The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14, NIV)
The fragrant, lip-smacking aroma of breakfast made me feel hungrier than I really was. My buddy’s girlfriend was frantically cooking up a feast. Eggs Benedict, juice, rye toast, apricot marmalade, and fresh fruit topped off the spread. Nevertheless, this effort made my “Spidey-senses” buzz, and I could not shake my suspicions.
Soon the reason came out in their words: “Would you come and visit our church this Sunday?” “Sure, I would be glad to come,” I said. It was really her church, where they got “points” for bringing visitors. I was right to be suspicious about the church’s views. The speaker railed against the Trinity, espoused Old Testament dietary restrictions, and mocked those who believed Jesus was both God and man.
“What did you think?” my friend asked. Smiling, I camped on what the Bible says about Jesus being both God and man. John 1:14 was the testimony that I used. “Read it for yourself,” I said. The next day I asked him, “What did you think about that Bible verse?” His words stunned me: “I think what you think.”
Wow! My friend’s affirmation was a gift because it reassured me that he understood the truth about Jesus. Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth and was born the Son of Man.
Jesus is fully God. Yet, in the miracle of Christmas, Jesus willingly was born as a man. He had to be fully human so that He could die. He had to be fully God so that His death would be satisfying as a substitute for all of sinful humankind. This is heady theology and at the same time remarkable simplicity.
My buddy is no theologian. When I shared John 1:14 with him, I was biting my tongue to keep from complicating this verse of Scripture with a long, drawn-out explanation. I was in awe that it made perfect sense to him just from reading it.
In anticipation of the Easter miracle, Jesus was born to be a sacrificial death for all of us who believe. The great gift of Christmas made the Easter story possible.