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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 1 - Verse 14
The "Word" was made
man. This is commonly expressed by saying that he became incarnate. When we say that a being becomes incarnate, we mean that one of a higher order than man, and of a different nature, assumes the appearance of man or becomes a man. Here it is meant that "the Word," or the second person of the Trinity, whom John had just proved to be equal with God, became a man, or was united with the man Jesus of Nazareth, so that it might be said that he was made flesh
Was made. This is the same word that is used in Joh 1:3.
"All things were made by him." It is not simply affirmed that he
was flesh, but that he was made flesh, implying that he had pre-existence, agreeably to Joh 1:1.
This is in accordance with the doctrine of the Scriptures elsewhere. Heb 10:5: "A
body hast thou prepared me." Heb 2:14
Lu 1:35. The expression, then, means that he became a man, and that he became such by the power of God providing for him a body. It cannot mean that the divine nature was changed into the human, for that could not be; but it means that the Logos, or "Word," became so intimately united to Jesus that it might be said that the Logos, or "Word" became or was a man, as the
soul becomes so united to the body that we may say that it is one person or a man
And dwelt among us. The word in the original denotes "dwelt as in a tabernacle or tent;" and some have supposed that John means to say that the human body was a tabernacle or tent for the Logos to abide in, in allusion to the tabernacle among the Jews, in which the Shechinah, or visible symbol of God, dwelt; but it is not necessary to suppose this. The object of John was to prove that "the Word" became incarnate. To do this he appeals to various evidences. One was that he dwelt among them; sojourned with them; ate, drank, slept, and was with them for years, so that they saw him with their eyes, they looked upon him, and their hands handled him, 1 Jo 1:1.
dwell in a tent with one is the same as to be in his family; and when John says he tabernacled with them, he means that he was with them as a friend and as one of a family, so that they had full opportunity of becoming familiarly acquainted with him, and could not be mistaken in supposing that he was really a man
We beheld his glory. This is a new proof of what he was affirming- that THE WORD OF GOD became man. The first was, that they had seen him as a man. He now adds that they had seen him in his proper glory as God and man united in one person, constituting him the unequalled Son of the Father. There is no doubt that there is reference here to the transfiguration on the holy mount. See Mt 18:1-9.
here means majesty, dignity, splendour.
The glory as of the only-begotten of the Father
. The dignity which was appropriate to the only-begotten Son of God; such glory or splendour as could belong to no other, and as properly expressed his rank and character. This glory was seen eminently on the mount of transfiguration. It was also seen in his miracles, his doctrine, his resurrection, his ascension; all of which were such as to illustrate the perfections, and manifest the glory that belongs only to the Son of God.
these accounts it is bestowed on the Saviour.
1st. As he was eminently the Son of God, sustaining a peculiar relation to him in his divine nature, exalted above all men and angels, and thus worthy to be called, by way of eminence, his only Son. Saints are called his sons or children, because they are born of his Spirit, or are like him; but the Lord Jesus is exalted far above all, and deserves eminently to be called his only-begotten Son.
2nd. He was peculiarly dear to God, and therefore this appellation, implying tender affection, is bestowed on him.
Full of grace and truth. The word full here refers to the Word made flesh, which is declared to be full of grace and truth. The word grace means favours, gifts, acts of beneficence. He was kind, merciful, gracious, doing good to all, and seeking man's welfare by great sacrifices and love; so much so, that it might be said to be characteristic of him, or he abounded in favours to mankind. He was also full of truth. He declared the truth. In him was no falsehood. He was not like the false prophets and false Messiahs, who were wholly impostors; nor was he like the emblems and shadows of the old dispensation, which were only types of the true; but he was truth itself. He represented things as they are, and thus became the truth as well as the way and the life
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