The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.
John 1:1-28 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
19 This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”
24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27 It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
There are those today and have been those throughout history, who question and debate the accuracy and the validity of scripture. Their criticisms of God’s word range anywhere from reducing it to simply being man inspired and man written; to a collection of myths, fables and fairytales. Many of those who point toward it human authorship will point out inconsistencies in wording or slight differences in the recording of certain accounts to discredit the Bible’s accuracy and eliminate the true source of authorship. A major part of the debate regarding scripture centers around the idea that it is as some say, the inerrant word of God; or that it is to be read understood and accepted as literal truth. Rather than dissect and debate portions of God’s word looking for inaccuracies, inconsistencies, contradictions or anything else which might discredit it, we should accept and understand that there definitely was and is human involvement in its writing and its translation, both into various languages and into more understandable verbiage. We should be willing to accept and agree then that the inaccuracies and inconsistencies are rooted and grounded in man and in the insufficient languages of man. Take for example, the English word love. There are at least six different words in the original Hebrew and Greek languages of the Bible which are translated to the single word love in English. Does it make the Bible inaccurate, does it make God a liar, simply because the English language uses the same word to describe the way we feel about a spouse, a parent, a child, a sibling, and also our favorite song, color, sports team or pizza topping?
We should instead look and understand what 2 Timothy 3:16 says about scripture: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (KJV) All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. (NASB) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (NIV) All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. (NLT) Two important distinctions for us to see and understand are first that it says all scripture, not every scripture. It is important that we read and understand scripture in the light of other scriptures. We should not take verses out of context or apply what was said in one particular instance to one person or group as applicable today or in every situation unless the rest of scripture supports it. There is an ancient proverb about blind men and an elephant which goes something like this: In a distant village, a long time ago, there lived six blind men. One day the villagers announced, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.” They had never seen or felt an elephant before and so decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.” And thus they went down to the village to touch and feel the elephant to learn what animal this was and they described it as follows: “Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg. “Oh, no! it is like a rope,” argued the second after touching the tail. “Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree,” the third man spouted after touching the trunk. “It is like a big hand fan” said the fourth man feeling the ear. “It is like a huge wall,” sounded the fifth man who groped the belly . “It is like a solid pipe,” Said the sixth man with the tusk in his hand. They all fell into heated argument as to who was right in describing the big beast, all sticking to their own perception. A wise sage happened to hear the argument, stopped and asked them “What is the matter?” They said, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.” The wise man then calmly said, “Each one of you is correct; and each one of you is wrong. Because each one of you had only touched a part of the elephant’s body. Thus you only have a partial view of the animal. If you put your partial views together, you will get an idea of what an elephant looks like.” Looking at scripture as individual words or phrases rather than as a whole leads to poor understanding or perception of what is being said. The other thing that 2 Timothy 3:16 says is that although it was written by and translated and interpreted by people, scripture is God inspired, God breathed. Like creation itself, which God spoke into existence, and so is God breathed, the more we seek to understand the more understand we will have; along with more questions. There is no end to the depths, the magnitude and the intricacies of both creation and God’s word.
Today’s text says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it… And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. The one thing which is throughout all scripture, from Genesis to Revelation is God’s plan to redeem and restore man and creation from sin, because of His great love, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the One scripture reveals and He is one with the word. If we discredit scripture, we also discredit the One it reveals. Today’s text says: There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. Jesus says: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (John 3:16-21)
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit for Your word of truth and for the truth of Your word. Thank You for the revelation of Your plan of redemption found in Your word and in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Thank You for Your love revealed in Your word and in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.