Reflections on the Word Incarnate

By Ps Ho Wei Liang

As we draw close to the season of Advent, let us look full upon the miracle that John attempts to capture in these word, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made… The Word became flesh (emphasis mine) and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14).

In evangelical churches, we often discuss Jesus’ death and his resurrection. Rarely, however, do we speak of the Incarnation of Christ. But this astounding mystery—that God became human!—is the key that unlocks the rest of God’s revelations. Frederick Buechner describes the Incarnation as “a kind of vast joke whereby the creator of the ends of the earth comes among us in diapers.” But more importantly, he concludes, “Until we too have taken the idea of the God-man seriously enough to be scandalized by it, we have not taken it as seriously as it demands to be taken” (Faces of Jesus: A Life Story).

Indeed, the incarnation extends the Son’s communion with his Father into our human existence, through the Spirit. And it is through the Spirit which joins us to the Son that we might know his Father as ours. The Son does not seek out the most perfect human being in order to unite with him or her. Rather, he takes on human nature as it is.  There exists an infinitesimal ontological distance between God and creature. Yet the Son enters our existence and our being, to forevermore live his divine life in our human nature (Rev. 1:13). He “made himself nothing” (Phil. 2:7) in order to grant us a life-giving and life-transforming share in his holy communion with the Father.

If the Word had not become flesh, we remain in darkness, dead, evil, guilty, foolish, enslaved. But with the Incarnation, all who believed have been transformed from darkness to light, death to life, evil to righteousness, guilt to innocence, folly to wisdom, slavery to freedom and more. For in the Incarnation, the God-man recreated us as humans-with-God. Hallelujah! What a wondrous miracle is this? All praise and glory to Him!