3.4.2 The incarnate Word

John 1: 1-18 contains fundamental statements about the being of God and His revelation in the world. It speaks of the beginning and the source which defines all things and from which all things emanate. This beginning–which in itself is unconditional, and which transcends time–is closely associated with the term logos, as used in the original Greek text, which is usually translated as the "Word". This logos is the true power which marked the beginning of creation. Here, Word and God are directly correlated: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1: 1). God and the Word have both existed from eternity.


John 1: 14 attests to the presence of the logos on earth: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." The transcendent divine Word, which was in the beginning with God, now entered the earthly and human sphere. Moreover, it became flesh–the eternal Word itself became true Man.


The statement "and we beheld His glory" refers to the Son of God incarnate, to the historical reality of the "Word made flesh". Here the passage makes reference to the circle of witnesses to Jesus Christ's activity on earth. The Apostles and disciples had direct fellowship with Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh (1 John 1: 1-3).


The transcendent glory of the Father became historical reality in the earthly and directly perceptible glory of the Son. Accordingly, the Son of God was able to say of Himself: "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14: 9).


Hebrews 2: 14 gives the reason for the Word having become flesh: "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself [Jesus Christ] likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the Devil."