The Nature of the Incarnation

“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” (John 1:14).

John 1:14 is the most concise biblical statement of the Incarnation. The first four words, “the Word became flesh,” express the reality that in the incarnation God took on humanity; the infinite became finite; eternity entered time; the invisible became visible (cf. Col. 1:15); the Creator entered His creation. God revealed Himself to man in the creation (Rom. 1:18–21), in the Old Testament Scriptures (1 Cor. 2:7–14), and, supremely and most clearly, in Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:1–2).
Jesus Christ, God’s final “Word” to mankind (Heb. 1:1–2), “became flesh.”

That He actually “became” flesh affirms Jesus’ full humanity.
When John says He became flesh, this does not mean Christ ceased being the eternal Word when He became a man. In the Incarnation the unchangeable (Heb. 13:8) God did become fully man, yet remained fully God. Think of it—He entered the realm of creatures who are limited by time and space, and experienced life as it is for those He created.

No wonder Paul wrote of the Incarnation, “By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory” (1 Tim. 3:16).

Ask Yourself
Is the doctrine of Christ’s incarnation merely a subject for scholarly textbooks and sermons? Or does it have bearing on the everyday of every man and woman? How does the Incarnation affect your life and cement your salvation?

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610