14 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 ESV
14 Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας·
JOHN 1: 14 SBLGNT
After revealing who Jesus was in the earlier verses and the testimony of John the Baptist as a testament, we see how the narrator provides the proclamation of the Word Himself, the Logos, becoming flesh. God becomes a man. The nature of God, who is eternal, has taken on mortal flesh. The extremes of existence seem to produce a paradox. How does God, eternal, immortal, become man, mortal?
I believe that the synthesis of these two extremes is revealed in ‘became’, egeneto, ἐγένετο. Earlier the term was revealed the creation, ex nihilo
In his book, Witness to the Word, Karl Barth writes, “The well-known paradox of the verse lies in the egeneto (became). The paradox lies in the manner (in the flesh) Jesus came into this world. The translation of the word “became” is the key because its reference to the nature of the Word, the Logos. The Logos has not changed, but the Logos does now exist in the flesh.
The eternal and all-powerful God has descended into our realm. He is born of the virgin Mary, of the bloodline of David. In verse 15, the narrator reveals the testimony of John the Baptist in his words, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.” He was before him because he was before creation.
Throughout the Bible, we see the law state the evidence of two witnesses required, whether in an offence or revelation of truth. Therefore, this is why John the Baptist witness and testimony is important as it will be revealed who the second witness to the deity of Jesus Christ was. As Jesus reveals the witness in John 5:37 – “37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen,” As heaven and earth bear witness to the evidence of the ‘Son of God.”
Many may question the worth of this statement, that the Father bore witness, but one has to read Matthew 3:17 – 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Matthew 7: 5 -5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
Gospel of Matthew reveals the testimony from the Father in heaven as a witness to the Son of God.
The evidential truth is not subjective but grounded in objective reasoning substantiated by an ‘a posteriori’ experience witnessed by those who heard the voice from heaven.
We have seen his glory and the truth of Jesus’s ministry on earth. We have seen the teachings and fulfilment of man inability to do what is right. Since creation, we have failed, and Jesus came to rectify what Adam failed.
John 3: 17 – “17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
His one true purpose was to bring order back into creation and to take the one misalignment to the whole creation narrative, which is found in the one witness who proclaimed in John 1: 29
29 The next day (John the Baptist), he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
29 Τῇ ἐπαύριον βλέπει τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐρχόμενον πρὸς αὐτόν, καὶ λέγει· Ἴδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου.
Many scholars believe that the context of the verse refers to Jesus becoming the sacrificial Lamb who would take away the collective sins of the world. Jesus Christ as our saviour and substitute for our condemnation, became our sacrifice. Grace upon grace from our Lord God. However, was John the Baptist referring to the original sin, which was our inherited propensity to sin or was it the collective sins we bear.
Here are some of the current consensus on that verse
Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 2, writes
the sin—“The singular number being used to mark the collective burden and all-embracing efficacy.”
William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of the Gospel According to John, vol. 1, New Testament Commentary,
“According to the Baptist it is the sin of the world (men from every tribe and people, by nature lost in sin, cf. 11:51, 52) which the Lamb is taking away, not merely the sin of a particular nation (e.g., the Jewish). All the sins (see 1 John 3:5 for the plural) which the Lamb removes are spoken of collectively as the sin.”
And Colin G. Kruse, John: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 4, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries
“In 1:29 Jesus is the one who takes away the sin of ‘the world’. There are a couple of other places in the Fourth Gospel where Jesus’ significance for ‘the world’ is implied. In 3:16–17 God’s love leads him to give his only Son for ‘the world’ so that those who believe might have eternal life, and in 4:42 the Samaritans come to recognize that Jesus really is ‘the Saviour of the world’, not just of the Jewish people.”
Whether Jesus came to fulfil what Adam failed and set all things right and we have no more excuse to sin anymore or whether Jesus collectively took all our sins upon Himself on the cross, we ultimately have been saved by God’s grace. It would be contrary to our Christain faith to continue sin, because God himself dwells in all of us who has believed in faith in Jesus Christ and are empowered by the Holy Spirit to love. God himself gives divine love