1. John 1:14–18 (ESV)
  2. Application

The Word reveals the Father

John 1:14–18 (ESV)

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 tells us in John 1:14 that the Word came to dwell among us. The Greek word translated as dwell actually has the meaning of to pitch a tent and it is a reference to the tabernacle of the Old Testament. Back in Exodus, the Lord gave clear instructions to Moses and the Israelites about how to build a big tent so that he could dwell in their midst. By using this word, John wants us to know that in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, God was present among his people. God was in the midst of his people in a manner greater than anything seen under the old covenant.

In the old covenant, God’s presence was often visibly represented by a dark cloud. On Sinai there was thunder and lighting before Moses was called to go into the thick darkness where God was (Exodus 20:18–21). Then again in Exodus 34:1–35 the Lord descended in a cloud, and the same cloud also covered and filled the tabernacle once it was built (Exodus 40:34–38). The glory of the Lord was made manifest in a cloud of darkness.

Though old covenant fellowship with God was real, this revelation was also distant and somewhat hidden. Moses had to hide himself in a rock when God’s glory passed him by; he was in God’s presence but he did not see God in all his glory. No one can see him and live. Even the angelic beings in Isaiah 6:1–13 cover their faces when they are in the presence of Almighty God. 

But now, in the Word become flesh, God’s glory has been seen. The clearest revelation of who God is has been given. The Son who has eternally been at the Father’s side, he has come to make God known. He is able to reveal God to us to such an extent that he says to his disciples, If you have seen me you have seen the Father (John 14:9). There is no need for speculation about what God is like; Jesus Christ has revealed the Father to us.

Of course, today we do not see the Son among us. We do not have the privileges that John and the other disciples enjoyed; we cannot go up to Jesus and ask him all our questions. We cannot touch him with our hands or see him with our eyes. At this moment he is at the right hand of the Father. But we do have the words of  Scripture in which we find the eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ disciples. In the Gospels they tell us about his person—what he said, what he did. We can simply read their testimony to find out exactly what God is like. The Word reveals the Father to us; the Word has made God known (John 1:18).