Recently, I have been rereading the book of John. As I study it, I continue being drawn back to John 1. Verse 14 says, “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”. This is a well-known verse, but I have found myself here over and over again over the last week or two stuck in this beautiful truth.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” That is astounding to me. God became flesh in the person of Christ, but He does not stop there. He also dwelt among us. This word “dwelt” is translated from the Greek word skenoo which means to pitch one’s tent or tabernacle. If you look back at the Old Testament, we see the tabernacle where the presence of God used to dwell in the midst of His people. When Jesus came, He dwelt among His people, making God known (John 1:18). But then, after Jesus ascended into heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within His people.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?…”
1 Corinthians 3:16
At one time, God could only dwell with His people in the tabernacle because of the law. Sin separates us from God, and no one could perfectly fulfill this law. Therefore, God gave His people specific instructions for the tabernacle and the camp so that He could dwell amongst them in His holiness (Exodus 26-29 and Numbers 2:3:39). “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Jesus came to fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17), and He did so perfectly. In this, God is able to dwell with us through His Spirit, not because of anything we could do on our own, but because of who Jesus is and what Jesus has done.
“…For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
2 Corinthians 6:16
As I continue to meditate on this, I am amazed at how God has so perfectly woven His good and perfect plan throughout the fabric of time. “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (Ezekiel 36:26-37). God knew His plan for redemption, and as Jesus came, He made it possible for us to have access to God through Himself. He is not a distant God. He is close to His people. As you go about your day, I hope you remember that even now, in Christ, God dwells with us.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”