Receiving the Word

Key Verse: “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
—John 1:14

Selected Scripture:
John 1:1-18

IN AN EARLIER LESSON, WE saw that the Scriptures point out Jesus as the Word (Greek, Logos) or mouthpiece of God, in particular as he served God in his prehuman existence. In due time, however, the Word offered to serve God in another way. He presented himself as the one to be sent to earth to provide for man’s redemption from sin and death. “Here am I; send me” (Isa. 6:8) was the heart desire of this faithful one, the only begotten Son of God. He left his heavenly glory and angelic position. God, through his mighty power, transferred the spark of life and identity of his Son into the womb of Mary. As the Key Verse says, ‘the Word was made flesh,’ by the power of his Father and, when born of Mary, he was given the name Jesus.

It was necessary that the Son of God, Jesus, be a human being in order to fulfill his role as man’s Redeemer. It was a human, Adam, who had disobeyed God’s law in the Garden of Eden, and who received the just penalty of death. It was through that disobedience, and the subsequent penalty of death, that all of Adam’s progeny fell under the same condemnation, for they all inherited the sinful condition from Adam through birth, from one generation to the next. (Ps. 51:5) None were spared in this regard. “As by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom. 5:12) Just as it was by one man that death had passed upon all, it was also by another man, Jesus, that release from condemnation came. Jesus, by being perfect, even unto death, took Adam’s place in death, thus releasing him and all his posterity from the condemnation that had been placed upon him. “As by the offence of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Jesus] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”—vs. 18

The Key Verse also points out that the reason Jesus could faithfully carry out this mission as man’s Redeemer, when no one else could, was that he was the only begotten Son of God, and was fully imbued with God’s character attributes. He was, in fact, perfect in every sense of the word. If Jesus had simply inherited the character of a human parent, say his mother Mary, he would have been incomplete and imperfect in some measure, and hence unable to provide the corresponding ransom price. However, although born of Mary, he was begotten of his Father, and his character was the same perfect likeness to God which he had displayed in his prehuman existence as the Logos. The ‘grace and truth’ qualities spoken of in the Key Verse represented the sum total of all the good, perfect, and godlike qualities which Jesus possessed in their fullness.

Unfortunately, not all received Jesus gladly at his First Advent, and in fact his enemies had him tried and crucified as a common criminal on baseless charges. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”—John 1:10-12

Dawn Bible Students Association
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