The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” You’ve probably heard this verse read a few times during a Christmas Eve service. Every year we pause during the holiday season to remember Jesus entering this world as a baby. But the meaning of John 1:14 is so much more than just a verse to read once a year. It should be a verse that is foundational in our faith.
John 1:14 is a powerful verse that reveals some incredible truths about Jesus. If you spend a few minutes looking at this verse I think you will be challenged and encouraged in your faith.
Let’s start by looking at what led up to John writing these words.
The Context Of John 1:14
Of the four Gospels, John’s account is the most unique and that starts from how this Gospel is introduced. In the first chapter we see Jesus introduced as “The Word” or logos in the original Greek. From this introduction we clearly see Jesus as co-existent with God from before creation.
Mark Moore notes that “some scholars believe this prologue was not only a poem but an early Christian hymn which sets the tone or even the outline for the rest of the book.”
In John 1:1-4 we see that the Word coexisted with God from the beginning and created everything. In John 1:5 we see that Jesus is a light in the darkness. In John 1:6-8 we are introduced to John the Baptist who is telling about the coming Messiah. And in John 1:9-13 we see a glimpse of what Jesus will do.
This poetic introduction beautifully tells us who Jesus is and what he came to do. These opening verses summarize Jesus’ ministry and mission.
This is what leads us to the verse we are looking at, so let’s take a closer look at the meaning of John 1:14 and see what we can learn.
The Meaning Of John 1:14
There’s so much packed into this single verse that can teach us about Jesus. To help you better see how the John 1:14 meaning applies to your life, I’ve broken this verse into three sections.
The Word Became Flesh And Made His Dwelling Among Us
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” This verse opens with these powerful words that changed the course of human history. Jesus is God in the flesh and he dwelt among his people.
Mark Moore describes the implications of Jesus coming to earth this way: “The incarnation is perhaps the most wonderful truth of history. Its implications are deep and wide. It tells us that God desires to communicate himself to us and, because of our diminutive nature, was only able to do that by speaking at our level and becoming one of us. It tell us that God truly understands our nature and sufferings (Hebrews 2:17–18). It tells us of the seriousness of our sins, because Christ came to die for them. It tells us of God’s love for man—he is involved in human history. In fact, he is a major player. It tells us that the bridge between divinity and humanity is crossable. We therefore have the hope of future fellowship in God’s presence.”
God became flesh and walked among us. This is a foundational truth that the rest of John’s Gospel is built upon. God is with his people.
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We Have Seen His Glory, The Glory Of The One And Only Son
“We have seen his glory.” This statement links Jesus to the tabernacle in the wilderness. This was where God dwelt among his people as Israel wandered the desert. It was a visible sign that God was among his people.
Now, God’s presence is made visible by the living Word, Jesus. Rather than being confined to the tabernacle, God is now walking among his people. We can see God’s glory through his son.
In Exodus 33:18 we see Moses ask to see God. God only allows Moses to see the remnants, his backside, of his glory. Anything more would have killed Moses (Exodus 33:20).
What’s so incredible about the Word becoming flesh is that we can now see and experience his glory. Jesus came to this earth in a way that we can relate to and see his glory.
Who Came From The Father, Full Of Grace And Truth
Here John is telling us what Jesus is all about; he came from the father full of grace AND truth. Jesus came to give us grace for our sins, and he also came to show us the truth to set us free. Jesus wasn’t a little grace and a little truth. Rather he was full of grace and truth.
The incarnation of Jesus is the greatest expression of what it looks like to experience God’s grace and understand God’s truth. And we see this play out through the rest of Jesus’ life throughout John’s Gospel.
How John 1:14 Applies To Our Lives
This verse is most commonly read around Christmas, which is fitting. Every Christmas we remember Jesus coming to earth and dwelling among us. But this shouldn’t be a verse that we only think about once a year; rather it’s a foundational truth to build our faith around.
John 1:14 shows us that God isn’t a distant God, but rather a personal God. He has a vested interested in you. He came to this earth to show you grace and truth. He dwelt among you. And now because of what Jesus has done you can experience the glory of God.
Remind yourself of this verse. Maybe write down this simple phrase, “God is with me.” Put it somewhere you can see it or set a reminder on your phone. God is with you as you walk through whatever is in front of you. This reminder should encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus.
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