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The Word Became FleshBy Pastor Bobby

Text John 1:1-14

 

Vs 14 “ And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Amp “ And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tentof flesh, lived a while) among us.. and we actually saw his glory )beheld, felt or touched”

 

This morning a coalition of Muslim leaders warned the United States that if military action against Muslim countries continues, they intend to cut off America’s supply of 7-11 and Motel 6 managers. If this action does not yield sufficient results, cab drivers will be next, followed by Dell, AT&T and AOL customer service reps.

Finally, if all else fails, they have threatened not to send us any more Presidents either. It’s gonna get ugly, people.

 

Latest news reports are that five terrorist cell groups have been operating in many of our churches.

 

They have been identified as : Bin Sleepin , Bin Arguin , Bin fightin , Bin complainin , and Bin Missin .

 

God became human. The text begins with this statement. Verse 14 says, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us."

Now to hear the full force of that verse you have to go back up to verse 1: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Word was God and the Word became flesh. If the Word was God and the Word became flesh, then God became flesh. God became human. Jesus Christ was human and Jesus Christ was God.

 

"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us."

The word for "dwelt" is the word for "set up a tent" in Greek.

 

 I used to think that implied mainly that he was here only temporarily. But when I looked up all the places this word occurs in the New Testament, I found that it doesn't imply temporary status.

 

 

 For example, in Revelation 21:3 where the eternal new heavens and new earth are described it says, "Behold the dwelling (tent!) of God is with men. He will dwell (pitch his tent!) with them, and they shall be his people."

 

I think what pitching a tent with us implies is that God wants to be on familiar terms with us. He wants to be close. He wants a lot of interaction.

If you come into a community and build a huge palace with a wall around it says one thing about your desires to be with the people. But if you pitch a tent in my back yard you will probably use my bathroom and eat often at my table. This is why God became human. He came to pitch a tent in our human back yard so that we would have a lot of dealings with him.

 

There is an amazing piece of art done by a Korean artist named Elder Rhee which is unique. It took him two years to complete the scroll. The artist meticulously drew the picture by hand with a very fine tipped pen. It is not a painting, but a picture created by writing thousands of words with shaded letters. It is actually the entire New Testament written out by hand.

There are about 185,000 words on the scroll with an average of a thousand words per line. The letters are drawn, some thick and some thin so that they bring out a picture of Christ. There are twenty-seven angels surrounding Christ and looking to him, representing the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. The original work was six feet long by four feet wide. The figure of Christ is not imposed onto the words, the words reveal the picture of Christ as they are inked light and dark to bring out the portrait of Christ. The words have become flesh, a person.

 

If you would magnify a portion of the work, such as Christ’s hand, you could actually read the words. The message of the artist is that the New Testament reveals one thing — the person of Jesus Christ. Out of the Word arises The Word — Jesus Christ — the Word which became flesh. As E. Stanley Jones writes: “Out of the Gospels arises the Gospel. Jesus is the Gospel — the Gospel lies in His Person. He did not come to bring the Good News — He was the Good News.”

 

Someone has written: “A great wind blew through the Bible and lo, it stood up a Man.”

 

The most important words in the entire Bible are these: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).

 

 This is the great truth that sets Christianity apart from all of the other world religions. Our God has not remained remote and unapproachable, he has come to us in person. He did not just write us a letter. He did not just send us a representative. He did not just speak his laws from a mountain. He came to us as one of us.

The Infinite became an infant.

 The Eternal One became a wee one. The Bible describes the miracle of what Christ has done when it says: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8).

 

 A new translation of the Bible called The Message puts it this way: “He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion.”

 

It is impossible to overemphasize how important God’s arrival on earth was.

 

1.)       God’s coming in human form is important because: It reveals the heart of God. God’s appearance in human form on the earth speaks volumes about God’s love for us. You are familiar with the words, which are perhaps so familiar that we take them for granted: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17).

 Here is the best news in all the world — God deeply cares for us.

He has made a plan to save us from our sin and ourselves. He wants to change our lives and give us a life worth living that will ultimately result in eternal life. This is the kind of God we serve. He loves us more than we will ever know, and he has not come to take the fun out of life, but to make life enjoyable in ways that we never imagined. How much easier it would have been for God to leave us to our own devices. or rain fire down from heaven and destroy us for our sin. But God is not hostile toward us, neither did he remain distant — he never was and never intended to become so. He broke into the world and disturbed our equilibrium. We had become comfortable with a God who kept his distance. We liked the fact that he did not interfere with the world and left us alone. When he came in person, it made us uncomfortable. He was invading our space and getting too close. He was interfering with how we thought the world should be run and how we wanted to live our lives. He was a novelty at first, but then we decided we would be better off if we could get rid of him.

 

But God came, even though he knew the consequences. He was willing to come even if it meant that the Almighty and Eternal One had to experience pain and death — so great was his love for us. He came so that he might share the human condition and take our burdens upon himself.

 

Booker T. Washington was born a slave and later became one of the great educators of our country after the emancipation. He headed the Tuskegee Institute, which flourished under his leadership. In his autobiography, Up from Slavery, he tells a story about his brother: “The most trying ordeal that I was forced to endure as a slave boy. . . was the wearing of a flax shirt. In the portion of Virginia where I lived, it was common to use flax as part of the clothing for the slaves. That part of the flax from which our clothing was made was largely the refuse, which of course was the cheapest and roughest part. I can scarcely imagine any torture, except, perhaps, the pulling of a tooth, that is equal to that caused by putting on a new flax shirt for the first time. It is almost equal to the feeling that one would experience if he had a dozen or more chestnut burrs, or a hundred small pin-points, in contact with his flesh. . . . But I had no choice. I had to wear the flax shirt or none. . . . My brother John, who is several years older than I am, performed one of the most generous acts that I ever heard of one slave relative doing for another. On several occasions when I was being forced to wear a new flax shirt, he generously agreed to put it on in my stead and wear it for several days, till it was ‘broken in.’”

 

Jesus Christ is our elder brother who has come along side of us to take on the roughness of the world on our behalf. He has put on our shirt — experienced what we experienced, walked where we have walked, and eased the pain of life. He is willing to place our suffering and pain on his own back.

 

 

 

 

 

God’s entrance into the world reveals the heart of God. 2.) God’s coming in human form is important because: It reveals the need of people.

 

 On March 5, 1994, Deputy Sheriff Lloyd Prescott was teaching a class for police officers in the Salt Lake City Library. During a break he stepped into the hallway, and as he did he saw a gunman forcing 18 hostages into a nearby room. Prescott, who was dressed in street clothes, fell in line with the group and became the nineteenth hostage. The gunman had not noticed him, and Prescott followed them into the room, and shut the door. The gunman announced the order in which hostages would be executed, and then it was that Prescott identified himself as a police officer. A fight ensued, and Prescott, in self-defense, shot the gunman. All of the hostages were released unharmed. The officer placed himself at great risk, but he was not thinking of himself, he was thinking about the danger the hostages were in.

 

Like Lloyd Prescott, God dressed himself as one of us and entered our world. He joined us because we were held hostage to sin and in danger of spiritual death. He rescued us from eternal danger. Imagine it! God, who could have crushed the world because of its sin, came into the world to be crushed for our sin.

 

 

 

The very One who said that everyone who sinned would die, came to the world to die in our place. He both pronounced the judgment and took the judgment upon himself. We did not even understand the danger we were in. We were too ignorant and stubborn to ask for his help, but he came to save us from that danger anyway. The Bible says, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8). This is an incredible mystery, and an incredible story of love.

 

God’s appearance in the world revealed his heart and our need, but thirdly,

3..)God’s coming in human form is important because: It reveals the mystery of God’s plan. The Bible speaks of the mystery of God’s plan with these words: “Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16). Here is the mystery. We could not have imagined it or guessed it in a million years. He had to reveal his plan to us. The Creator of the universe comes to the rebellious world which he has created in love. He avoids nothing: hunger, sleeplessness, thirst, pain, suffering or death.

 He comes to die in the place of those who deserve to die. He suffers for those who deserve to suffer. He comes as a King, but is seen as human refuse. The Bible chokes on the incredulity of the mystery when it says: “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1:10-11).

 

But here is the mystery which God kept hidden until the world was ready: The world deserved to be destroyed because of its sin, but God would come disguised as an ordinary man and die in the place of the world’s people in order to take away their sin. God had allowed animals to die as substitutes and sacrifices under the Old Covenant. It was a temporary solution. But animals could not atone for the sins of a human being. It would have to be a man who would die in our place, as our representative. But not just any man. Not even a priest. It had to be a perfect man. There was only one such man — the man Jesus Christ. A real man, for the Bible says, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched — this we proclaim concerning the Word of life” (1 John 1:1). Here is the Word made flesh — God becoming a real man so that he would experience what it was to be human. He was God, for the Bible says, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). But he was also fully human, for the Bible says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

 

When John says in his Gospel that “the Word became flesh,” he used a Greek word with which those in that culture were familiar. It was the word logos. In Greek philosophy logos was the rational principle that gave order to the universe. This abstract principle became equated with God. But the abstract word becoming a word would do the world little good. The world was full of words already. John used the word logos to say that this divine power became real flesh and blood. If the Word became word then we would have the Scripture, but not a real person who could make the Scripture come alive. But this Word became flesh. He came out of the words of Scripture so that we would have more than a prophecy or a moral code, we would have God himself standing among us — Emmanuel.

 

The Bible says, “For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).

John Maxwell says: “He literally had to come in the flesh to satisfy God. He had to die for our sins to satisfy the Father. That’s why when he said, ‘Father, if it’s possible let this cup pass from me.’ God said, ‘It’s not possible. You have to satisfy me. You must. The sinless Son of God must die on the cross.”

 

What other religion do you know whose God comes in person to die for his people? Buddha did not claim to be God, nor did he claim to have come from God. He was in search of the divine principle — the word become word. And neither did Mohammed claim to be God, only a prophet of God and author of the Koran. In all of the other world religions we have the word become word — a verbal revelation: writings, injunctions and moral codes. Only in Christianity does the Word become flesh. Even the Jews have only the word becoming word — the prophets and the law of Moses. In Jesus Christ, God did not just reveal his will or his laws, he revealed himself. Nothing less would do. If the Word only became word then our contact with God would only be intellectual. But the Word has become flesh, and now he is personal. The Word is standing in front of us and he is calling our name. As we read the Bible we are not just acquiring knowledge, Jesus begins to emerge from the Scripture, much like he does in the picture by the Korean artist. Suddenly, we are reading more than words, we are experiencing a person. Something real is happening.

More than our thinking is being affected, we are being touched and changed at the deepest place of our beings. It is not an idea (the Word) coming into our heads, it is one person communicating with another person (flesh). The Scriptures come alive, because the Word has become flesh. Jesus steps out of the pages and into our lives.

 

Soren Kierkegaard, the great Danish theologian of another century, tells the story of a prince who was running an errand for his father one day in the local village. As he did so, he passed through a very poor section of the town. Looking through the window of his carriage, he saw a beautiful young peasant girl walking along the street. He could not get her off his heart. He continued to come to the town, day after day, just to see her and to feel as though he was near her. His heart yearned for her, but there was a problem. How could he develop a relationship with her? He could order her to marry him. It was in his power to do so. But he wanted this girl to love him from the heart, willingly. He could put on his royal garments and impress her with his regal entourage, and drive up to her front door with soldiers and a carriage drawn by six horses. But if he did this he would never be certain that the girl loved him or was simply overwhelmed with his power, position and wealth. The prince came up with another solution. As you may have guessed, he gave up his kingly robe and symbols of power and privilege. He moved into the village dressed only as a peasant.

 

 He lived among the people, shared their interests and concerns, and talked their language. In time, the young peasant girl grew to know him, and then to love him.

 

This is what Jesus has done for us. The Word became flesh. The King of heaven put aside his heavenly robes and divine prerogatives. He came to us as one of us. He lived among us; ate with us; drank with us; felt with us — all to win our love. He could have forced us.

 He could have overwhelmed us, but he chose to romance us.

He stands here today with the smile of love and arms extended. He is the God who became real so that we could experience his transforming love. Jesus is not just a truth to believe in, he is a person to be experienced.

 

Transition into my last point…..We will not change the world much less this city until its exposed to the glory of God through you and I.

 

EXPOSURE means an activity designed to rouse public interest. It also means the total amount of light allowed to fall on a sensor during the taking of a picture. (PAUSE)

The exposure of Jesus true glory occurred between the ages of 30-33. From the ages of 12-18 you did not hear much about him as he was still in the prep stages. From the baptism to his resurrection, he shook the world so much that to this day it has not recovered!!!

 

I want to see the Word made FLESH!

Im not interested in just dressin up and goin to church

Im not interested in blending in but standing out

Im not interested in nice speaches and inspirational thoughts and tokens of appreciation.

 

“I want to see the abstract made concrete” TDJAKES

 

Personally, I want to see the invisible-visable, the intangible-tangible, fantasy-reality, stories into testimonies!

 

4.) God’s coming in human form is important because: It reveals his intentions for us to model ourselves after HIM.

 

vs 11 begins where God starts exposing who He is to man. I want to say that we need to be exposed not for who we are but for who HE IS in us! Jesus needs to be revealed. Its time to peal away whatever it is the covers him up.

(Pull out the bananas)

 

Just think that in 3 years Jesus set in motion a faith that no one has been able to extinguish!

 

COSTCO:  food samples are there so you can be exposed to the product or the flavor with the intention of you purchasing the full product. They give you just enough to wet your appetite.

 

We are drawing to many conclusions based on a temporary experience not a life as a result of an exposure.

We pre judge ourselves. We have our own self inflicted prejudices.

We love to have absolutes and I have been guilty as well. We have had a bad experience and have now become experts based on a bad experience. If people had been exposed to the glory of God through us rather than our fleshly attitude and presumptions then there may have been a better outcome!

 

People in town have prejudged the church because they have not been totally exposed to it!!

People are under exposed because for the most part the church  is under exposed!!!

 

We want absolutes and no substitutes!  Jesus came and walked among them and the knew him not. Why? They were not expecting him to come in the way he came!

 

He wants to walk in this town. But he may not walk the way people want him to walk!

 

Everyone has a heart, everyone breathes, but not everyone walks the same way!!

 

People may not like how you model Christ. But that’s there opinion and that’s all it is . An OPINION.

 

There are people in this town that have made poor decisions because they have not been exposed to their options. They are stuck in their ways cause no one has come by with a wayto get them out!

 

People can not make a smart decision if they are under exposed!!

 

**You expose what you have been exposed too***

The life God put you in is bigger than the life your living!!” TDJ

 

Its time to rest what you have been taught outside your laboratory!!  Don’t fill you mind with theory that is only good on the debate floor but never exercised practically in the real world!!!

 

Its time we cross pollenate and expose people to Christ and not our opinion. We must bust out of our culture, our color, our career, our cage, our cocoon, and our club!

 

I don’t want to be a careless calloused  caregiver caressing complacency.

 

What is that?  Someone who approves of a lazy, carefree decaffeinated form of Christianity content with constantly being a baby sitter.

 

 

Our special tonight is swordfish cooked in a light white wine sauce, a touch chillian pepper dressed with seasoned shrimp with a hint of mango.

 

YOUR guest says  I DON’T LIKE IT!!    You never had it! 

They were never exposed to it cause all they had was McDonalds!  You got so much more to experience other than hamburgers, porkchops and chick legs!

 

Its time for us to come out of the closest  Some people have spent years in a closet praying that God would change the closet!

 

Leave you corner and walk across the street!! Explore your horizons in Christ

 

Life without limits!

Get yourself a bucket of chicken and blanket and take yourself on a date!

 

Your Universe is bigger than your world

Your God is bigger than your church

Don’t you ever die before your time

Don’t you quit on my watch

Turnaround begins with exposure

Everyone’s not on a walker! Someone is pushing

 

This is the year of EXPOSURE!!

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