“And the word became flesh…” (John 1:14)
There may be no more powerful statement that the phrase above. “The word became flesh” encompasses everything we know about God’s love and about his plan for mankind. Let’s look carefully and dig a little deeper here.
“The word…” John writes here of something called the “word.” We need go back only a few verses to understand what he means. “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1). Translating the Greek word LOGOS, we would normally understand it to mean — well — a word; a collection of letters which form the most basic unit of language. However the verse obviously means more. For example, the second verse begins with a masculine pronoun “He.” The writer obviously speaks of a person. Since the Father is not in view here and the Holy Spirit is alwys written of in the neuter gender, Jesus alone is left. Indeed, the word of God in John 1 is Jesus.
“…became…” One of the great mysteries of the divine is how that which is infinite could be contained in a finite body. How could the divine become mortal? This process is what is called “incarnation.” The Jews of the first century expected a redeemer of some sort. They were earthly minded and expected one who would deliver them from the oppression of Rome. But God had other plans. Born to a yet to be wed mother in an out of the way city was not what anyone expected. God, who had breathed into man the breath of life (Genesis 2:7) and created him in his own image (Genesis 1:27), was now going to wrap a shroud of motallity around his son. This magnificent moment occurred in Bethlehem.
“…flesh…” It was necessary for Jesus to do more than just appear on the earth. God had visited man in many ways in the past, not the least of which was when delivering the law at Sinai. But this visitation would be different. This time, Jesus would come and actually be born, live and die as a man. The writer of Hebrews says his flesh made him especially suitable to serve as our mediator because in his flesh, he could understand our weaknesses and temptations. He was like us and left for us a great and mighty example of life.
John 1:14 demonstrates the love of God for us and the extent to which he would go for our salvation.