By Mary Kroeger
Jesus Christ was the Word made flesh. (John 1:14) How can the Word be made flesh? How can a word be alive? It is difficult for us to mentally picture the Word in the form of a man and to realize that everything in God is alive! The words we speak can bring knowledge and produce emotions, but they cannot birth new words and make replicas of themselves. The word that comes out of God's mouth is different. It is birthed in God; it is birthed in life! It comes forth as Him! In God there is no death - there is only life!
His Word is life. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me." (John 14:6)
We need words to communicate with others. It is interesting to note that Jesus is not "Words" made flesh. He is the "Word" made flesh. Christ is everything that is needed for God to communicate the very essence of His being to us! "In Him is life, and His life is the light of men!" (John 1:4) He is the light we need. It takes us out of the darkness of our carnality, and births us into the life of Christ - the Word of God!
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) The Word was birthed in the very everlasting life that God is. There can be no corruption, and nothing perishable in everlasting life! Since God is eternal and His Word is eternal, they are one. Our finite minds cannot understand the unity that is in the spirit!
The Word came into this world to reveal the invisible God to us. "And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature." (Heb.1:3) He came to us in the form of a human body. He was born of a woman. Through Mary He received a body of flesh, but His life was the life of the Word. He grew, developed and matured like we do, but without sinning. He also had to learn obedience through sufferings. Yet He was different!
What made Him different? We come into this world, dead in trespasses and sins. Christ came into this world in life! His physical body hid that life. People could see Him grow and develop, not only physically, but also spiritually! At the tender age of 12, the priests marveled at His knowledge of God! What made Him different? He was a man from heaven! He did not have a carnal mind of death like we do! His mind could understand spiritual realities!
We marvel at Christ's humility! He, the Creator of the universe, humbled Himself to the extent of taking on human form, emptying Himself, thus setting aside His privileges and omnipotence. He lowered Himself to the confines of a human body. (Phil. 2:5-8) He had to grow in the knowledge of God, and learn obedience by only doing what the Father showed Him to do. He had to be willing to endure rejection, loneliness, mocking, shame and the torture of crucifixion from mortal man! He withstood every temptation the devil could set before Him!
What enabled Him to be victorious? It was the invisible life within Him! It shone forth in the power of the Holy Spirit! After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, He received the Holy Spirit in full measure, and the Father testified of Him saying, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased."
The Father's testimony of Him did not change His outward appearance. Only Peter, James and John saw the transfigured Christ for a brief time on the Mount of transfiguration. There His face shone as the sun!
Although no one else saw the transfigured Christ, His life and testimony bore witness to the fact that He was indeed, the promised Messiah! He testified to this fact when He said that He was the truth and the life! All the miracles He performed proved that He was not an ordinary man. His authority over nature and demons was remarkable! He even forgave sins! He spoke with authority and even raised the dead, yet people refused to believe Him! They marveled at His wisdom, yet refused to believe Him! Why? Was it because He looked so completely human? Was it because He revealed what was in their hearts and that was not a pretty picture? Did their preconceived ideas not fit the reality? What was the basic problem?
I believe their basic problem lay in the fact that they did not love the truth. They loved themselves, their honor and control more! Jesus was different! He did not have the serpent's mindset - the mindset that Adam received after he sinned - the thinking that is always against God!
Here we see the great divide. We see the difference between the earthy and the spiritual; between that which has its source in the earth, and that which has its source in God! Adam's body was first ground, and then it was raised into life by the breath of God. Christ was first spirit, and then He set aside His privileges, and lowered Himself into being joined to the limitations of a human body formed of ground. His life had its source in God. His will was rooted in God's will - in the performance of perfect obedience! His body veiled the essence of His being. His body limited Him.
In addition to all that, there was another difference. God always does His will. He does not consult with others to determine what He should do. Jesus Christ, on the other hand, always consulted the Father. He only did what the Father showed Him to do! At the same time, His obedience showed His oneness and unity with the Father!! His obedience to the Father's directives proved that He was the Son of God! His bodily form, His spiritual growth and His limitations proved His union with humanity. He was the Word made flesh!
Phil. 2:5-8 tells us that we are to have the same attitude that Christ had. "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself (actually, "He laid aside His privileges"), taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
Spiritually, Jesus existed in the form of God, and that form is spirit. So the sprit within Christ was the spirit of God! He was content with that, for He did not grasp for equality with God. Instead, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the greatest extent possible! The spirit of God within Christ's body of flesh, enabled Him to do this!
Jesus Christ did not grasp for equality with God! He did not strive to be equal with God. If He had striven for equality, He would not have been a bond-servant. Pride seeks for equality; a bond-servant obeys! Pride willingly disobeys in exchange for honor; humility willingly suffers in order to do the Master's will! Here we see a difference between the carnal and the spiritual. The carnal wants control and is filled with pride. It wants to know better than God. It wants God to do its will the way it prescribes. It thinks it can offer God such good advice! The mind of the Spirit is different! It is one with the mind of God! This was exemplified in Christ! We are to have the same attitude of humility and obedience that Christ Jesus had!
Jesus Christ always obeyed God! He said what God wanted Him to say, even though it made life hard for Him. He did the things God wanted Him to do even though it made the hierarchy so angry that it wanted to kill Him!
So the question comes to us, can a bond-servant be fully equal with his master? Is it possible to be fully God and at the same time be fully human? In God there is no humanity - no ground! Christ had a human body formed of ground, like ours. He got hungry, tired and needed rest like we do. But His Spirit came from above. It was housed in a body of flesh. He was a man from heaven in a body that had limitations! God, on the other hand, is not housed in a body. He is spirit; He is omnipresent! He is present everywhere at the same time!
It is difficult for our finite minds to truly understand how God revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, as well as the Son of God! As the Son of Man, He could die, overcome death, and be resurrected into life. As the Son of God He could not die, for the life of God cannot die! Jesus put His spirit into the hands of God before He died. His physical life died, but His spirit did not die.
What is the difference between the Son of God and the Son of Man? The Son of God is the Word of God. The Word is birthed out of God, and is therefore called the Son of God. There is no sin and no imperfection in Him, so it is eternally in the life of God! Therefore it is one with God! The Son of Man is the corporate second man. Adam is the first corporate man - the corporate man of death! In Adam all die! Christ is the second corporate mean - the corporate man of life. In Adam all die, and in Christ all are made alive! (1 Cor. 15:22) Therefore, Adam and Christ are two corporate men! Christ is the Son of Man. He took all humanity with Him in His death, and then overcame death! Jesus said, "The Son of Man will die," and "the Son of Man will rise." Since the Son of Man is the corporate Christ, He took all humanity with Him in His death as well as in His resurrection! He could do this because death had been overcome, and when death is overcome, humanity is no longer in death. "Even as in Adam all die, so in Christ will all be made alive." (1 Cor. 15:22)
This is wonderful news! Life is in Christ! Immortality is in Christ! He will not die again! There is no sin in Him! In Christ we are made alive! In Christ we live eternally!
This is God's message to us today. "In these last days He has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." (Hebrews 1:2-3) He is no longer the Christ who emptied Himself. "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete." (Col. 2:9) Christ's prayer in John 17:5 is continually being answered. "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."
God rewards obedience! "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2: 9-11) The sound of that glorious eruption of praise from every tongue that has ever lived is beyond our imagination! This is Christ's reward for His obedience during the greatest suffering that has ever been endured! How we praise God for His wonderful plan of salvation for the whole world!