The Biblical doctrine of the incarnation (in-flesh-ing) of God requires us to accept two equal realities-that Jesus was FULLY God (Deity) and, at the same time, FULLY human. He was always and at all times 100% both. Now, like Mary, we try to grasp that reality and ask, “How can this be?” How can God come down to us in flesh? How can the same flesh we all wear bear within it “all the fullness of the Deity (godhead/Trinity) in bodily form? How can Trinity be contained in humanity? How can God come wrapped in the body of a baby?
And yet, that is precisely what the Bible teaches. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” This Word that was the creative energy that called creation into existence…that was the second Person of the Trinity….the Son of God….became flesh and “pitched His tent” (lived) among us.
I sometimes think we have less trouble thinking about God….the God Who is “out there,” the God Who is beyond us, the God Who is transcendent….than we do thinking about God coming near to us. But to use Mark Batterson’s descriptive phrase, we must accept that God is “high” and at the same time that God is “nigh.”
It’s the “nigh” part that bothers us. It is the nearness and humanity of Jesus that countless false teachers and cult religions have tried to explain away. It is the humanity of Jesus that we stumble over, that the religious scholars of Jesus’ day stumbled over….that we try to explain away. We don’t want a God Who is “nigh”; not really. Because if we can understand Him, we are responsible to obey Him. If we can know Him, we are challenged to live or die for Him. If we can begin to understand Him, then we can draw near to Him.
If the Word has become flesh and dwells among us, we can follow Him. And that is precisely what Christmas calls us to do.
Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect…. (Hebrews 2:17a)
FOR REFLECTION: Do you sometimes find it difficult to think about Jesus as God with flesh and blood?