God “Tabernacled” Among Us | John 1:14

by · December 3, 2011

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

In John 1:1 we read, “and the word was God”. Here, “and the word became flesh”. This is incarnation. This event is not about a man becoming God—that’s impossible—but, instead, God becoming human. This is a mind-bending, worship-inciting truth: “veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail, the incarnate Deity!”

Here in John 1:14, these words carry my thoughts back to the Book of Exodus, specifically to the scene of God’s Tabernacle in the desert. Here’s what I mean: (1) First, the English word translated “dwelt” is the Greek word “eskenosen” which means, “to encamp”; “to pitch a tent”; “to tabernacle”. God encamped among His people in a human body. In the Old Testament, the Tabernacle (“The Tent”) was the point of contact between God and man. In the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth—the incarnate Son of God—is the point of contact between God and man.

(2) Second, the Table of the Bread of the Presence, the Lampstand, the Altar of Incense, and the Ark of the Covenant furnished the Tabernacle. These pieces of furniture are shadows of Christ. Jesus is “the Bread of Life”, “the Light of the world”, “the great High Priest who intercedes for God’s redeemed Church”, and “the God that abides in and among God’s people”.

(3) Third, God’s glory is associated with God’s Tabernacle. Exodus 40:34 states, “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” The glory of God expresses the worthiness of God. Jesus expresses the fullness of God’s glory. 2 Corinthians 4:6 tell us, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Hebrews 1:3 states, “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person”.

(4) Fourth, here in 1:14, God’s glory is spoken of as, “glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth”. This is the same as the description of God’s glory in Exodus 34:6: “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth…” During His days on earth, Christ demonstrated God’s grace and truth to lost, needy, and undeserving sinners. He extended God’s grace to people by His actions – He cared for the outcast, healed the broken, fed the hungry, embraced the lonely, and lifted up the downtrodden. He also communicated God’s truth through His teachings – His life and words were both instructive, showing His audience the truth about God.

Jesus continues to show us the fullness of God’s grace and truth today – chiefly through the incorruptible message and transforming effects of the Gospel. By it, He reveals the truth of our sinfulness and need for a Savior. By it, God regenerates us, saving us from sin and eternal punishment in Hell – all this being done solely on the basis of God’s grace! Christ alone is the point of contact for all sinners to experience the fullness of God’s grace and truth. If you want to be the beneficiary of God’s grace and truth, then go to Jesus right now!

Jesus Christ is the all-glorious, incarnate God. This alone is reason enough to trust Him as our one and only Savior, and worship Him as our one and only Lord. Are you living in this reality today?