And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory…
1. There was nothing great about Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). It was but a shepherd village or small town, yet here the great purpose of God became a fact. It is in facts that God's purposes come to us that we may take hold of them as realities. The city is poor, but its lowliness makes it more suitable as the birthplace of Him who though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor. And all about it seems to suit Him. It is "the house of bread," fit dwelling for Him who is the Bread of God: Ephratah "the fruitful," as if pointing to the fruitful One.
2. It is not named in the text; but you cannot read the latter without being transported to it.
3. At Bethlehem our world's history began, for His birth has influenced all history, sacred and secular, before and behind. As regards our text, let us see —
I. WHAT IT IS. Christ, Immanuel, Jesus, are our Lord's names in time; but "Word" and "Son" are expressive of His eternal standing. The inaccessable Godhead becomes approachable, the incomprehensible, comprehensible. All the nations of the earth God hath made of one blood, and of that one blood the Word was made partaker. Thus Bethlehem becomes a link between heaven and earth. God and man must meet here and look each other in the face.
II. WHAT IT TEACHES. God's thoughts of peace. The message is a decided but not a finished one. You must associate Bethlehem with Calvary.
1. Would you learn the way to God? Go to Bethlehem: the Infant in the manger is the way.
2. Would you learn the vanity of earth? Go to yon manger where the Lord of Glory lies.
3. Would you hays a safeguard against worldliness and sin and error? Keep the child's companionship.
4. Would you learn to be humble? Go to Bethlehem; there the Highest is lowest.
5. Would you learn self-denial? See the Word made flesh.
(H. Bonar, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.