Today’s verse continues the theme in my last post (January 5, 2011) from John 1:1, where we learned that Jesus was referred to as the Word. After John 1:14, John no longer uses the term Word to refer to Christ, perhaps because this is where John tells us that Christ became a man and took up residence on earth. This is an incredible thought. Think about it. What in this plan could be of benefit to Jesus? He gave up every good thing to come to earth, not to live in a palace with all the blessings of great riches, but to live the life of a nomad, one who was pursued by both the most needy people and the self-righteous haters of the day. The term that is here translated as “took up residence” comes from a Greek term that means to pitch a tent. He left heaven to live in very lowly conditions for us. He did this because He loved us. He did this because He knew it was part of the bigger plan, the one that the Father has to redeem us.
So, there was Jesus, the only Son of the Father, living among the people. The Message paraphrase of this passage says that He “moved into the neighbourhood”. How would that change your life if Jesus moved in next door? What if he moved in to your spare room, and joined you at your dinner table, or more significantly on your sofa as you watched TV? Would you do things differently? Many people of that time didn’t recognize Him as God, just as many people today don’t. But He is still here with us today, no longer in flesh but in Spirit. He is there with you at your dinner table, while you watch TV, while you surf the Internet. And He still loves us just as much as He did when He put on flesh to walk among us. Amazing!
Jesus is referred to as the only Son of God, unique because He is in fact God. When we receive His gift of grace, we also become children of God. (John 1:12) We are adopted into the family. God the Father has just as much love for us as He does for Jesus. Because of Jesus, John and others of his day were able to see God’s glory, His grace and truth. Jesus was the personal revelation of God. He still is today. He still represents the goodness and love and light and life of our Heavenly Father.