And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory…
In the life of Jesus we see —
I. INEFFABLE GRACE combined with RESOLUTE FIRMNESS.
1. His character is such as to forbid undue familiarity. Avowed infidels, as well as Christians, feel almost reverent in its hallowed presence.
2. But He was as remarkable for His firmness. Strength is necessary to greatness. Christ possessed tenacity of purpose in an extraordinary degree. His spirit did not faint because of the magnitude of the task He undertook. He successfully stood the test of adversity and of prosperity.
II. The FEMININE AND MASCULINE VIRTUES in sweetest harmony. He was made of a woman, which explains partly those fine feminine traits discoverable in His character. Every great man, especially every poetic genius, is strongly marked by womanly softness and delicacy in countenance, feelings, life. Christ had them pre-eminently.
III. FEELINGS AND KNOWLEDGE, heart and intellect, in perfect accord. No one can read the gospels without being deeply impressed by the exquisite sensibility of Christ. There is more heart in the gospels than in all other books put together. The heart was systematically crushed under ancient forms of civilization. Sensibility was deemed a sign of weakness. Hence men were carefully trained to repress, and, if possible, eradicate all feeling. Witness stoicism. How different with Christ! In Him we witness a dignity, a loftiness, a nobility which never show to better advantage than when compared with the highest ideals of Greek culture. But at the same time He evinces a depth of emotion and delicacy of feeling quite foreign to them. The Greek impresses us with his cleverness: Christ with His greatness and goodness. The Greek sought mind in all things; taught by Christ, the Christian seeks a heart.
IV. THE ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VIRTUES in beautiful proportion. The hardest of tasks is to suffer in a right spirit. Christ taught it and practised it. No one was ever more energetic in opposition to wickedness; but what strikes us more forcibly is His unprecedented meekness under wrong; and thus He originated a new type of goodness.
V. THE REAL KISSING THE IDEAL. He realized in daily life the highest ideal humanity has ever been able to conceive, the divinest poetry and the sternest reality. Man's ideas were always far in advance of his noblest achievements; in Christ both go hand in hand.
VI. THE HUMAN GENTLY MELTING INTO THE DIVINE. — He moves before our vision in the form of a man; we look inquiringly and affectionately, and then we penetrate the outward guise and behold the inner splendour. He was a man, no doubt; but no man ever looked more like God. The character of Christ can be transferred in its integrity to the Lord of Hosts without degrading the loftiest ideal of Him.
(J. Cynddylan Jones, 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.