Jesus' World and Culture as Seen in the Four Gospels (1)
By Paul Robison 

       Married couples, who have been together for decades, usually have a pretty good understanding of each others’ thoughts and ways.  We are trying to better understand Jesus’ life and ministry by looking at His world and culture as seen in the four Gospels.  The following thoughts are based on John 1:14-18.  This passage would have probably blown away the apostle John’s Jewish readers because of its surprising affirmations.  Initially, John states that the Word (or God, see verses 1-3) became or entered into flesh (or into human life with all its messy human affairs).  Secondly, Jesus “tabernacled” among the Jews (certainly, a reference to the tent structure found in Exodus 33).  Thirdly, just as Moses’ face had shown with God’s glory, so Jesus showed God’s glory through His ministry, His transfiguration, and His resurrection!  Fourthly, through the fullness of Jesus’ revelation and ministry, believers can now experience one blessing after another (literally, grace piled upon grace)!  Fifthly, Moses was the agent through which the law was given to the Jews, but Jesus was the agent through which grace and truth were given to the whole world!  Sixthly, Moses himself was close to God and had even been permitted to see a portion of God (Exodus 34), but Jesus was even closer, even more intimate (like the couples we mentioned earlier)!  Lastly, ancient writers often liked to begin and end a section using the same phrase or statement.  We see that “the Word was God” (1:1), and some of the ancient manuscripts read “the only begotten God” (1:18).  Jesus, God in flesh, who “tabernalced” with us showing God’s presence, who revealed God’s glory, who blesses, who brought grace and truth to all, who knows God intimately, is God’s only begotten (there is none other like Him).  Do we feel blown away as well at these affirmations concerning Jesus?