Implications of the Incarnation: Flesh, the Word Became
“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
This week, Dan focuses our attention on what it means for Jesus to have come to earth in the flesh. Oftentimes it is difficult to wrap our minds around Jesus beyond a baby in a manger or a man, however, he too went through the same developmental processes as any human child.
“Jesus in the flesh in some ways is an intensification of the notion of covenantal love, that God’s loyal love in the flesh is a pursuit of us and a pursuit of our body.”
Dan cites multiple sources throughout this episode, such as medieval theologian Gregory Naziazen’s comment “the unassumed is the unredeemed,” Psalm 22:1, Philippians 2:8, and a poem entitled “Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop” by William Butler Yeats.
“In the poem, and in so many ways, it is coming to the bind that we are all in—the fluctuations between trying to have control over our body, always with the sense that somehow we are doing good and preparing ourselves for the heavenly mansion and escaping the foul sty.”
In particular, Dan focuses on a concluding phrase in the poem that reads:
“But Love has pitched his mansion in
The place of excrement”
Dan compares this phrase to the idea that Christ has, in a sense, “pitched his mansion in the place of excrement” by indwelling our bodies.
A misconception commonly held about Jesus having both a divine and human nature is that it was somehow easier for him to be a man than what we experience and suffer. However, Luke 2:52, Dan cites, implies that Jesus too had to fight daily to move his body into obedience in order to fulfill his calling and to make the exchange.
“The reality of Jesus in the flesh means that my own war has already been won by the one who stood on my behalf. Not only that, but he’s actually sanctifying my flesh even in the midst of providing me his righteousness as a result of his faithfulness.”
Because Jesus dwells within us in our flesh, we can enter into the drama and delight of our flesh; the desires and impulses that are both broken and beautiful.
“There’s something about Jesus becoming flesh that brings both honorific glory and the tension of what obedience brings, and that is a willingness to celebrate but also to enter the battle.”
Listen to the first episode in the series, Implications of the Incarnation: The Word Made Flesh.