#Biblical Reflection

THE WORD (JESUS) BECAME FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US

Dec 9, 2020, 3:34 PM

“But when the time had fully come, God sent His son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full right of sons.” (Galatians 4:4)

God is Spirit and every spirit needs a body to be able to operate in the physical realm. It is for this reason He created Adam and Eve so He could have a representative on earth. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve blew it. In fact, they betrayed Him by siding with the devil, God’s archenemy. He looked for a suitable candidate whom He could use but none of them qualified. All of them had flaws and most of them portrayed serious weaknesses and shortcomings to take on this assignment. So He had to look from within. Mortal man was incapable of meeting God’s standards and so God came to them by Grace. He became human in Jesus Christ.

In God’s eyes the world had turned its back on Him. People were behaving in unrighteousness --as if there was no God or Creator. For this reason He decided to send His Son. However, He did not reveal exactly how that would happen. The information would be delivered piecemeal, through His most loyal servants, the prophets.

And so we hear from several mouthpieces in the Books of the Old Testament how God would unfold His plan for a Redeemer to save the world. The world was in dire need of a Saviour for it had drifted from the principles of godliness into gross sins. “I see him but not now; I behold him but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a sceptre will rise out of Israel.” (Numbers 24:17)

As we peruse the Books of the Old Testament, we glean from the different prophesies that “He (The Messiah) must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything as He promised long ago through His holy prophets.” (Acts 3:21) Here the apostle Peter was speaking to onlookers on the Day of Pentecost.

The advent of the Messiah from the writings of the Prophet Isaiah reveals that a son will be born of a virgin: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) What is mysterious about this conception is that a virgin will produce a child. To have an offspring a man and a woman would have to come together to produce one -- but not in this particular instance. What is special about this child was that he was given a name well before he was born. Emmanuel, which means God with us takes on flesh to dwell among His people. We learn of this in the Gospel of John. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

The second prophecy made concerning the Messiah was published by prophet Micah. It tells us about the location of His birth. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel.” (Micah 5:2) Observe that it is in one of the smallest insignificant towns in Israel that the Messiah would hail from. God intended by the choice of this location to establish the humility of the event; to cut out all the pomp and pageantry that goes with royal birth. As a result very few people will be aware of the coming of the Saviour.

This prophecy came to pass as was predicted, but it was through the Magi from the east who were on a reconnaissance mission who stopped in Jerusalem to enquire about this royal birth that the chief priest – a Pharisee --  and the teachers of the law (Scribes) became privy to the event. It had been hidden from them. This episode reveals how God had brought in Gentile astrologers – unbelievers -- unto the scene to announce this very important happening that had escaped the custodians of the word of God.

As the story unfolds, we see God orchestrating remotely this miraculous event using men and women as instruments to bring this about. One thing we need to take note of at this juncture is this that was penned by the Apostle Peter; “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21)

The next key information that God revealed concerned the Messiah’s lineage. “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up David a righteous Branch, a king who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.” (Jeremiah 23: 5-6)  In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, we read an exhaustive genealogy about the Christ through the lineage of David, confirming fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.” (Matthew 1:17)

What would be the Messiah’s Terms of Reference, in other words what would He achieve? “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendour.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

Comfort for God’s people

He will bring comfort to God’s people. “Arise, shine, for your Light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)

As we usher in the season of the Nativity, we must not lose sight of the glory that the Light of the world will bring to our hearts. Yes, the King is coming, open your hearts to receive Him!