“The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14 NASB).
“Dwelt” is an unusual word.
It means to live among.
One version uses the phrase “moved into the neighborhood.”
Everything starts with this fact—that Christ was in the world. He left heaven for a remote village in a forgotten province, to join a despised race, to be born of an obscure teenage peasant girl in a stable, wrapped in rags, placed in a feeding trough instead of a crib.
He was one of us and walked among us.
God himself came down and entered the human race. He moved into the neighborhood and became just like us so that we would hear him saying, “I love you.”
Theologians use a particular word to talk about this. They call the birth of Christ the “Incarnation.” That word means God came to earth and shared our humanity.
The infinite became finite.
The immortal became mortal.
The Creator became the created.
The omnipotent lived inside a young girl’s womb.
The Almighty became a helpless baby.
The Deity was wrapped in rags.
The King of the Universe was born in a stable.
As Martin Luther put it, “He whom the worlds could not enwrap yonder lies in Mary’s lap.”
Read the New Testament again. Instead of flash and splash, there is a frightened father, an exhausted mother, a dirty stable in wintertime, rags for diapers, and a feeding trough. There he is, ignored by the world—a tiny, helpless baby. Immanuel—God with us.
It’s so simple you know it must be true. Only God would have done it that way.
A young man sat in my office and listened as I explained the gospel to him. Finally he said, “I just can’t believe all that stuff.” So I asked him, “What would it take for you to believe?” “I would believe if God came down and stood in front of me and told me himself,” he said. “My friend, he already has come down,” I replied. “He came down 2,000 years ago and lived among us. If you don’t believe that, then I have nothing better to offer you.”
One of the verses of a famous Christmas carol says it very well:
Veiled in flesh the God-head see; hail the incarnate Deity.
Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark, the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King.”
Jesus moved into our neighborhood. Have you met your new neighbor yet?
Lord Jesus, we are glad you moved into our neighborhood. If you had stayed in heaven, we would never have met you. Thank you for making us part of your forever family. Amen.
Musical bonus: Christmas must become personal for each of us. Let’s listen as Sovereign Grace Music sings Prepare Him Room.