Tuesday, 09 December 2008 20:04
The Birth of Jesus Christ
During the past weeks, Christians have focused on the sufferings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is an important reason for this. He is the focal point of our hope. That is because we believe He is more than just a good man who once lived about 2000 years ago. He is the Son of God. This conviction is based on what the Bible teaches. The Bible begins with the majestic words "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). The apostle John, who wrote about Jesus Christ many centuries later, testifies concerning Him: "In the beginning was the Word" (John 1:1). The link with the opening words of Scripture is hard to miss. But John does more than echo what has already been revealed. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning" (John 1:1-2). John makes it clear that there is a Personal connection between God and the Word. Yet there is also a distinction. For the Word was not "in" God but "with" Him in the beginning. The "Word" has a distinct personality.
It is very interesting that John does not begin his account of the gospel by referring directly to Jesus Christ. He wants to make it clear that Jesus Christ, who was very human, is the very Son of God: fully divine. By referring to Jesus Christ as the "Word," John is making an important statement. The term "Word" indicates communication. It reminds us that the "Word," who is the Son of God reveals to us something of God himself. In John 1:14, we read: "The Word became flesh and lived for a while 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." And a moment later John declares: "No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son, who is at the Father's side, has made Him known" (John 1:18). Although distinct from God, the Word is also "God." The apostle John makes this even clearer in the course of his Gospel as he testifies of the words and works of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is unique. Reflect on who He is: the "Word" of God. This is what made his sufferings and death so remarkable! This is why he was also able to conquer death itself. Knowing of the glory of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, gives substance to our faith concerning his death and resurrection. It is also why we can confidently echo the words of the apostle John: "whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).