God’s Baby Talk

Ken Eriks

Read: John 1:1-14

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory. (v. 14)

John Calvin says that when God speaks to us, he “lisps with us as nurses are wont to do with little children” (Institutes 1.13.1). In other words, God speaks to us in baby talk. God does this, says Calvin, because God, who is love, never forgets that, compared to him, we are dependent, helpless, unknowing babies.

The Bible is full of such “baby talk.” When God speaks to people, he does not make grand arguments. God tells people as much as they need to know. He teaches his people by using examples and stories. And finally, God himself enters this world as a baby and becomes one of us. Jesus is God’s ultimate baby talk. Yet adults don’t always find it easy to hear his lisping sound. It can be difficult to set aside our own learning and expectations and really listen to Jesus. But if we are going to grow in faith, this is what Jesus asks us to do.

The essential miracle, says John, is that “the Word who was God . . . became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1, 14). All the sermons preached and books published over thousands of years are nothing more than footnotes to God’s speech to us through that baby (Heb. 1:1-2). It was a very small, very quiet gift that God gave at Christmas long ago. Only a baby. Only God himself. —Ken Eriks

Prayer: Lord God, give us childlike faith to hear and believe the truth about your Son born so long ago. In Jesus’ name. Amen.