God The Son – Jesus
The last couple of weeks we have been looking at God The Father, and for the next three weeks we will consider God the Son – Jesus!
Do you remember that we saw that the Triune God was ONE WHAT, with THREE WHOs. One eternal infinite spirit with three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And we saw that humans were ONE WHAT with ONE WHO. God, as an eternal infinite spirit is able to have three persons, whereas the limited created human nature is only able to have one person.
Many objections to the Trinity have their root in the idea that: “I cannot see anything like that in the created order, therefore it cannot be true of God.” Objections to the Trinity are nearly always based in cutting the Creator down to the size of a creature.
Understanding God the Son
The same goes for understanding the God the Son. For a human son to happen, you need a human source (man and woman), a human generation (making love) and a human birth of a human being. All limited by time, space and physical nature … BUT … an eternal spirit being, as an eternal spiritual source for eternal spiritual generation leads to eternal spiritual Son. Son in the terms of God is not the same as Son in the terms of human beings.
If you talk to people of other faiths usually they will understand “Son” in very human terms, and then say something like: “I understand Son in human terms, and human terms do not work with God. God cannot come down and have sex with Mary to get a son – therefore you cannot have God the Son with God the Father.”
The Creator gets limited by the Creation
Christianity, though, is 180 degrees different to that. Our Creator God is over and above His Creation, and is not defined by His Creation. More than that God can enter His Creation in order to save it. This is the wonder of the Incarnation – where God became human. God the Word became flesh. The Son entered humanity to identify with us and then save us. Jesus was fully and properly God and fully and properly human. Our reading tells us this clearly.
The is only one God
Now John The Apostle is a Jew. Therefore, for him there is ONE God. And this is a non-negotiable truth. Strict Monotheism. He then details what this looks like for Christians.
• It begins with the fact that the Word (who is later identified as Jesus) – is eternal (in the beginning with God), is alongside God (so not the Father), and is God. The Word is then also identified as the Creator and the source of Life. John is pointing to the Trinity.
• So the Word is fully and properly God – and the Word is then said (v.14) to become flesh. What does flesh mean? In Greek – sarx – is flesh and bones. True body. Not a ghost or a spirit. But a true human.
• Finally, the Word is said to have lived with us. The Greek is “tabernacled”, which has the sense of putting down a tent and staying. Building a home. He didn’t flit back to heaven now and then – Jesus lived here on earth like anyone else.
Jesus truly experienced what we go through
And this is important. Jesus truly experienced what we did, so we can in confidence pray and He will know. Hebrews 4 calls Jesus the Great High Priest, and says:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
God has experienced what we have
Through Jesus, God has experienced what we have. Just think of what Jesus’ background was:
• Called illegitimate.
• A refugee made homeless as a toddler.
• Lived in a small town.
• He was misunderstood.
• He wept.
• He was hungry.
• He was tired.
• He was slandered.
• He was betrayed.
• He was beaten, mocked and despised.
• He experienced the most brutal form of death humans have ever come up with.
• He experienced the fullness of Psalm 22.
And yet He was without sin. Jesus was able to face everything, and not only not sin, but was always free, and freely lived in grace and truth. In every encounter in His life, however difficult, He responded without sin and with grace, truth and love.
When we pray to God, when we come before the Throne of Grace, He knows first-hand what we are going through, and can give first hand wisdom and grace for us to get through it. So we can be confident to do it.
Jesus is never shocked by what we have done
More than this, Jesus is never shocked by what we have done. He knows what it is like to live in our bodies, and so how difficult it is for us. Therefore, we can approach the throne of grace in the time of need confidently knowing that our God, Jesus, truly knows what we are going through and will answer.
This should encourage our prayer life – to openly and honestly bring to Jesus the true issues of our life. As we pray, today and this coming week, let us all pray with honesty and confidence before the throne of God, and trust that Jesus will answer with grace.
The Word Became Flesh (John 1:1-14)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”
(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”)
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
God loved us so much that He became flesh, like us, through Jesus Christ. He knows what it feels like to be rejected, accused, forgotten, abandoned by close friends, a refugee, ridiculed by your own family, misunderstood, falsely accused, tested, tempted by the pleasures of this world, beaten, laughed at, spat upon and ultimately killed.
He can relate to all our daily challenges and help us through them. Because He became flesh, He can truly answer our prayers.