3 September 2019

SUMMER REBOOT – this podcast was originally published on 21 May 2019.

Welcome to Tuesday’s podcast. Yesterday we finished Mark’s gospel and today we’re jumping into John’s gospel at chapter 1vs 1-18 but today I’ll focus on verse 14:

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


Do you like camping?

As a child I loved it. I have very fond memories of camping. It’s probably nostalgia but I can remember warm summer days with friends and thinking it was utter bliss.

For the past two years we’ve camped with our children at a Christian festival. It was a different experience to the one I remember as a teenager.

Camping with kids we became very aware of the following: You can hear literally people’s conversations. You can hear exasperated parents parenting their children. Not to mention night time. This is when people’s different approaches to parenting really kick in… Last year one family quite close to us had a very young child that didn’t like to sleep. We could hear the parent use the ‘hush technique’ and as the child’s screams got louder so did the parent’s hushes – so did my levels of frustration.

What we learned about camping as a family is that is that one can become very connected to the people around you whether you want it or not – separated only a thin layer of canvas.

First, some background.

As we start this epic journey through John’s gospel we read verses 1-18 known as the ‘prologue’ – in other words it’s extra – really significant – information the gospel writer John provides at the start of his gospel. There is so much to unpack and there’s much to say on the prologue (and I don’t have the time) but it’s worth saying that John tells us some significant things about Jesus.

He tells us this: before the creation of the world – Jesus existed. Just hold that thought for a moment. Before everything was made – He was there. He has existed from the beginning.

John tells us that he’s called the ‘word’. What is the ‘word’? To Jewish people it an aspect of God. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘you’re as good as your word’ – to know what someone is like we can observe them; read about them; learn about them – but we only really know them when we hear them speak – when we hear their words. Their thoughts reveal their inner life – their thinking, their mind and their heart. The ‘word’ is so powerful and so revealing. The spoken and written word reveal who God is.

In fact, verse 3 says that God’s word has such power ‘through him all things were made’ – in fact he speaks creation into being. His word brings life, it’s the definition of life – he is the source of all life.  And John is telling us that Jesus is the ‘word of God’ – in fact he tells us that Jesus is the ‘word became flesh’.

So what about the camping story then? How does that fit?

In fact verse 14 states ‘The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…’

In this context ‘dwelling’ is another way of saying – ‘he has pitched his tent among us…’ This has huge significance. For people first reading this – it would have been huge. But what about us today on this Tuesday in May?

God pitches his tent next to us.

Just think about that?

One of the incredible truths of the Christian story – which people of other religions find really hard to grasp – is that God chooses us. He enters history. He’s born both human and divine. He enters the muck and rubbish of this world. He literally gets his hands dirty. He draws alongside the people who would never darken his door and says “you’re mine”.

Because the ‘word’ becomes flesh – it means that God experiences humanity on an unprecedented scale. Just look at Jesus’ life – all that he experienced. In Isaiah is says ‘he is familiar with all of our ways’.

What does Tuesday bring? Exams? Revision? A sense of stress? Unresolved relationship issues? A concern about the future?

God has pitched his tent near by. He can hear your conversations – both out loud and in your heart.

The truth is that when we pray to Him – we don’t speak to one who is not familiar or who doesn’t understand but one who knows exactly what life is like.

His familiarity means we pray, we bring our concerns, our whole life – to the one who knows us everything about us.

It says in the book of James 4:8 ‘draw near to God and he will draw near to you…’

Just think on this: the one who spoke the whole world into being has pitched his tent next to you! Wow… The question is – just how will we respond?


Thank you Jesus for your incredible grace. That you draw near to us! Help us understand that more this day. Amen

READING: John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, ‘This is the one I spoke about when I said, “He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.”’) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.