Sunday morning
Franklin, NC 28734                                                                               December 25, 2022

And the Word Became Flesh…”
John 1:14-18

We come today, in our final sermon of four from John i.1-18, to the highest point of this most-soaring text: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Word, extant from eternity past, became flesh and dwelt among us. The Word, instrumental in creation, became flesh and dwelt among us. The Word, from Whom life—the light of men—flows, became flesh and dwelt among us. Let us hear more of this wondrous thing the Lord has done as we hear His Word read and proclaimed once again in this text.


The Word became flesh. This is a most profound statement of the Incarnation. This Word, which the Holy Spirit led the Apostle John to introduce to us in John 1:1-18, became flesh as a baby, being born in Bethlehem—the Lord Jesus Himself. Prophets foretold these centuries before His birth: Isaiah prophesied of His miraculous conception (Isaiah 7:14), and Micah prophesied that He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Hence, we have the eternal Word, fully God, becoming fully man as well in Jesus Christ. This is the orthodox formulation—as expressed at the Council of Chalcedon (A. D. 451). Jesus, being fully man, identifies to the uttermost with us. Jesus, being fully God, saves to the uttermost those trusting in Him. The Word indeed became flesh; let us glory in this.

The Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, also dwelt among us. Our English translation dwelt is an excellent translation of the Greek skenoo (skhnow, from skene [skhnh]: a tent). We may view Jesus’ dwelling with us in two senses. First, as we see in John’s Gospel, Jesus had, in one sense, temporary residence among us. He pitched His tent, or He tabernacled, among us—and this from the Incarnation until His ascension. Yet, second, we see in Revelation, which John wrote some five years after his Gospel, that Jesus abides forever with His people—an abiding made real to us via the ministry of the Holy Spirit. John, let by the Spirit, uses the same Greek word in each case. Hence, though Jesus abode temporarily in Palestine during the first three decades of the first Christian century, He abides with us forever now. Here is more cause for rejoicing on this Christmas Day.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory. In seeing Jesus, we see not the derived glory of a merely great person, thing, or event. We see in Jesus the seminal, the original, glory of the only-begotten Son from the Father—full of grace and truth. In other words, in Jesus we see the very glory of God: both in Who He is and in what He does. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian Christian households, testifies similarly when he writes, “For God, Who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

By the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, we also have received grace upon grace. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. We received this grace in conversion, to be sure, but this reception ends not at conversion. In fact, we receive God’s grace in ongoing fashion as we walk with the Lord. We receive increasing measures of God’s grace, His unmerited favor, in this life—even to the point where it seems we receive the blessings of God by the truckload. We also receive never-ending measures of God’s grace in eternity. At His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11), and those pleasures are as numerous, and as vast, as they are enduring.

By the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, we also have met the Father. Three and a third decades after Jesus’ birth, He declared to Philip on the night of His betrayal, “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father” (14:9). On two other occasions Jesus informs us that He and the Father are one.1 Jesus, thus being One with the Father, stands perfectly equipped to make the Father known—just as John asserts in our text today—and He indeed, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, makes the Father known to His own today.

Truly, the Word, incarnate in Jesus, has come and dwelt among us. He came in order to live a sinless life before His Father and ours—thus modeling Godly conduct and showing Himself qualified to atone for our sins. He came in order to call us to faith in Him and discipleship with Him. He came, in the timeless words of hymn writer Fanny Crosby, to yield His life an atonement for sin. He also came to rise triumphant over the grave, and He came—having accomplished all of the foregoing—to depart for Heaven with the promise of His return ringing in His disciples’ ears. Therefore, receive this Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, or continue to receive Him, this very day—and always.


1 The two instances of this occur in the Gospel of John: first, when Jesus declares to a group of Jews disputing with Him that He and the Father are one (10:30), and, second, when Jesus prays in His high-priestly prayer for disciples in every age—that they may be one even as He and the Father are one (17:22).