And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory…
This Gospel contains no record of the Nativity like the others. They record the fact, this the underlying principle of the fact. Unless you take John's point of view, you cannot understand Luke's story.
I. THE FACT ITSELF. Three things:
1. The Word: personal, eternal, Divine, the active energy of the Divine Nature.
(1) The Author of creation.
(2) The Source of all life and light.
(3) The medium of all revelation.
2. With the audacity which is the true work of Divine revelation, the text draws together the two discordant ideas "Word" and "flesh"; not this tremulous, feeble, mortal body with its needs, weaknesses, pains, desires, corruption, not the whole humanity, body, soul, spirit, the entire sweep and range of what a man is.
3. How He "became" it; which involves the willing transformation, by the energy of the Person Himself. Became — not assumed. It was not a transcient manifestation such as the Buddhist incarnation or Hindoo avatar; not God coming down in the likeness of men for a moment or two; but so becoming us, He ceased to be the Word. So the living heart of Christianity is supernatural. That round which it turns is the biggest of all miracles, and if you take that all the rest is natural.
II. THE VARIOUS PURPOSES WHICH THIS MIGHTIEST OF ALL MIRACLES SERVES IN THE WORLD. Here is a five-fold star, with five rays.
1. To show God. As the Shekinah glory abode in the Tabernacle, so God tabernacled in Christ's flesh. Christ shows God as He was never seen before, full of grace and truth. The mightiest and brightest light that makes God known, is that of gentleness, tenderness, self-oblivlon, patience. If you want to know God, and not to guess Him, not to shrink from Him, and not merely to see the fringe of brightness about the Infinite heart, you must turn away from everything else to Christ.
2. To show what man ought to be. How perfect Christ's example is we may gather from the admission of enemies, from our own hearts and consciences. Instead of being handed over to a mere law "Do this and live," it means "Do as I do, because I love you and you love Me."
3. That He might die. You cannot understand Christmas without Good Friday, the meaning of the cradle unless we see the shadow of the Cross. Christ came to bear our sins that we might be born again unto newness of life.
4. That He might have sympathy with us. He has trodden all the road before us, and is near us to help us on.
5. That manhood might be glorified. He has stooped down that thereby He might befit us to be like Him. Where He is, He will lead us. What He is, He will make us.
(A. Maclaren, 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.