Advent 9 (2013): God’s Tabernacle

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

We’re looking at the Gospel of John during Advent and seeing Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up In-Person, in the Person of Jesus Christ.  Yesterday we saw that Four Simple Words changed everything.  From that starting point of radical transformation for humanity’s condition, God’s being “with us” (the meaning of Emmanuel) continues the powerful impact of the Incarnation.  It was a factual and precise moment with ongoing powerful results.

He made His dwelling among us. 

Literally LOVE “pitched His tent” or tabernacled with us, evoking images of the days in which God’s glory filled the tabernacle during the days of Moses.  Wherever the Israelites went, God’s presence went with them.  Now, Scripture tells us that God—in Jesus Christ—is now present among His people in a whole new way.  He is Emmanuel.  He is the Christ.

Jesus did NOT grow into godhood. Scripture is clear on that. 

This is the dividing line between real Christians and those pretender religions.

From the moment of the fertilized egg in Mary’s womb, the eternal God was made flesh and began dwelling among us.  He didn’t become God when His heartbeat was first evident.  He didn’t become God when He was viable to survive outside the womb.  He didn’t become God when He was birthed.  He didn’t come to tabernacle with us as a fully-formed baby stuffed under Mary’s shirt.  He didn’t become God only after He’d lived an impeccable life.

Yes, He was fully human only from the singular moment of the Holy Spirit’s overshadowing Mary. 

But, He was eternally God. 

Fully, eternally God.

Questions for pondering:

  1. Ponder the many ways in which the Incarnation is the pivot point of all history.  How is the Incarnation at Christmas a necessary prerequisite for Easter’s true meaning?
  2. Looking for a Messiah among men has been a chronic misunderstanding for faithful Jews.  How do the Four Simple Words of the Incarnation present the biggest stumbling block—and the KEY—to understanding of salvation?
  3. Jesus’ humanity was the earthly tent in which God dwelled among us.  What light does this shed on 2 Corinthians 5:4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life?
  4. In Jesus was life and that life was the light of men (John 1:4).  What does the Incarnation have to do with mortality and eternal life?
  5. How can any Bible-believing Christian reasonably be pro-abortion given the Incarnation?

dwellling among us


Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 9, 2013

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