Matthew Henry in his commentary tells of a 15th century Reformed scholar and theologian, Francis Junius, who reported that after his first reading of John chapter 1 he was struck amazed.
He said “that he observed such a divinity in the argument, such an authority and majesty in the style, that his flesh trembled, and he was struck with such amazement that for a whole day he scarcely knew where he was or what he did; and thence he dates the beginning of his being religious.” (Matthew Henry)
Such is the effect of this writing of John which presents Christ as the divine Logos, the Word become flesh.
That’s why one of our special Christmas traditions is watching our favorite movie, The Gospel of John. Every word in this dramatized version comes straight from the Good News Bible. It’s like watching the entire Gospel in action, and it penetrates even the deepest recesses of our hearts.
Because the incarnation is the greatest of all miracles.
And the one which seemed the most impossible and improbable. Not because coming to earth and becoming human was too difficult for Christ. Nothing could ever be too difficult for the omnipotent Creator of the universe.
But because the incarnation was of God’s choosing.
He chose to send his Son, and Christ chose to come. Out of his love for humanity and his desire to change man’s course for eternity, the king of all the universe stooped down to become Emmanuel, God with us.
This is mind-boggling. So mind-boggling that we too should be struck amazed, like Francis Junius. I think we sometimes forget the significance of those words. Or is that we tend to lose sight of his glory?
John’s is the Gospel which most captures the majesty and authority of who and what Christ is. Christ’s glory had so gripped him that is what he saw as he penned his Gospel. And that which later enabled him to stand fast through persecution and exile on the island of Patmos.
And this is why it so grips our hearts. And has gripped hearts through the centuries ever since Christ’s advent.
The incarnation of Christ is the pivotal point of our Christian faith.
The whole of Christian theology rests on it. Without it, we could neither know God to the degree that we do, or have any assurance of salvation or of the resurrection.
But he, the Creator of the universe, the all-knowing, all powerful God chose to come that we may know him and his salvation. He came in the flesh, the Messiah King and Servant Son, to become the Savior of the world, while never ceasing to be the great I am.
My prayer this Christmas is that we would all keep the awesomeness of Christ’s advent in mind.
That we not be taken in by the hustle and bustle of shopping and activities, no matter how good they may be. That we not remain transfixed by trees and decorations that get packed away to gather dust the rest of the year. But that we may be so awestruck over the glory and majesty of the miracle of Emmanuel, God with us, that all else dims by comparison.
And that reflecting on the greatness and the majesty of God would help us to realize how small we really are and how ever much we need him. For only by becoming small do we truly comprehend his greatness and majesty.
The light of the world has come, that the darkness will never be able to put out!
Watch the trailer of the film The Gospel of John. I’m sure you won’t regret it. But I really recommend getting a copy to watch over and over. This is one film we should wear out!
Image by MK817 from Pixabay.