Who is the Word? Verse 1 says, “The Word was with God and the Word was God. And this Word became flesh, verse says, and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory.” The Word became flesh, dwelt among us without giving up any of His glory. This is the story of Christmas.
Most of us would agree that all the charming, sentimental and wonderful story telling we read in Mathew and Lukes account contain meaning, but to understand further the supernatural happening, it to understand why we celebrate as we do. To understand what was really going on from the supernatural side of things, is to give deep and unshakable meaning to Christmas. The manger wasn’t supernatural, neither was the stable, neither were Joseph and Mary, neither were the shepherds or the wise men but John explains for us what is critical for us to understand. The non-negotiable reality of what we celebrate at this time of the year is that the eternal God, the infinite transcendent, all-knowing, all-powerful, all present, everlastingly unchanging eternal God of the universe became a human being. That is the message.
Emmanuel, you heard it sung, which means “God with us,” is why we celebrate. That is the essential truth of Christianity and the most essential truth of all truth because it is the only truth that offers a sinner redemption from themselves and ever so lost in deceptions that one can make it to God's Heaven for their own "good works," when in fact, we all need a Savior offering amazing grace we do not deserve nor can earn God's approval apart from such a message of grace and redemption.
The term "Word" which Jesus is referred to here, is "Logos" in the Greek translation. If you are one reading this dialogue here with some understanding, you most likely have heard of the "Rhema" word as well, again, a Greek translation for a word given an individual that is very specific, from the Heart of God, and given specifically for specific needs or happenings in a believer's life, or even for a non-believer. Whereas, the word translated from the Greek word which means the "Logos," is speaking about a concept or intangable, something impersonal and as the Greeks who many in John's church were, would have understood in Jn. 1:14. Today, we have to dig and study to understand what was intended by this chapter and verse, by what is meant with: The Word became flesh.
What John is saying in this chapter and verse is this: The Logos is not an impersonal power. The Logos is not some kind of floating principle of reason. The Logos is a person. To the Greek mind, the Logo was the most powerful force in the universe, creative power, source of wisdom, knowledge, intelligence. And John is saying this is a person and He became a man, a personal God who came into the world in the man Jesus.
To the Jew, and both Greeks and Jews were in John's church hearing the message, "The Word" had even more meaning. And by the way, that was not just a philosophical understanding that trickled down to the populous in the Greek world from their philosophers so that they all understood the meaning of the word logos in their system. But to the Jews, the Word of the Lord was a very familiar idea. If you read the Old Testament, you will read this many times, “The Word of the Lord came, the Word of the Lord came, the Word of the Lord came to so-and-so. The Word of the Lord was simply God revealing Himself, His person, His nature, His will, His wisdom, His truth. The Word of the Lord was the expression of the personal God, the true and living God of the Old Testament.
And to make it unmistakable, verse 14 says, “And dwelt among us.” Christ’s humanity is not an illusion, it is not a vision, it is not an apparition, it is not some kind of phantom, it is not some kind of mental experience. It is not a mere appearance. He took on humanity. Philippians 2:7, He was made in the likeness of men. In Hebrews 2, “He partook of flesh and blood.” And to make the statement irrefutable, He lived in this world thirty-three years…thirty of them as a man among men with no indications that He was any other than a human being, till He began His ministry.
Why do we celebrate Christmas? We celebrate because the invisible became visible. Christ's humanity is not an illusion or some kind of non-understood sheepish belief. "The Word became Flesh" is why we believe. It is why we say "Merry Christmas" and with every good reason.