Theme: Glory and Worship
From this week’s Christmas study, we look carefully at the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, and how it fulfills the Old Testament tabernacle.
Scripture: John 1:14
The last parallel from the tabernacle is that it was where Israel worshiped. But now, Jesus Christ is in a sense the place where we worship. You recall that when he was with the woman of Samaria, there was a debate going on between the Samaritans and the Jews as to where one should worship. The Samaritans believed that worship was to take place on Mount Gerizim, while the Jews worshiped at the temple in Jerusalem.
Jesus went on to say that a change is coming, and had now come in him. The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. The change has come in Christ because he is the one who makes the Father known. He died to open the way into the presence of God and we now worship God through him in spirit and truth. The old debate between Jews and Samaritans as to the proper location of worship disappears with the coming of Jesus.
You know there’s a great hymn that George Doane wrote based on John 14:6, where Jesus describes himself as the way, the truth and the life. In its own way, it is a summary of what I’ve just been saying:
Thou art the Way: to thee alone from sin and death we flee;
and he who would the Father seek must seek him, Lord, by thee.
Thou art the Truth: thy Word alone true wisdom can impart;
thou only canst inform the mind, and purify the heart.
Thou art the Life: the rending tomb proclaims thy conquering arm,
and those who put their trust in thee, nor death nor hell shall harm.
You see, everything we need in knowing God and finding from God atonement for our sin, we find in Jesus Christ. And all of that is the meaning of the incarnation. When John says, “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us,” he adds, “We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” We see God in Jesus. We have grace in Jesus. We have truth in Jesus, and we see the glory of God in Jesus.
That leads to the obvious question: Have you seen the glory of God in Jesus Christ? Or is Jesus just a story? Is he just a myth to you perhaps? Or is this Jesus who came so long ago actually the one in whom God the Father is seen, and have you seen him as he is faithfully revealed in the Bible?
If you don’t see him in Scripture, you will never know God. If you don’t find access to God through Christ, you will never have access. But if you find it there through faith in Jesus Christ, you have it all, and you have it not only for this life, but for the life to come as well.
From John 4, how does Jesus transform worship?
How does Jesus enable us to worship today in spirit and truth?
Application: How will you strive to show to others around you the glory of God revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ?