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A New Messenger and Message

Posted by Paul McDill on

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 bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.
— John 1:14-18

Jesus Christ came to earth to show us God. He was both the messenger and the message. Throughout the Old Testament, God had spokesmen. They were called prophets. Prophets  spoke on behalf of God. God would give them a message, and they would, in turn, proclaim it to the people. You could think of this much like a presidential press secretary today. The job of the press secretary is not to relay to the people their own personal thoughts or desires. Their job is to represent the president. Nobody really cares what the press secretary thinks about issues. They only care that he gives accurate representation of the president’s opinion and desires.

The prophets of the Old Testament functioned much the same way. They represented God to the people of Israel. Through the prophets, God would make known his desires and opinions.

When Jesus came, however, he raised the bar as a prophet. He didn’t just come with the message, he came as the message. The scripture says that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. In other words, the message of God was embodied for the world to see. And what was that message? The message that Jesus embodied was grace and truth.

He came to proclaim and show the message of grace and truth. Everywhere Jesus went, you see grace and truth on display. In fact, many thought the grace flowed too freely. Suddenly, this grace was available not just for the “righteous” but for sinners as well. It wasn’t just the religious people who could gain access to God now, it was the reprobate, the reprehensible, and the wretched. Everywhere Jesus went, he attracted those who needed grace and repelled those who couldn’t come to grasp that they were in need of a savior.

As you celebrate Christmas this year, celebrate Jesus. Celebrate that he came to be the messenger and the message of God’s grace and truth.

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