Daily Reflections

 1 John 3:22–4:6

God becoming man is the very heart, essence and core of Christian belief. This truth, John says, is a kind of litmus test of Christian faith. For John those who belong to God and have the Spirit are able to acknowledge freely, willingly and with heartfelt conviction that Jesus of Nazareth is God-made-man. The incarnation is a truth of our faith that cannot be embraced by reason alone: we need the grace of revelation to grasp it, leading us to bow down before God-made-man.

The Spirit is the One who gives us the wisdom to worship Jesus in his divinity and identify with him in his humanity. The danger is always to place too much emphasis on his humanity to the detriment of his divinity, or vice versa. We know that Jesus’ humanity did not reduce his divinity and his divinity did not overwhelm his humanity. How true and wise are the words of St Thomas Aquinas when he said: ‘By his divine nature, Christ is simple. By his human nature, he is complex.’ To be able to confess and acknowledge that God has come in the flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth is truly the work of the Father and the Spirit in our lives and we should never underestimate this gift of faith we have received.

Once we have entered into the mystery, however, we are invited to plumb its depths and need to be prepared to have its riches and treasures opened up to us in new and exciting ways. C.S. Lewis expressed it so well when he said: ‘The central miracle asserted by Christians is the incarnation. They say that God became man.’ The Christian revelation is, then, that God is not removed and remote from us but so deeply immersed in humankind that he became man. As St Cyril of Jerusalem said: ‘Christ did not pass through the Virgin as through a channel, but actually took flesh and was actually fed with her milk. He really ate as we eat and drank as we drink. For if the incarnation was a figment of the imagination so is our salvation.’

‘He was created of a mother whom he created. He was carried by hands that he formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy, he is the Word without whom all human eloquence is mute.’ (St Augustine) 

1 John 3:22–4:6  •  Psalm 2:7-8, 10-11
Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

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Bible Alive daily reflections are written in an accessible and warm style inviting you to penetrate and plumb the depths of the scripture reading of the day.

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