John 1:1-14 – Christmas Day
As we leave Matthew for a moment, there is an opportunity to do some additional connection between Matthew and John.
Matthew and John are essential Gospels for our Triune Christology. Obviously, John’s first chapter helps by introducing Jesus as the Word in the beginning. But Matthew helps as well with the introduction of the prophecy of Isaiah (7:14), “‘and they shall name him Emmanuel,’ which means, ‘God is with us.’” And Matthew reinforces this point with the last line of the Gospel, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” John and Matthew are calling us to connect Jesus with the greater arc of scripture and God’s continued promise of presence among God’s people. Matthew connects Jesus to the greater promise that the prophets and the people of Israel received that the spirit of God would be with them. John connects Jesus to the Word that is in the beginning, the very breath that creates life.
As Christians we sometimes think about God’s presence only in terms of the human person of Jesus. God represented in the Hebrew scriptures feels too far away. The Spirit feels too abstract. But John and Matthew are calling us to see this person, this Jesus, throughout scripture. To see God interacting with people in those other times in the same way that Jesus interacted with those whom he encountered in Gospels. Jesus’ passionate language that we see as his deep love for this world, should be heard in the words of God at the beginning when they say, “It is good.” Jesus’ prophetic and harsh language in the Gospels should be heard in the voice of the prophets who cry for justice and peace.
As we celebrate Christmas and the incarnational God, how do we help our people to see God and God’s story as less abstract and more concretely connected to our own?
What would it mean for us to see Jesus not only in the Gospels but throughout scripture?
What would it mean to connect Jesus to our personal stories and faith journeys?