This season brings into focus the grand theme of our faith—the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The word “incarnate” simply means “to be made flesh.” John begins his Gospel with the statement, “the Word was God,” and then goes on to tell us, “the Word became flesh.” This is the incarnation. God came down in human flesh!
The Watchtower, following the error of the 4th century Alexandrian, Arius, struggles with this. In spite of the input of thousands of sound Greek scholars, the Jehovah Witnesses translate John 1:1—“And the Word was a god.” (Literally, the Greek text reads “and God was the Word.”) And so as not to miss this point, the Gospel of John ends as it begins—affirming the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thomas upon touching the wounds of Jesus, “said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God.’” Arthur Freeman, a biographer of Count Zinzendorf, comments on Zinzendorf’s theology: “There is no other God than the wounded one. God never leaves the wounds behind … He takes his wounds and his humanity with him to heaven, where he remains the one wounded for us, the one who loves us with a gentle and patient love.” (Rev. 5:11-12)
And so the purpose of the incarnation becomes clear. Jesus was born to suffer and to die for us. Charles Wesley says it so well—“Amazing love! How can it be that Thou, my God should’st die for me?” Consequently, we are “the church of God, which he bought with his own blood”! (Acts 20:28) It was “God [who] was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself ” (2 Corinthians 5:19, KJV)!
The Names He bears testify to this amazing truth: “You are to give him the name Jesus …” (Matthew 1:21). The NIV footnote states, “Jesus is the Greek form of J[eh]oshua which means the LORD [Jehovah] saves.” Jesus’ Jewish name, Yeshua, meaning only “Savior,” is beautiful, but in this light, it is inadequate. This Holy One is none other than Jehovah, God of Heaven, come down in human flesh to save us! Matthew underscores this with Jesus’ alternate name: “They will call him Immanuel—which means, ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:23). Jesus is none other than—God with us!
Our Lord Jesus, the Messiah is not the highest of Jehovah’s creation, a secondary god to Jehovah God, as Arius taught, but neither is He is only part of God as some others tend to teach. Jesus is not merely “God the Son” in the holy triad of “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.” The inspired Scriptures go way beyond that concept, which is the reason why Jesus is worthy of all honor and glory and praise!
Paul declares in Colossians 1:19 that “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [Jesus].” Paul then expands on this thought in Colossians 2:9 in his statement, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” The Greek word theotes translated “Deity” in the NIV is also translated “Godhead” in the KJV. All of God—God in His entirety, the whole Godhead—lives and continues to live—in the man Christ Jesus! It is to Him that the Father has given the Holy Spirit without measure (John 3:34, KJV), and it is out of that measureless fullness that the glorified Jesus dispenses His Holy Spirit to us! (John 1:16; 7:37-39) And if we would find the Father, we can find Him in Jesus as Jesus tells us in John 14:7-11: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father … I am in the Father and the Father is in me….”
And of what practical point is all of this New Testament Christology to us? Simply this—THIS JESUS LIVES IN US! Jesus, in all His fullness lives in me and He lives in you! That’s why Paul declares in Colossians 2:9—“and you have been given fullness in Christ…” (NIV); “You are complete in him” (KJV). The Amplified Bible so beautifully translates this passage—“You are in Him made full and have come to fullness of life—in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and reach full spiritual stature….” As Jesus’ Body we are indeed “the fullness of him who fills everything in every way”! (Ephesians 1:23)
And so as those who have been born of God, we need to ask ourselves—because He is in me, how can I be poor when He is so rich? How can I be weak when He is so strong? How can I be depleted when He is so full? How can I be defeated when He is so victorious? How can I be depressed when He is so full of joy? How can I be anxious when He is so full of peace?
Come, Lord Jesus Christ, I do trust You to take up Your rightful place in me—filling all of my needy life with all of Your sufficient life! Amen!