AND WE HAVE SEEN HIS GLORY
John chapter 1:1–14 could be viewed as the “un-Christmas” text. There is no talk of wise men traveling from the east, no shepherds in the field keeping their flocks by night, and no angelic host setting the Palestinian sky on fire with heavenly glory. It lacks even a single mention of Mary or her Virgin birth, her husband Joseph, and certainly no mention of the packed-out inn and the Christ-child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Yes, John chapter 1 lacks all the nostalgia we typically associate with the Christmas Story, but it is nevertheless no less about the birth of Jesus. But verse 14 holds a special place in the story of Jesus’ birth.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
How little it says about Jesus’ infant moments when first robed in flesh is almost mystifying. It says nothing at all. But it does tell us so much about the Baby born in Bethlehem. We can assume John’s silence on the birth narrative is for good reason. Sometimes what we don’t say is as important as what we do; truly less is more!
The God-man from God
Jesus, the man whose life John will tell us about in the remaining twenty chapters of his Gospel is the God-man—“hail incarnate deity!” God stepped into our time and our space enrobed in human flesh.
He became one of us, to save all of us.
Here is John’s point—God has come! God has come like us, and God has come for us! For a wayward race, God came and did something totally unexpected—He revealed his glory in sinless flesh to redeem us who are suffering from sin in the flesh.
Show Us The Father
As Jesus is wrapping up his earthly ministry and preparing for his crucifixion Philip says to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” To this Jesus replies: “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:8–9)
It has been said that it is important to always identify the question behind the question. What is the question behind Philip’s question? “Lord, show us the Father’s Glory?” It is a good question, but Philip, like ourselves, he misses the point. The Father has already revealed his glory… “and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” What an encouraging thing.
Full of Grace and Truth
This year, let this be our prayer—that we might see the Father’s glory. But let us be reminded that the glory of the Father is only seen with the eyes of faith. The glory of our loving heavenly Father is Jesus, full of grace and truth.