“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (John 1:1,2).
St. John takes us back to the first words of the Bible: “In the beginning.” He reminds us that the creation was a collaborative effort. God the Father was there. But so was the one John calls “the Word.” He is equal to the Father, for John tells us the Word was both “with God” and “was God.” John tells us clearly who this mysterious “Word” is: “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).
Jesus is the eternal God
And so Jesus Christ is the Word, the one “through [whom] all things were made” (John 1:3). He is the one who carved out the depths of the oceans. He is the one who set the stars ablaze. What could possibly hurt him? Nothing. Well . . . nothing until the Word became flesh.
Jesus is a human being
And what type of flesh? Human flesh, with the full use of his power and glory set aside. Infant flesh! And so the one who was so powerful that he started the universe spinning on its axis became so weak he needed Mary to feed him. The one who was untouchable became entirely exposed.
Isn’t that what love requires? When you love someone, you open yourself up to the chance of being badly hurt. You take the risk of having your heart broken.
Jesus is love in action
That is exactly what God did for you. In love, the Almighty became vulnerable. And he had more than his heart broken. He had his flesh scourged, his brow pierced, and his limbs nailed. But the hardest part of his vulnerability was when, while carrying our sins in his flesh, he felt the separation from his Father.
As you will inevitably sing sometime this Christmas, Jesus “neither crib nor cross refuses, all he suffers for your good to redeem you by his blood” (Christian Worship 45:2). To do that, he obviously needed flesh and blood. And so the One who was unassailable became entirely vulnerable because love required it. The Word became flesh. Those words speak volumes about how genuinely God loves you.
By Jonathan R. Hein