The Incarnation Part 2
The Incarnation of the Living God
Question 47 of the Larger Catechism asks, “How did Christ humble Himself in His conception and birth?” Reflecting both John 1:18 and Philippians 2, the answer confesses that “Christ humbled Himself in His conception and birth, in that, being from all eternity the Son of God in the bosom of the Father, He was pleased in the fullness of time to become the Son of man, made of a woman of low estate, and to be born to her, with diverse circumstances of more than ordinary abasement.”
It is false to think that Jesus sprang into being at Christmas. Jesus has always been, is now and always will be. Jesus is fully and eternally God, the second member of the Trinity.
Colossians 1:15-20 affirms that “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created: things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on Earth or things in Heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”
In this one succinct passage God reveals Christ’s eternal and incarnate nature. Indeed, all things were made by Christ and for Christ. Further, it is important to receive the revelation that Jesus is not merely a good or even great representative human being. According to the Scripture, the fullness of God was personally and fully present in Jesus. Jesus is the God-Man. Believe it or not, that’s the reality of the Christmas claim.
It should not surprise us that many people do not believe that Jesus is God. Even in His own day, many people did not believe that Jesus was who He said He was. John 10:30-39 reveals that Jesus’ claim to be God was an offense to the Jews. The Christian claim that Jesus is God born in human flesh is offensive to many people today. Convincing people to believe is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit, our part is to bear witness to the One who came, the Word made flesh to dwell among us, to testify to His glory, and to demonstrate His grace and truth.
Ponder these things:
- Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30. (Read in context, John 10:30-39)
- Read and discuss John 1:1-14.
- What does this passage say about the eternal nature of Jesus?
- Place John 1:1 in conversation with Gen. 1:1 and Rev. 21:1-5.
- Read John 1:4 in conversation with John 10:10.
- Read John 1:3 and 10 in conversation with Col. 1:15-20 and Heb. 1:1-3.
- Reflecting on John 1:5 and 11, what prevents people from accepting the Biblical revelation that Jesus is God incarnate? (Hint: A naturalistic vs. super-naturalistic worldview; and elevating reason and rationalism over revelation)