There was a very wealthy businessman who was brought up in a very cultured and educated environment. He felt like he was not connecting emotionally with his twelve year-old son. He knew that his son loved the rugged outdoors—getting dirty and playing sports.
Even though he had never done this before, to connect with his son in a meaningful way that he would appreciate, he took his son into the mountains for a three-day camping trip. They erected a tent, went fishing, had to use wood for fire to cook and keep themselves warm, and spent the whole time getting to know one another.
Even though it was very uncomfortable for the father (since he wasn’t used to living in the great outdoors, or getting dirty and soaked in the rain, or depending on hunting and fishing for food), it was the greatest three days the son ever had because he finally got to know his father. This was instrumental in the boy growing up to be a very successful business person himself with his own family and sons.
Texts: John 1:1-18; Exodus 40:34-38
I. God pitched His tent among us in human form (Exodus 40:34-38)
In the Old Testament, God dwelt among the Israelites in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. This was a type and shadow of how the glory of God would dwell in the tent erected not by human hands.
No one had ever seen God at any time until Jesus revealed Him (Exodus 33:17-23; John 1:18).
Flesh and blood cannot see God and live. But flesh and blood in Christ was able to make God known.
II. What was the glory of God that Jesus revealed?
1. He is the Word of God (John 1:1)
The Logos of God–the truth, reason, message, the word, the expression of God’s heart, mind, and will.
2. He is the creator of all things visible and invisible (John 1:3)
God never separates the physical world from the spiritual world. Both were made by Him and are important to Him.
3. He is life (John 1:4)
By His Spirit He gives life. This enables everything to exist in its original design and purpose.
4. He is the light (John 1:5)
There is no other light. There are not different varieties of light. There is only one light, namely that which enables us to see things as they really are. Things are shown to be as they really are only in the light of Jesus because He is the Word by which all things came to be.
All people live by that light, whether they believe or not, just as they live by the creative Word of God.
When a person turns to Jesus they meet not a stranger but one who knew them and chose them before the world was created (Ephesians 1:4).
He was the light that was rejected both by the world and by religious people who were His own. This shows us the realm of religion outside of knowing Jesus is part of the darkness of the world as much as anything else.
5. Darkness cannot be researched or understood–it is simply darkness
Darkness is what happens when people turn from the truth and the true source of their being, and try to find meaning elsewhere. They are then plunged into meaninglessness.
6. He is the one promised by the law of God (John 1:17)
The Old Testament law was a great gift from God but was only given as a schoolmaster to lead us to faith in Christ (Galatians 3:24).
The law of God can only promise life but not give it (Romans 7:10).
7. The purpose of Christmas (John 1:12-13)
It is for God to tabernacle among us and in us (Zechariah 2:10).
The glory of God in Christ was not shown by the Messiah forcing His political will upon the Roman Empire and nations of the world. His glory was seen by Him yielding His will totally for the honor and will of another. It was seen as He acted like a servant: washing the feet of His disciples and suffering to the point of death on the cross for the sins of the world.
John 1:12-13: We become His children, not by man-made efforts or religion but by Him coming to live inside of us when we are born again from above.
To subscribe for a weekly teaching click here.
Photo credit: Frettie