Jesus: All The Way Down To The Bottom

Text: John 1:1-18

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

There was an old professor that once wrote today’s Gospel reading on a dusty old blackboard.  He wrote:

“And the Word [Jesus] became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory.”

Once he got done writing John chapter one, verse 14, he paused and underlined the words, “the Word became flesh.”  But then he paused again and said, “No, that isn’t right.”  So, he erased the blackboard and walked away from the front toward the students in the classroom.  He walked between the desks to the middle of the classroom and got down on his hands and knees with his chalk.  Taking the chalk, he wrote on the floor, “The Word became flesh.” Yes, you heard that right; he wrote, “The Word became flesh,” on the floor by the student's feet.  Once he got done writing, he dusted his hands off, got up, and said, “That is much better.”

The professor then looked at the students while pointing to the floor, saying,

“The Word [Jesus] became what’s sitting in your chair [- He became a man].  Jesus came all the way down to where you are [by being born].  There is no distance for you to go to get to Him.  No ladders for you to travel up.  He's at the bottom with you.”

Dear friends, this is what John means when he says, “The Word [Jesus] became flesh.”  This is what Christmas is all about.  Christmas is about Jesus coming to the bottom to be with you and me.[1]  The Son of God put on human flesh to place Himself right alongside you and me. 

Now, we must be careful at this point to understand that when Jesus put on human flesh to come to the bottom to be with us that He did not somehow lose His Majesty.  To get to the bottom to be with humanity, Jesus did not have to empty Himself of what is called His divine nature.  He did not have to strip off his divinity to put on humanity.  He did not have to become ‘less’ God to become ‘more’ human.  No, Jesus is fully God; however, when He put on human flesh in the womb of Mary and was born in Bethlehem, He had to become humble.  Yes, humble.

If you think about it, Jesus putting on human flesh and being born in Bethlehem is the exact opposite of what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. 

Adam and Eve, they wanted to be like God so they turned inward to their desires and their wisdom. Adam and Eve looked inward to their greatness and upward because they  wanted to be as wise as God. However, Christ is the exact opposite. He turned away from His divine heavenly majesty and turned outward to humanity by putting on human flesh to come down to the bottom to be with us.

Dear friends, pride turns humanity – you and me – inward to our so-called greatness and causes us to want to climb to the heights of power and prestige. The humility of Christ does the opposite.  His humility turned Him outward in love to you and me and caused Him to descend to the depths of the weakness of our sin to be with us. 

And so, we must never forget that there in Bethlehem’s cave was no hopeless babe but the humble hope of the world.  There in Israel was no dim light, but the humble radiant dawn over a humanity shrouded in the darkness of sin. There in that manger was humble salvation and victory for sinners – hope and future for sinners.  Yes, in that dark cave was the God-Man Jesus Christ with all of His majestic powers, but powers He abstained from using due to His humility.

So, what this means is that no matter your circumstances and no matter how low and dark you are in your sins, you have the Son of God right there with you.  Even if you are experiencing grief or are sick or are lonely and depressed – if you feel like your stain of sin is too much – do not despair.   Do not despair but give glory to God.  Give glory because the message of Christmas is that the Son of God came and put Himself right into the depths of this messed up world to be your Savior to bear your sin.  The Lord Jesus Christ – the Word – became flesh so that He might be a brother to you so that you might approach Him without fear, but approach Him in faith.  Yes, He is not only your Creator and Redeemer but a brother to you – like you in flesh and blood. 

Dear Baptized Saints, Jesus is the exact kind of Savior that you need.  If Jesus did not have His divine nature, you would be stuck in your sins because only God can forgive sins. And if Jesus did not put on human flesh with humility, well, he would be an apathetic God and we would be stuck in our sins.

Jesus came in humility so that He might not terrify us but show mercy by nestling in a manger. This God-Man – Jesus Christ - is not our enemy. He is flesh and blood like you and me. He absorbs our sin and suffers and dies on the cross for you and me. He is God with us in our sin and shame.  .

This is the Good News of Christmas.  Christ did not come to be too high and lofty for sinners. Christ also did not lose His divine Majesty in putting on human flesh. But He came in humility to sink so low that none of your sins could escape His humble life and humble death on the cross for you.  There is no distance between Him and you. 

Merry Christmas, the Word became flesh to come all the way down to you.

In the name of Jesus. Amen. 

[1] This story is about Norman Nagel.  It is indebted to William Weedon’s sermon on John 1:1-14. 

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