And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
It is difficult for our minds to grasp the truth that God came down and took on flesh—that he existed in a body just like you and I exist in a body. It is hard to imagine perfect and complete holiness dwelling in that which is temporary and corruptible. It boggles the mind to think that the One who is so far above everything—the One who only had to speak the words in order to bring all of creation into existence, the One who is sovereign in the universe—would deign to share in our struggles and miseries. Yet God did this.
When John writes that the Word “dwelt among us,” he is making a profound point. First, John makes it clear that it was no one less than God who came in the flesh (John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God). Second, John uses a term (“dwelt”) that speaks to the temporary nature of the dwelling. The Word certainly “dwelt” among us, yet that Word was not to be here forever. Instead, the Word had a purpose in the work and sacrifice of the Son in order that you and I might be saved, and that we might enjoy a permanent dwelling one day in His presence.
This is the very basis of our hope: that God has lived among his people for the express purpose of sacrificing in order to save us. As a result of God’s temporary dwelling, you and I now get to live with him forever.