“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 testifies concerning Him. He cries out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.’” From the fullness of His grace we have received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.”
In exploring the prologue to John’s gospel we have discovered that one of the central themes of the whole book is the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. As John presents us with a description of our Lord we see Him as the fulfillment of all of the various strands of Scriptural teaching about the one who will come to redeem God’s people from their sin. We see Him as Creator, Sustainer of all things, as well as the revealer of the character, or Name of God. As John introduces us to the Word we find ourselves filled with praise to God for who He is as He comes into our lives.
Today I want to continue on in our exposition of John 1:14 where we read that “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the only begotten who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The Word that the Apostle John uses in this verse, translated as dwelling, is the word tabernacle. It is a word that refers us back to the account in the Old Testament book of Exodus in which the Tabernacle was created as a temporary, mobile tent in which God’s people could meet with Him. Charles Haddon Spurgeon quotes from Henry as he seeks to explain just what the significance of this tent was to God’s people.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon writes, “Now, you remember that in the Jewish Church its greatest glory was that God tabernacle in its midst: not the tent of Moses, not the various pavilions of the princes of the twelve tribes, but the humble tabernacle in which God dwelt, was the boast of Israel. They had the King Himself in the midst of them, a present God in their midst. The Tabernacle was a tent to which men went when they would commune with God, and it was the spot to which God came when He would commune with man. To use Matthew Henry’s words, it was the “trysting place” between the Creator and the Worshipper. Here they met each other through the slaughter of the bullock and the lamb, and there was reconciliation between them twain. Now, Christ’s human flesh was God’s tabernacle, and it is in Christ that God meets with man, and it is in Christ that man has dealings with God. The Jew of old went into God’s tent, in the centre of the camp, if he would worship: we come to Christ if we would pay our homage. If the Jew would be released from ceremonial uncleanness, after he had performed the rites, he went up to the sanctuary of his God, that he might feel again that there was peace between God and his soul; and we, having been washed in the precious blood of Christ, have access with boldness unto God, even the father through Christ, who is our tabernacle and the tabernacle of god among men.”
Because of this tremendous blessing the God has given to us in Christ we can come to God in worship and praise. This is the heart of the Christmas account of God’s miraculous delivery of us from sin. In Christ we meet together with God finding as we do one who is completely gracious, having done everything required to redeem us. In Him we have been brought near to God. Our sin has been atoned for in His cross. We have abundant, eternal life in His resurrection. He is, to again use John’s powerful words, “The only begotten Himself God who is in the bosom of the Father.” As this truth begins to dawn on our troubled minds and hearts we find ourselves being moved to praise and worship because we find Him to be completely sufficient for all of our need.
How do you see the Lord Jesus Christ today? Do you find in Him the one who is your meeting place with God? Do you see in His cross the atoning sacrifice for your sin? In Him have you been given Eternal life? Come to Him! Believe in Him! This is where you will find real, eternal hope.