John 1:1–18 (EHV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him everything was made, and without him not one thing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5The light is shining in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6There was a man, sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as an eyewitness to testify about the light so that everyone would believe through him. 8He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light.
9The real light that shines on everyone was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not recognize him. 11He came to what was his own, yet his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who did receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. 13They were born,
not of blood, or of the desire of the flesh, or of a husband’s will, but born of God. 14The Word became flesh and dwelled among us. We have seen his glory, the glory he has as the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15John testified about him. He cried out, “This was the one I spoke about when I said, ‘The one coming after me outranks me because he existed before me.’ ” 16For out of his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. The only-begotten Son,
who is close to the Father’s side, has made him known.
Dear fellow redeemed, worshippers of the Word made flesh: Luther’s sermon on this text runs over 50 pages, and he called it “the most important of all the Gospels of the church year.” That’s why I read the whole thing. But we have just a little time in the midst of a whole range of precious revelations of the Word made flesh. So I will talk about the words and the central core of John’s prologue to His gospel.
14The Word became flesh and dwelled among us. We have seen his glory, the glory he has as the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. “Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας.” (John 1:14, NA27)
The word, the LOGOS, is Second Person of the Trinity, the eternally-begotten Son, who participated with the Father and the Spirit in the creation of the universe. Without ceasing to be God, He became also flesh, born of Mary. This one person is at the same time true God and true man, so that Mary gave birth to her child and is therefore the mother of Jesus, the mother of God and of man. Of God, because God entered here to be born, and of man, because in being born of Mary, He is also true man.
John, together with the apostles and other eye-witnesses saw Jesus as the LOGOS, the perfect revelation of God to man. And so they saw his glory. This glory, DOXA in Greek, is like “fame.” It is the greatest thing about this eternal word made flesh. And what glory did the apostles see? Toward the end of his book, John wrote, “Jesus, in the presence of his disciples, did many
other miraculous signs that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:30–31, EHV)
What did Jesus do, so that believing you have everlasting life? Seeing what John recorded for that purpose, His glory is that he lived a perfect life, fulfilled the prophesies in God’s word, gave signs of His divinity, and then went to the cross to atone for the sins of the world. That is the glory of Jesus Christ.
It is the glory he has as the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. He is full of grace and truth, that is, He is not just partially gracious or partially truthful. He is the embodiment of grace, the unmerited love of God for us. It is this grace that moved Him to fulfill the righteousness and justice of God, so that being absolutely just, God can also be merciful. He lived out the righteousness God demands of each of us, and He died under the wrath of God as each of us deserves. As a result there is a righteousness for you, from God, that is by faith, and there is forgiveness for your sins.
“God made him, who did not know sin, to become sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, EHV)
So on this Christmas day, rejoice that God was born for you, to reconcile you to God. The Savior was born, as the prophet Jeremiah said, “…This is his name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.” (Jeremiah 23:6, EHV)
Rejoice! Unto you was born that day a Savior – Christ the Lord!