What Just Happened?

Read: John 1:1-18

The Word became flesh. (v. 14)

Yesterday, the world celebrated Christmas. From church services and Bible readings, to presents and special foods, to connecting with other believers and with friends and family—regardless of our physical location or life station, Christmas Day is different from other days. The world seems to pause for celebration and reflection. But what really happened?

In these last days of 2023, I want us to understand what John means when he says, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (v. 14). Christmas is not only a baby named Jesus born in Bethlehem. This baby is somehow the eternal Word of God now appearing in flesh like ours: skin wrapped around bone and muscle, in Mary’s arms. This child existed with God in the beginning and is himself God (v. 1). He is the one by whom “all things were created” and in whom “all things hold together” (Col. 1:16-17).

This makes God’s Word, the Bible, different from any other book we read or any other religion’s sacred text. The Bible is more than a dogma to be stated, rules to obey, or a guide to self-improvement. In this book we encounter a person. That person made us, loves us, redeems us, saves us, sanctifies us, and gives us a hope and a future. This book itself says “the word of God is living and active” (Heb. 4:12). No wonder Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

As you pray, behold the beauty of God’s eternal Word in Bethlehem’s manger.

About the Author

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series The Gift of God's Word