Monday, November 1, 2021

John 1:14-18 Glory, Hypostatic Union, Son of God,


John 1:14-18 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word, i.e. God the Son became flesh. This is the Hypostatic Union.

Hypostatic Union: the human nature was united to the Divine.

(1) Miraculously (Luke 1:34,35); which was necessary to exempt the assumed human nature from Adam's sin (Luke 1:15). For God can have no fellowship with sin, and had Christ been a sinner He could not have satisfied for the sins of others (Heb 7:26).

(2) Integrally. Christ took a complete and perfect soul and body that He might heal the whole nature of that sin which had infected every member and faculty.

(3) With all its sinless infirmities (Heb 2:17; 4:15).

(4) So that each nature retains its own essential properties distinct, and the two understandings, wills, powers, etc., the human and the Divine are not confounded as Eutyches held.

(5) Inseparably. Although Christ's soul and body were divided at death, yet neither of them from the Divine nature.[1]

     This union is something that only God could initiate. It is not the same as all the mythical gods, some of whom had intercourse with women and fathered hybrids of gods and man. This is nothing like that. The real hard part to understand is how there could be two wills coexisting in one person. As we go through John, we will see places where one seems to be active and the other not.

     Have you seen Jesus’ glory? Only in the Bible do we see it now. But John saw Jesus transfigured on the mountain. He saw the resurrected Jesus and watched his ascension. It is important to see that John is establishing Jesus’ deity at the outset. As we saw last week, the other Gospels emphasized his humanity. So when detractors started saying Jesus wasn’t divine, John wrote to make sure we know it. Part of that is to attest that he saw Jesus glorified even while he was on earth.

     One and Only – Only Son from the Father (ESV), Only begotten from the Father (NAS), Only begotten of the Father (NKJ), Father’s one and only son (NLT). This is the crux of many an argument down through the ages and continues with cults today. They look at the word used and claim it means that Jesus was a created son of God. The term is used in Luke 7:12, 8:42, 9:38 to mean the only child of a parent.

John 1:14 of the only begotten of Father,) monogenous  pará  patrós

     Monogenous – We can only rightly understand the term "the only begotten" when used of the Son, in the sense of unoriginated relationship. "The begetting is not an event of time, however remote, but a fact irrespective of time. The Christ did not become, but necessarily and eternally is the Son. He, a Person, possesses every attribute of pure Godhood. This necessitates eternity, absolute being; in this respect He is not 'after' the Father."[2]

     Only begotten son is also a very Messianic term as seen in Psalm 2:7 and quoted in Acts 13:33, Hebrews 1:5, 5:5.

     Full of grace and truth.  Here is another problem for us – not for God but for us in that we often don’t associate grace and truth together. We think of grace being very nice to us and truth being harsh and hard to handle. In fact, that is what we see in one sense when we see Jesus. We see one who has been gracious to forgive us and die for us but also who has told us the truth that he is the only way to the Father. He has told us many truths, such as in the Sermon on the Mount that are hard to swallow because he expose our sinfulness. We love grace but don’t always embrace truth. Yet here is Jesus, full of both.

15 John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'"

     How is it that Jesus came after John the Baptist but was before him? JTB was born physically before Jesus by about 6 moths. Jesus surpasses JTB because he is God and because his ministry goes beyond calling people to repent. His ministry was to live a sinless life and die for our sins so that he could bring us to the Father. He is before JTB because he is eternal.

16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

     Vs. 16-17 are tied together. We understand the blessings we have received only as we look at the Law. The law convicts us of sin and condemns us as sinners. But the blessing of Jesus with his grace and the truth of our eternal future with him are in contrast with the law’s condemnation of sinfulness.

     No one has ever seen God. What about all those times in the Old Testament where Moses saw him or Isaiah saw him or Ezekiel? How do you explain these? Theophanies are physical manifestations that God provides for us to experience his presence. Since God is a spirit, there is no other way we can see him.

     Jesus has seen God because he is God and was with him before he took on a physical body. (God the one and only is literally “Only begotten God.” When we see the one and only used in this way it makes it clearer that Jesus can’t be considered a creation or a conceived son.)

     At the Father’s side is literally in the bosom. “The front of the body between the arms”[3] This indicates a much closer relationship than being at his side.

     Jesus has made the Father know to us. Jesus later told his disciples, “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:7 ESV). This is one of the primary goals of Jesus’ ministry. Salvation, reconciliation, propitiation, justification, redemption, and many of the other words Christians use point to the same thing. These are the things Jesus does so that we will be able to come before the Father and know him.

[1] The Biblical Illustrator Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 Ages Software, Inc. and Biblesoft, Inc.

[2] Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Thayer's Greek Lexicon, PC Study Bible formatted Electronic Database. Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc.

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