John 1:14: Jesus tabernacled among us
“Jesus is the temple” is my Christmas meditation for us this year. It sounds weird I know but it is relevant I promise. We have recently been going through Luke’s gospel and looking at all the birth narratives relating to Christ’s conception and birth. I do not want to go over that material again but want to take the opportunity to look at some of the deeper theology that we can overlook when we think about the incarnation. Today as an encouragement for you to consider the richness of grace towards us in Christ I want us to consider a familiar verse, John 1:14, ‘And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.’
John’s gospel was written with a particular purpose in mind, John 20:30-31, ‘Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.’ From beginning to end you should read John’s gospel looking for the answers to the question, who is Jesus? And, how should I respond to Him? He is the Son of God, and because you are a sinner by believing in Him you can have eternal life.
John’s gospel talks about the origins of Christ in a different way to Luke and Matthew who both record the conception and birth of Christ. John goes all the way back into eternity before creation had taken place to start his record of Christ, John 1:1-3, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.’ The human name Jesus is only mentioned in v17. Here John introduces to us a person using the name Word. The Word was a concept that had connotations for all in the ancient world. In Greek Philosophy it was logic/reason, or a lower tiered god that helped us access pure deity; in Hebrew thought it was God’s attribute of Wisdom. John here describes a person who is both equal with God and fully personal and not merely one of His attributes. Someone who is in deep intimacy with Him. The first part of the chapter is all about the Word sent by God to be the light of the world that by believing in Him, we can become children of God. V14-18 enters into greater detail as it describes how Jesus became flesh and how He makes the Father known in order to accomplish this.
We will do a light exposition of v14 and then list the ways in which Jesus is the temple.