Matthew Henry in his commentary tells of Francis Junius, a 15th century reformed scholar and theologian, who reported that after his first reading of John chapter 1 that he “observed such a divinity in the argument, such an authority and majesty in the style, that his flesh trembled, and he was struck with such amazement that for a whole day he scarcely knew where he was or what he did; and thence he dates the beginning of his being religious.” (Matthew Henry)
Such is the effect of John’s gospel which presents Christ as the divine Logos, the Word become flesh.
That’s why one of our special Christmas traditions is watching the movie The Gospel of John during the Christmas season. Every word in this dramatized version comes straight from the Good News Bible. It’s like watching the entire Gospel in action. And it penetrates even the deepest recesses of our hearts.
The greatest miracle
The incarnation is the greatest of all miracles. The most improbable and seemingly impossible. Not because coming to earth and becoming human was too difficult for Christ. Nothing could ever be too difficult for the omnipotent Creator of the universe.
Of God’s choosing
But because the incarnation was of God’s choosing. He chose to send his Son out of his love for humanity and his desire to change man’s course for eternity. The king of the entire universe stooped down to become Emmanuel, God with us.
This is mind-boggling. So mind-boggling that we too should feel amazed, like Francis Junius. We sometimes overlook the vast import of these words: “The Word became flesh, and lived among us.” We need to once again see his glory. To let those words leave us awestruck.
John’s gospel, with its rich discourses, focuses on Christ’s identity and earthly mission. It highlights Christ’s glory, which undoubtedly gripped him as he penned the words. And which later enabled him to stand firm through persecution and his exile on the island of Patmos.
And that is why the Gospel of John has gripped hearts through the centuries. And why it continues to do so today.
Pivotal to our faith
The incarnation of Christ is the pivotal point of our Christian faith. The whole of Christian theology rests on it. Without it, we could neither know God to the degree that we do. Nor have any assurance of salvation or of the resurrection.
But he, the Creator of the universe, the all-knowing, all-powerful God chose to come. So that we may know him and his saving grace. The Messiah King and Servant Son, came in the flesh. He became the Savior of the world, while never ceasing to be the “Great I am.”
A Christmas prayer
My prayer this Christmas is that we would all keep the awesomeness of Christ’s advent in mind.
That we would not be caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping and activities, no matter how good they might be. That we do not remain transfixed by trees and decorations that get packed away to gather dust the rest of the year. But be so awestruck by the glory and majesty of the Emmanuel miracle that all will seem dim in comparison.
May we be so awestruck by the glory and majesty of the miracle of Emmanuel God with us, that all else grows dim.Tweet
Reflecting on the glory of God can help us realize how small we are and how much we need him. For only by becoming small do we fully comprehend his greatness and majesty. Let us rejoice that the light of the world has come, and that darkness will never be able to put it out!
View the trailer for the film below. I’m sure you won’t regret it. But I recommend getting a copy to watch over and over. This is one film we should watch again and again!
Images: Dove in flight by 6248913 | Bible by Tim Wildsmith | Essential by Alexander Grey | Woman praising by Fotorech.
6 thoughts on “The Amazement of the Incarnation”
“Because the incarnation was of God’s choosing. He chose to send his Son, and Christ chose to come out of his love for humanity and his desire to change man’s course for eternity. The king of the entire universe stooped down to become Emmanuel, God with us.” These truths continue to amaze me and fill me with gratitude, even though I’ve heard/read them again and again over the decades. If Christ were not in my life as Savior and Emmanuel, I hate to think where I’d be!
Yes Nancy, where would we be? My heart melts every time I read John chapter one!
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Thank you TR! Blessings to you.
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That movie is my favorite movie of all time. It moves me greatly and the man who acted Jesus was wonderful.
I agree Belle. He did a superb job. I think that must be the hardest role in the world to play. How could any mortal actor ever measure up? But he managed to show Christ in both his human compassion and royal majesty! I wish they would translate it into Italian!!! Be blessed.