And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory…
I. The Incarnation in relation to MAN.
1. It shows the dignity of the human body. The material part of our nature has been maligned in every age; but ever since the incarnation it has been respected more and more. "Matter is essentially evil," said the Greek philosopher. "Whoso layeth his hand on a human body toucheth heaven," said Novalis and Carlyle. The incarnation took place between these utterances.
2. It shows the dignity of the human soul in the human body — of human nature in its totality.
3. Linking man to God it removed the antithesis between them. Something more was requisite to remove the antagonism, even the atonement. Prior to the Incarnation a wide gap divided the Creator from His creation, but the Incarnation filled it up, and did away with the antithesis. There is now not a single break in the chain of existence. From the tiniest atom to Absolute Being there is one continuous ascent.
II. The Incarnation in relation to GOD. It is a revelation of God.
1. It reveals the plurality of persons in the Divine essence. This truth is the exclusive property of the Church of the New Testament because the Incarnation is its exclusive property. The Holy Trinity existed previously, and dim prefigurations of the doctrine are noticeable in the Old Testament. But the doctrine would never have been fully apprehended but for the historic reality.
2. The Incarnation reveals the Fatherhood of God. "The glory as of the only Begotten." Deny the Incarnation and you deny the deepest Divine Fatherhood. It reveals the intrinsic Fatherhood. It shows us a Son, not by creation in time, but by generation in eternity, and consequently shows us a Father, not in virtue of His creative, but of His generative energies. By the side of this all other fatherhoods are types and figures.
3. The Incarnation reveals the redeeming character of God. Deny the Incarnation, and you have no positive proof of the Divine love; believe it, and you can never desire a higher proof. He gave His only begotten son; what more could He do?
(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.