To some folk Christmas is a mainly social celebration, a good time to see us through the dark and cold end of the year. To others it is a mainly commercial opportunity, which seems to be starting earlier each year. But at the heart of the Christian celebration of Christmas is the truth expressed in John 1:14: ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us’. What a pity so many people miss the implications of the Incarnation – literally, God made flesh.
But this raises a question: Why was the Incarnation necessary? Romans 8:3 puts it pithily – ‘What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like our sinful nature, to do away with sin.’ In 1 Timothy Paul puts it powerfully. He declares that there is only one God, only one mediator between God and human beings, Jesus Christ, who gave himself to ransom the whole human race. That was why the Incarnation was needed.
Readings: Romans 8:1 – 4, 1 Timothy 2:1 – 7
Questions to think about:
- Why was the Incarnation necessary? (Romans 8:1 – 4, I Timothy 2:1 –7)
- What does Incarnation mean? (see John 1:14)
- Why was the Incarnation absolutely necessary?
- In 1 Timothy 2:5 Paul declares that there is one God, and one mediator between God and human beings, the man Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all people. What sort of ransom was this, and what are the implications of it for Paul, and for us? (see I Timothy 2:7)