The Berean Expositor
Volume 53 - Page 58 of 215
Index | Zoom
1: 15 - 28.
pp. 186 - 190
The Word came to the earth in "the likeness of sinful flesh" (Rom. 8: 3; note not "in
sinful flesh"), and "dwelt among us" (John 1: 14). The word "dwelt" expresses the
meaning of the Hebrew shaken, "to dwell as in a tabernacle or tent": "He pitched His
tent among us", and the Evangelist asserted. "we have seen His glory, the glory of the
one and only (Son), Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth". The thought of
the Tabernacle takes us back to the O.T. and the journeying of the children of Israel.
There the Tabernacle or Tent was erected by the command of God, so that He might
dwell with His people. He said, "Then have them make a sanctuary for Me, and I will
dwell among them" (Exod. 25: 8, N.I.V.), and His presence, symbolized by the cloud
over the Tent by day, and the fire by night, was manifested among them. Now in a fuller
sense God has again resided on earth in the Word made flesh.
Not only this, but John declares that "we have seen His glory". It was the glory of an
only Son who came from the Father and was full of grace and truth. The word "glory" is
very difficult to expound, for this is something outside human knowledge and experience.
The word and its verbal form is found frequently in John's Gospel and is one of its
key-words. In what sense did the Apostle see Christ's glory? He was not enshrouded
with blazing light as He walked this earth, although intense light is sometimes linked
with the glory of God. What he witnessed was the whole earthly career and ministry of
the incarnate Word, His speech and His actions, as day succeeded day: fulfilling the will
of the Father. In the high priestly prayer of John 17:, we read His words, "I have
brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave Me to do" (verse 4, N.I.V.).
Here is the Lord's own explanation of glory--the complete fulfillment of the Father's
will, concluding with the great sacrifice on the cross. This is what glory is all about. The
believer in the N.T. is constantly reminded and urged to carry out the Lord's will in his
life. It is in this way only that we can glorify our Saviour and Lord. There can be a lot of
religious activity, but unless this is a true reflection of His will, whatever it costs, it
cannot glorify or please Him.
The word monogenes, "one and only" is used of Isaac (Heb. 11: 17), of the only son of
the widow of Nain (Luke 7: 12), of the only daughter of Jairus (Luke 8: 42). In the
case of Isaac (Gen. 22: 2), the fact that he was an "only son" does not mean that
Abraham had no other children, but rather that he was specially loved and unique, and so
the Septuagint recognizing this renders the Hebrew by agapetos, dearly loved.
The Lord Jesus was "full of grace and truth". In this gospel the word "true" often
means what is real and antitypical in contrast to the shadow of the law, and this included
more than the law could express, namely all the goodness, love and faithfulness that were
found in God Himself so abundantly (Exod. 34: 5, 6).