Most Church would never consider reading John’s account of Christ during the Christmas season. Matthew and Luke normally receive all the limelight. However, John’s testimony of the Christ includes an important aspect from a very different perspective, which should be read and enjoyed. Therefore, I am going to share the Christmas story through the eyes of John in hopes that it will be included in your homes Christmas day.
“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 were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5).
The Logos (Word), to the Greeks, was thought of as a bridge between the transcendent God and the material universe. To put it another way, the Logos was the mediating principle between God and the world. John introduces a very familiar concept any good Jew or Gentile would have recognized, yet trumps their preconceived notions. The Logos John speaks about here is not just a mediating principle between God and the world. The Logos is God. He is divine. John also states that the Logos gives life. In Greek traditions, the gods rarely interacted with its creation. This God is different though. He cares enough to bring life to His creation.
He also brings light in order that His people can see clearly. Have you ever stubbed your toe in the dark because you could not see? I am sure many of us have at one point or another. However, if we had turned on a light, we most likely would not stub or toe because we could see where we were walking. With all the obstacles that could present it to us when it is dark, turning on a light seems to make a lot more sense. This principle not only works in a very humanistic way but also in our personal walks with God. No wonder the Psalmist wrote, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).
Light is also an interesting concept to consider. God spoke light into being. He said it and light was. The Word of God spoke light into being. In John 1, we are told that the Logos brought life – and life was the light of men. Now if Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” in John 8:12, and God spoke light into being in Genesis 1, is it then possible to assume that When Jesus spoke light into existence, He was essentially giving Himself to the world? In my eyes, it seems to fit pretty well. In Genesis 1, The Word gives His Light for the world. And, as John 1:5 states, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” So here we see Jesus manifested as both the Logos and the Light that gives life. Once again, this makes sense. Without light, there can be essentially no life. Before we go off on a tangent though, let’s continue our Christmas story:
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. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known (John 1: 14-18).
Our final part of the Christmas story is very unique. This Logos and Light becomes flesh. We know in the other Gospels this part of the story. We know how the Angel approached Mary and how she gave birth to Jesus in a Cave where animals were kept. What we learn though is significant. From the beginning of creation, God dwell among His creation. For a short time, God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden God had made. When sin came into existence, our relationship with God was weakened. A tragic blow occurred when man sinned. Since that moment, God has attempted to dwell with His creation once again. In the story of Exodus for example, God had the Israelites make a tabernacle so that God’s presence could dwell in the camps of the people. Throughout the whole Old Testament, we can see God chasing after His people. When Jesus is born, it is not just another pregnancy with strange circumstances. The Logos became flesh – and dwelled among men. God’s desire to dwell among His creation was fulfilled through Jesus. The Father’s love for us is so great that “He sent His own Son so that all whom believed in Him should not die but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus brings life and the Light brings life… I wonder if they are connected somehow…
No one has ever seen God in His glorified state. His very existence in that form would kill our flesh. We could not take its brilliance or splendor. The only way we could know God is if God came to earth to know us. And that is exactly what He did. Through Christ, we know the Father and are known by Him.
So this Christmas season, don’t forget the Christmas story John presents. It might not be your traditional reading for Advent but it is another perspective that rarely gets read. John gives us the good news of Christ – the Word, the Light, the Truth, and the Life – in his Gospel. It is my hope that the Logos will shine upon you this year as you celebrate the birth of the Word. God bless.