And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory…
Millions throughout the world hail the annual return of Christmas not because of its festivities, but because it commemorates the birth of Jesus. Class Jesus, as some do, with Plato and Shakespeare, and He would receive no more honour than they. This exuberance of feeling is due to the belief that He is divine. Whence does this belief spring? From the Scriptures. But all people do not accept the Bible; we have therefore to move along other lines of argument. And Christians may find their faith strengthened by finding the conclusions reached by the Bible arrived at by other roads.
I. AN INCARNATION OF GOD IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE. No doubt it involves a miracle. The process by which the two natures were united in one person is wholly mysterious. But so is that by which spirit and matter, mind and body combine in man. But if the one is not impossible, why the ether? We are not now dealing with the limited powers of men but with the omnipotence of God; and what the Almighty chooses in His wisdom to do, even if it be to assume a human form, He can do.
II. AN INCARNATION OF GOD IS NOT IMPROBABLE.
1. It has always been expected and desired, and the expectation has been expressed in every possible way — in fable, philosophy, religion.
2. This instinct is natural. Man cannot be satisfied with the manifestations of God in nature. They leave the soul with vague, restless desires after a more perfect acquaintance. At best they give a God for philosophers, for the intellect, not one who has influence over life, moulding and fashioning the heart.
3. These two facts point to an incarnation. For who created the desire? God Himself. And shall He who creates the capacity leave it unsatisfied?
III. THE CHARACTER AND CONDUCT OF CHRIST CAN ONLY BE EXPLAINED ON THE GROUND THAT HE, THE WORD MADE FLESH, IS THE SATISFACTION FOR THIS DESIRE. You cannot understand the account of His life unless you recognize His Godhead and manhood.
1. He is the only perfect Man who has ever trod this earth. This is the confession of friends and foes of His own day and ours. How is this to be accounted for? Not by surrounding influences. There was nothing in His age, home, or contemporaries calculated to produce a perfect man.
2. All His actions and words are in harmony with the idea that He was the Word made flesh. His wonderful birth is succeeded by a wonderful life.
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.