The hand that Jesus reaches down to rescue man is the hand of the Almighty. A word of continuance. Deny the Incarnation, and you have no positive proof of the Divine love; believe it, and you can never desire a higher proof. God is in nature; but nature is dumb. And to study Him is to know that He is Divine. What flesh? And oh! The work of Christ is, in fact, the invisible becoming visible, the Eternal becoming temporal, the Infinite, finite. It shows the dignity of the human body. One may say with tolerable accuracy that fine art is the creation of Christianity. M'Cheyne. THAT THE CONDITION OF MAN IS A FEARFUL AND EVEN DESPERATE ONE. )Why was the Incarnation delayedJ. Braden.Millions throughout the world hail the annual return of Christmas not because of its festivities, but because it commemorates the birth of Jesus. THE PERSON ASSUMING. The Incarnation unlocks for us the secret of the Divine, Eternal Will, the Will which is at the root of all things, and which rules all things, and shows us that its first and last word is love.(D. A. The greatest glory of the Tabernacle was the most holy place. At the Incarnation.2. That round which it turns is the biggest of all miracles, and if you take that all the rest is natural. He took a body like ours in order that we might know God's thoughts about us; and the more we know Jesus the more we know of God's mind. He was, understandably, quite worried and, also, quite angry. There is a unity in the sacred writings, and that unity is the person of the Incarnate Word. THAT THE GOD-MAN WAS WILLING TO SUFFER FOR OUR SALVATION. When a Jew heard this he must have denied it, inasmuch, as there was little in Christ which answered to his conception of Messianic glory. The development of the kingdom of God among mankind follows naturally a historical method; and so Genesis comes first, with much afterwards, in the preparatory dispensations, before the birth of the Saviour. Who is that Teacher? (4) So that each nature retains its own essential properties distinct, and the two understandings, wills, powers, etc., the human and the Divine are not confounded as Eutyches held. And oh! This is the confession of friends and foes of His own day and ours. And we are eye-witnesses of it (1 John 1:1, 2, 3).(J. Grace, too, as opposed to the rigour, threats, and curses of the law; and truth as set against the shadows and ceremonies of the law. Christ incarnate shows that God has a place in His heart for the guiltiest of men.III. Nature does not disclose this manifestation of love. The scribe and the Pharisee, the philosopher and the guide into the paths of pleasure, the bringer forth of things new and the bringer forth of things old, whatever their pretensions, alike failed to satisfy the cravings of human hearts, so manifold and deep, and left them sighing, "Who will show us any good?" Believers are destined to a heavenly inheritance, to live with Christ, to enter into His joys, to share in His dominion, to be for ever with the Lord. What flesh? "This is the victory, etc."(d)Wrath. The one occurred without man's choice, the other requires his seeking.(D. A. The one may become a curse to man, the other must be a blessing. )LinksJohn 1:14 NIVJohn 1:14 NLTJohn 1:14 ESVJohn 1:14 NASBJohn 1:14 KJVJohn 1:14 Bible AppsJohn 1:14 ParallelJohn 1:14 Biblia ParalelaJohn 1:14 Chinese BibleJohn 1:14 French BibleJohn 1:14 German BibleJohn 1:14 CommentariesBible Hub. Negatively. All, however, fall into place if He is the God-Man. According to the orthodox view a continuous path stretches from the smallest particle of matter at the very bottom of creation right up and away to the sublimest heights of the Absolute and Unconditioned — all things gathered together in one in Christ, What a grand unity! To have taken the nature of angels — to have appeared on earth in the pomp of majesty had been a humiliation.IV. All His actions and words are in harmony with the idea that He was the Word made flesh. The Greek impresses us with his cleverness: Christ with His greatness and goodness. So comprehensively, so minutely, so influentially. The Incarnation teaches Theism by teaching us more than Theism. "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men." When He became man to elevate and redeem the human family He chose the scene where the Divine work would be best achieved.III. You cannot understand Christmas without Good Friday, the meaning of the cradle unless we see the shadow of the Cross. "Rejoice in the Lord alway." As the Son is to the Father, so is the Word to the mind, They proceed both. (2) How born? If he would worship an ideal humanity, he must take Christ. A man might have uttered the Beatitudes, but as mere man, being modest and truthful, could have said, "I and my Father are one." Many were the privileges of the disciples, but this excelled them all. But at the same time He evinces a depth of emotion and delicacy of feeling quite foreign to them. And He is the same to day, yesterday, and for ever. "(c)The world. Pray to God that He may open your eyes to see the glory of Christ and your glorious privilege. THE RESULTS that flow from the reality of the Incarnation.1. "Rejoice in the Lord alway." 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. But the grace of His heart was not expended by its earthly efforts; after He ascended to glory, He manifested in an equal degree the forbearing kindness of His heart, the distinguishing sovereignty of His grace. And so consequently to qualify and prepare Him for a full discharge of His Mediatorship. )The Word made fleshJ. 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. But we can only surrender ourselves to its power when we admit that it is the life of the Word made flesh. There is grace in other men; but they have it as water flowing through a pipe: He as water in its fountain. We know not what we shall be, but we know that we shall be like Him. think what this means! The Incarnation in relation to MAN.1. (2) As we may say, in this guarded manner, that in the Incarnation the Divine became human; so we may say also, somewhat paradoxically, that in the Incarnation the Eternal became temporal, clothed itself in forms of time and space, in order to reveal that which was before the foundation of the world, which is from everlasting to everlasting. The doctrine is woven in the very texture of the sacred books. The Divine did not assume the human necessarily but voluntarily; not out of indigence, but bounty; not because it was to be perfected by it, but to perfect it.2. Who is that Teacher? 1. H. Barrows, D. D.The Incarnation of God in human form involves or foreshadows all the great truths of redemption. Christianity stands or falls with it.1. TO ILLUSTRATE THE GRACIOUS CHARACTER OF JESUS CHRIST. Where is the roll of the missionaries of Unitarianism? )An argument for the IncarnationW. A glorious light, the symbol of the Divine presence, shone ever in the sanctuary. The unsearchable love which showed itself at the beginning brought Him down again from His Father's bosom.2. It is no longer possible; we are reminded to think of this earth as the centre for whose benefit all else exists. It may be said that this is the misfortune of humanity, and that it must be accepted as inevitable. He is neither an insignificant atom nor God. He could not suffer death while in His Father's bosom.4. (2) Most fit "all things were made by Him." J. Vaughan, M. A.1. Huntington. Is not such an innovation on the association, if not on the conditions of His Eternal Being? Man has alternately depreciated and exaggerated His importance. (1) Manicheus holding that he had no true body. At His Ascension.II. Both create great epochs; the temporal advent was the crisis of history. )Beholding Christ's gloryJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.In classical times the prevailing form of art was sculpture. One may say with tolerable accuracy that fine art is the creation of Christianity. THE TESTIMONY WHICH WE WHO HAVE SEEN HIS GLORY ARE SURE TO BEAR. Why the Word, flesh? But what is man that He should be made him, or the Son of man that He should take His nature upon Him?4. LET US ATTEMPT AN IMPROVEMENT OF OUR SUBJECT.1. And oh! All, however, fall into place if He is the God-Man. The appropriateness of the term. God could not travel faster than the conditions of humanity admitted. The Incarnation shows us its grand potentialities, and throws upon it a thousandfold stronger light than Unitarlanism possibly can. Christ did indeed offer these. He speaks of Himself as the Son of Man and the Son of God; and insisted on His oneness with the Father.3. )Why was the Incarnation delayedJ. These philosophers resolved the unity of the human personality into a triad of principles. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.The Incarnation is not true, say the Unitarians. The Incarnation in relation to GOD. THE DOCTRINE OF GOD. What flesh? WE BEHELD.1. Conjectures as to its solution only serve to show that the way taken was the only way.1. So strong was His kindness, so intense His love, so determined His compassion, that He submitted to the agonizing, the ignominious death of the cross, to accomplish the salvation of sinners. Where is the roll of the missionaries of Unitarianism? How can the man, Jesus, whom John saw, also be the eternal Creator of the universe? Then those who have rejected Him will meet their doom.(J. Brown, M. A.The Jews in the wilderness had a tabernacle or tent, wherein they worshipped God, and there the glory of God was seen. Both create great epochs; the temporal advent was the crisis of history. But surely they who fling this taunt in our face know not whereof they speak. O. Mackey.One of the secrets of Victor Hugo's power over the French people was their memory of the following: When the disasters of the Franco-German war were falling thickly, and the iron band was closing round Paris, word came that Victor Hugo was coming to the city. Let these considerations be weighed.V. It is part for the whole. He took a body like ours in order that we might know God's thoughts about us; and the more we know Jesus the more we know of God's mind. He was known by this name in the Jewish Church long before His advent.2. Grace invites; and His glory is such that it is full of grace; His mercy as great as His Majesty. Class Jesus, as some do, with Plato and Shakespeare, and He would receive no more honour than they. Did you ever see a Hebrew book? "No speech, no language, their voice is not heard." (2) How born? TO MAN'S PLACE IS THE SCALE OF BEING: correcting the depreciation of man by science and the exaggerated dignity conferred upon him by Pantheism. Then those who have rejected Him will meet their doom.(J. The Word, i.e, the second Person in the most glorious Godhead, called the Word, either because He is the Scope and principal Matter, both of prophetical and promissory Word; or because He expounds and reveals the mind and will of God to men (ver. As the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ. You demand a proof: I appeal to the story of missionary enterprise. There, in those pages, the inward voice of conscience becomes an outward voice also; the latter attested by the former, the former cleared and deepened and intensified by the latter. THIS ASSUMPTION OF OUR BODY BY CHRIST IS A PLEDGE OF ITS RESURRECTION, and such being the case, how we ought to reverence it!VIII. A man may be a Christian who does not accept all the doctrines of the creeds. A difficult character to understand fully, for its beauty only grows upon us by degrees. Who would have thought that the kindness and grace of our Lord would have rested upon such a man as Saul?4. Wherefore when mediator there was none God answered for us: "a body hast Thou prepared Me," etc.4. Christ shows God as He was never seen before, full of grace and truth. Dwelt in a tent. A difficult character to understand fully, for its beauty only grows upon us by degrees. THE BIRTHDAY OF HUMAN BROTHERHOOD. But St. John has much more to say than this. That is marked by a tone of serious, disheartened scepticism. The hardest of tasks is to suffer in a right spirit. He is the only perfect Man who has ever trod this earth. Christ or Pessimism, the gospel of hope or the gospel of despair, salvation or suicide are the sharp antitheses presented by modern thought.III. The human doing what is human, suffering, dying, etc. From the creative Word St. John passes to the indwelling Light, that "true Light, which (as he says) lighteth every man." If Jesus Christ has assumed our nature, then He is touched with and has pity for our infirmities (Hebrews 2:17, 18).7. We see our calling. If He abhor not the flesh: of the spirit there will be no question.2. What an inheritance! IN THAT BODY CHRIST WILL RETURN.1. The Word is made flesh, and sojourns among men; and they find in Him the very fulness of the Godhead bodily.(J. Is not such an innovation on the association, if not on the conditions of His Eternal Being? This is the only true basis of missionary confidence, and the continuously fulfilling prophecy of the final victory.IX. He is especially the revealer of God. J. Vaughan, M. He was known by this name in the Jewish Church long before His advent.2. Much every way. Grace invites; and His glory is such that it is full of grace; His mercy as great as His Majesty. (1) Manicheus holding that he had no true body. (1) By nature man is a spiritual slave. Denton, M. The Word is made flesh, and sojourns among men; and they find in Him the very fulness of the Godhead bodily.(J. J. Vaughan, M. Infinite wisdom has here left an everlasting mark.4. THE PERSON HERE SPOKEN OF. (1) That He was God. Did you ever see a Hebrew book? But does not my own nature teach me that God is good? We see our calling. The insignificance of man's dwelling-place involves its own insignificance. "Things" first; then, "life": then, "light"; that is, persons, existence, self-conscious, rational and moral. Yes, but Christ corroborates the testimony of our moral nature. From the flesh came the beginning of transgression: so of all others least likely to be taken. Christ had them pre-eminently.III. Admit the assertion of John, and all that the others say becomes perfectly natural. The voice of Jesus, be sure, has its echo within every one of us. Advanced thought a short time since founded the hope of the universal forgiveness on the fatherhood of God. How different with Christ! Many were the privileges of the disciples, but this excelled them all. In this sense, and under such limitations as these, did the Divine become human, or the Word become flesh. Positively. That the glorious perfections of Deity might be displayed — the glory of God's infinite wisdom, almighty power, unspotted purity, inflexible justice, boundless compassion, inviolable truth. The material part of our nature has been maligned in every age; but ever since the incarnation it has been respected more and more. The sense of guilt and longing for reconciliation may have produced these myths. (3) Grace and truth balanced. H. Spurgeon.I. Each individual believer in this covenant of grace, lives eternally. But the properties of both natures are so ascribed to the one Person that it is ""proper to affirm any of them of Him in the concrete, though not abstractedly.2. He who became flesh is the Word, the Revealer of God, at once Power and Wisdom, Light and Life. An enemy we had strong and mighty. The soul has its births; the rising into conscious existence of every latent sentiment, filial, connubial, parental, Christian.I. Soldiers dwell in tents. It is part for the whole. Witness stoicism. Nor does it matter that His life was lived on a small planet. Two Divine things are more clearly seen in Christ than aught else.1. At Bethlehem our world's history began, for His birth has influenced all history, sacred and secular, before and behind. 5. Thus "the Word was made flesh," that we might be able to say, "we saw His glory. And then as God must have created out of love, so out of love He must bring a remedy to the ruined creature. How can we, who believe the Godhead has found room enough in it to dwell in all His inexhaustible fulness, think low of it? Deny it, and the universe loses its unity and integrity; it is despoiled of much of its grandeur and poetry. Denton, M. J. The union of the two makes the resources of Deity available for us.(W. Take grace from truth and it is a mere illusion; sever truth from grace and it is unpleasant.VIII. Because he disclosed all God's counsel — the Word effective.3. In this sublime unity, effected in the Incarnation, is contained the fundamental truth of Pantheism without the grave and multiform errors thereof. Goodness, he doesn’t appear even to know the name of Jesus’ mother! WE BEHELD.1. In the previous verses of the chapter St. John has been speaking of the Word, though only in the fourteenth verse does he begin to speak of the Word Incarnate. (3) As king, had He not been man He had been heterogeneous, and so no fit head for us, and if not God He could not rule or defend His body the Church.IV. It is the comprehensive truth of revelation. The man who worships the Lord Jesus as God, and gives Him the homage of his heart is a Christian, although he may not accept the Athanasian statement. His family is His body, and His body is His bride, and His bride is His Church; and He lives in the members. (2) For the sake of man? Full of grace.3. But how merit this? And from the Spiritual advent all after life takes its date and derives its impulse.3. Death dissolves that, but this is indissoluble. THAT GOD IN HIS LOVE HAS SENT DELIVERANCE. Conjectures as to its solution only serve to show that the way taken was the only way.1. The intelligence that built the world, made the Bible.IV. True, we do cherish very humble views of it; but humble views are not low views. His character is such as to forbid undue familiarity. From the Scriptures. How can we behold?1. His Divine glory was constantly manifesting itself — when the star led the wise men — when He taught the doctors in the Temple — when He healed the sick and raised the dead. Each individual believer in this covenant of grace, lives eternally. He took a body like ours in order that we might know God's thoughts about us; and the more we know Jesus the more we know of God's mind. de Pressense, D. D.)Bethlehem and its good newsH. All His actions and words are in harmony with the idea that He was the Word made flesh. (1) Some have traced it to the Jewish Targums, where the angel of the Lord of the Old Testament is designated the Word of God. If we begin in the remote past, with Samson and Hercules, we shall not experience any very formidable difficulties in grasping the principle which fashioned their characters. He would tell her that he loved her. The doctrine is woven in the very texture of the sacred books. The Incarnation in relation to MAN.1. The life of the Saviour imparts must be sustained by the same energy.5. "This is the victory, etc."(d)Wrath. The heathen ideal was truth; the Christian ideal is grace and truth.(J. He does not hide the truth, however terrible; but He utters it with infinite compassion. All the nations of the earth God hath made of one blood, and of that one blood the Word was made partaker. As the life of God is in Christ, we share in it by being united to Christ. )The True Tabernacle and its gloryC. It was inevitable that the possibility of the Incarnation should be questioned; but what is man but a sample, at an immeasurably lower level of a union of two totally different substances, one material, the other immaterial, under the control of a single human personality? If sin were a trivial affair God would not have so humbled Himself.II. Not A NIMBUS or halo as seen in pictures, or it would never have been denied. Huntington.There was an end sought; by what means should it be reached? O. Thus "the Word was made flesh," that we might be able to say, "we saw His glory. )Christ, the life and the lightD. Negatively. "Whoso layeth his hand on a human body toucheth heaven," said Novalis and Carlyle. It involved the possibility of the fall. In this way, all those long ages before the Incarnation, He was in the world — a world made by Him, yet a world which knew Him notII. This verse is the text of the whole gospel, and each succeeding chapter presents us with some new manifestation. But does not my own nature teach me that God is good? There is a unity in the sacred writings, and that unity is the person of the Incarnate Word. Denton, M. A. But as soon as I say "John," then you know the word I was thinking of. 3. WHAT IT IS. a. The Word: personal, eternal, Divine, the active energy of the Divine Nature. If sin were a trivial affair God would not have so humbled Himself.II. )Christ clothed in human fleshThe pure Godhead is terrible to behold; we could not see it and live; but clothing Himself with our flesh, makes the Divine nature more amiable and delightful to us. Sir Joshua Reynolds says that when he visited Italy to make the acquaintance of the celebrated masterpieces, he was much cast down. LOOKING ONWARD, WITH THIS WARRANT, FROM OUR LORD'S ASCENSION, WE SEE THE INTERIOR PRINCIPLE OF HIS KINGDOM as it is set up among the nations and expands along the ages. )Voluntary sympathyH. The Incarnation shows us its grand potentialities, and throws upon it a thousandfold stronger light than Unitarlanism possibly can. If what the impugners say is true, Christianity is an imposture and Christ a deceiver. No one indeed could see His glory who was not healed by His humiliation; for there had flown into man's eyes, as it were, dust from the earth; the eye itself had become diseased, and earth was sent to heal it again; the flesh had blinded man, the flesh restores him; the soul, by consenting to carnal affection, had become carnal; hence the eye of the mind had been blinded: then the Physician made for us ointment; He came in such wise, as that by the flesh He destroyed the corruption of the flesh. A word of continuance. THE AFFIRMATION HERE MADE CONCERNING THE WORD "became flesh." There is more glory in the love of God than in all the universe of material creation. His character is such as to forbid undue familiarity. Witness stoicism. Grace refers to the Son, truth to the Word; grace is to adopt us, truth to beget us anew. The Incarnation is based upon the ultimate fact that God is love. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.In the life of Jesus we see —I. THAT MAN MAY POSSESS A FULL AND FAITHFUL REVELATION OF GOD'S CHARACTER. It is not necessary to abate any of our antipathy to her errors, but a church must not be refused a place in Christendom which holds the Incarnation and related doctrines.VI. There is truth in others; but in Him dwell the depth, the essence of the fact. He who became flesh is the Word, the Revealer of God, at once Power and Wisdom, Light and Life. He must suit His pace to the tottering steps of man. Man has alternately depreciated and exaggerated His importance. 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