At the heart of Christmas is a birth announcement. A baby boy is born, and this baby is the long awaited Messiah who has been promised from old. But who is this baby in a manger in Bethlehem? According to John, the baby born of the virgin is God who became a man.
John starts his gospel long before the manger scene. In fact, John starts at the very beginning when God was all there was. Here is what he says.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4)
In this introduction, John takes us to eternity past and says the Word was with God and was God. Here we find the Word in an eternal relationship with God, while at the same time being God. This is the glorious doctrine of the Trinity, that God who is One in being is also Three in personhood. There is only one God, and that one exists in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
In verse two, the Word is given the pronoun, “He” and credited for creating everything that ever was created. This means the eternal Son of God was not created, but the creator of all that was created. John goes on to say “In him was life,” show that the eternal Son is the very author of life, including your life.
And then comes Christmas: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
The eternal Word who was with God and is God, became a human being and dwelt among us. This is the glory of the manger scene in your nativity set. The little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes is actual God in the flesh! The second person of the Triune God left heaven to inhabit a virgin’s womb and become a man just like you and I.
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. (John 1:18)
John reminds us that God is unseeable, because He is invisible (God is Spirit). However, Jesus who is the “only God” at the Father’s side, He became visible through the incarnation so we could see and behold God. Jesus came to exegete the Father, so that all who see Him (or read about Him in the Bible) have seen the Father (John 14:8-9).
And this is the wonder of Christmas, that God the Son became a man to reveal God the Father to us. And for all who believe and receive who Jesus is and what Jesus did for them, they get the right “to become children of God” (John 1:11).
Do you believe?