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Creating Flesh (5 of 52)
Series: Discipleship Part 2
Christopher B. Harbin
There is more than one way to tell a story. We tell stories in different ways to stress one or another point. Matthew told us of Jesus' genealogy with its moments of shame. Luke gave us a picture of the importance of Jesus' birth couched in reflections on the upheaval of social structures Jesus would encourage. Mark skips Jesus' birth story entirely to get on with his narrative of a message he demands be repeated over and over. There is nothing wrong with different perspectives. The emphases are different and designed to steer us to varied ways of considering particular issues at hand.
The Gospel of John tells a different kind of Christmas story than the ones we are more accustomed to. John says nothing about sheep, shepherds, angelic choirs, stables, donkeys, pregnancy or marriage. John's story is much more straightforwardly theological verse. He starts off with a reference to the Genesis 1 account of creation, and then he moves to speak of God coming to earth in human flesh. While the other gospels only hint gradually at Jesus' divinity, it is John's starting point.
''To begin with was the Word, and that Word was with God, and God was that Word.'' John reminds us how Genesis began its account, declaring God at the beginning of the story that matters to us. John plays on the theme of how Genesis 1 portrayed God breathing life and order into existence by speaking the Word of God's will. It is to that living, making, organizing, creating aspect of God, John points our attention as he opens his narrative regarding Jesus.
Instead of introducing us to Jesus and later returning to tell us in what way Jesus was more than human, John starts off by speaking of God's active presence creating life and then creating flesh to dwell among us. He speaks of God's active, creative Word, which Genesis labeled God's Spirit or Breath. He calls us to ponder how that Word created lif ...
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