We read in John 1:14, that the “Word became flesh.” The Word is none other than the Divine Word, the Logos of God, and he “became flesh.” That is, the frail, vulnerable flesh common to all humanity. He became so completely human that, despite being God, he was in all respects like us, apart from sin. God has appeared in human form. He lived for a while (literally, he pitched his tent among us), to reside here temporarily, before he returned to the Father, taking his humanity with him.
My little Greek Christmas!
Why not add a little Greek to your Christmas celebrations? The New Testament as we have it is a translation from the original Greek text. The translators usually do a great job, but as in any communication there are bound to be treasures buried in the original that are lost in translation. So don’t be put off by a little Greek. Study the Strongs concordance definitions highlighted in this article and you will add a new richness to your Christmas!
The short life of the Word-made-flesh among us changed everything! Never again will we wonder what God is like– Jesus has forever revealed the Father. Never again will God be intangible, invisible and elusive to us – Jesus has shown God in physical form so that eyewitness testimony can describe him and we can know him personally. Never again can we question our purpose – it is to receive God’s grace and to behold his glory in the person of Christ. And it is to become sons and daughters of the Word-madeflesh– so that the Word may become flesh in us and we can show him to the world.
Full of Grace and Truth
The heart of the matter is that the Word (Logos) is full of grace and truth, and he is the glory of God we see in the real Christmas story. Truth is on the side of grace. That means we hold on to the truth by God’s grace and we live out that truth by the same grace. Law has absolutely nothing to do with it for, “the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came (literally ‘appeared in person’) through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).
The effects of this grace-truth appearing are incalculable! Now, we don’t just know about God; but we know him, personally. We receive his light and his life – the very life that gives light to the whole world. The very source and ground of our being, and of everything else that is, lives with us and lives in us!
The Reason behind the Season
The divine ‘Reason’, the Logos of God, is why we celebrate Christmas. God has made his thoughts and intentions clear. He has spoken to us in his Son – his full and final revelation to humanity. It is complete, clear and visible. All that Jesus did and said was a revelation of the thoughts, intentions and attitudes of the Father. And, it is all good news! God cares. He did not send a messenger to tell us that – he came himself, to show it through the words and actions of the Word-made-flesh.
It is time to think
The Logos is God’s reason, the rational thought and the reality that lies behind the universe. Everything in creation is the expression of that thought. Our capacity to reason and to understand comes from this gift of God’s creation. John says that this divine reason is evident to all humanity. Jesus, the Word, who came into the world“gives light to every man” (John 1:9).
“The Word” – the Divine Logos*
STONGS NT:3056 logos (log’-os) something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension, a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ).
This is the same truth found in Romans 1:20 where Paul says,“Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities –his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.” That is why there is no excuse. The divine light has shone into our hearts and our choice is to receive it, or to suppress it.
The suppression of truth is everywhere, and this points to the need to shine the truth into the darkness, dispelling the gloom. The light of life shone that first Christmas morning and our Christmas lights testify to it today. The challenge is to let our light continue to shine when the decorations come down!
“Became flesh”*STONGS NT:4561 sarx (sarx); flesh (as stripped of the skin), i.e. (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul [or spirit], or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred), or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties [physically or morally] and passions), or (specifically) a human being.
Rekindle the flame of truth, beauty, nobility and passion in your heart and let the newly-trimmed lamps of Christmas wonder illuminate the darkness. Become a true warrior of this light.
The Logos, reminds us that there is reason behind the season, and everything else that is Christian. Your mind matters because ideas have consequences. It is time for Christians to think! Who said you kiss your brains goodbye when you commit your life to Christ. He is the answer to every question, the response to every need –intellectual, moral and spiritual. We have the mind of Christ, the reason of God and the thoughts of the Spirit because the Logos lives in us.
It is time to speak
Logos is thought but, more than that, it is thought expressed in word. Jesus is God’s speech. His word going forth. Our faith is not the mystical contemplation of voiceless expression. God spoke, and worlds came into being. God spoke and Christ came. God speaks today and gives you a voice to love him and to proclaim him as a trumpet call to a waiting world.
When Jesus spoke, they marvelled at his gracious words. The Logos speaks through you in the same way. Let your voice be heard – clear and confident, warm and affirming, strong and assuring. The angels at Christmas proclaimed,“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will have come!” This is the most positive message of hope the world could ever wish for and is longing to hear. But, they cannot hear unless it is proclaimed. Be a herald this Christmas. Tell the world of his love and favour. Grace! Grace! Grace! to all who will hear. Make it clear –God receives sinners, and to all who receive his Christ, he gives the right, the privilege and the authority to become his children (John 1:12).
Through the word coming from Christ in you, you can replace error with truth, indifference with passion and law with grace. Let the world know truth has come and that truth speaks today – Christ the Word of God!
It is time to act
Perhaps the greatest revelation of the Logos at Christmas is that the invisible has become visible the untouchable, touchable. John writes in his letter, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word (Logos) of life” (1 John 1:2). John says, in effect, “We know he is real – he came, and we saw him, we heard him speak and we even touched him!”
The apostles witnessed all these things – his words and actions – and as eyewitness, they gave trustworthy accounts of it. Their testimony is the truthful witness behind the Gospels. But their proclamation carried its own mark of authenticity. So must ours. The apostles did not merely speak, they acted. Everything they believed and taught was also visible in their lives. Their actions testified to the truth of their beliefs.
There is always a crisis of credibility when our lives do not match up to our beliefs. Jesus is the empowering word, the very life of God in us. He must be seen in us. We would be heard more if we acted more. Take the important moral issue of the sanctity of life for example. How will the world take notice our protest against abortion, if we do not look after the pregnant mother who believes abortion is the only answer because she could never cope with a child as a single parent? How can we condemn our liberal laws against unwanted pregnancies due to a disability diagnosed while the baby is still in the womb, when we do nothing to help families with severely handicapped children?
Words and works go together just as truth-in-action is far better than mere truth without visible expression.“And dwelt (pitched his tent) among us”*STONGS NT:4637 skenoo (skayno’-o); from NT:4636; to tent or encamp, i.e. (figuratively) to occupy (as a mansion) or (specifically) to reside (as God did in the Tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion):
Showing Christ at Christmas
Christmas, despite prolonged attempts by local and national government, is still a national Christian festival. The world loves it – not always for the right reasons! But we have the true reason for the season – God’s Reason, his Divine Logos. Let this Reason live in you, at Christmas and throughout the whole year to come. Let him think, speak and act through you. Then the world may begin to realise that Grace has truly come to the world, and his name is Jesus, the Word of God. He is the Reason behind the Season.
*All Greek word definitions are quoted from Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.