The Divine Incarnation: Unravelling the Mystery of ‘The Word Made Flesh’

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1,14). This passage, reverberating throughout the Christian world for centuries, marks the centerpiece of our discussion today. Let’s delve deeper into the mystery of the Word becoming flesh, also known as the Incarnation.

The ‘Word’ in the context of this passage is used in four other places in the New Testament, namely John 1:1, 1 John 1:1-5, and Revelation 19:13. This ‘Word’ is none other than the Son of God, the Christ, who was also fully human.

Pre-existence of the Word

The concept of the Word becoming flesh presupposes the pre-existence of the Word, or the Son of God. This belief is rooted in several Biblical passages. The prophet Micah, in Micah 5:2, describes the Word as having a timeless origin, “whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting”. This idea of pre-existence is also echoed by Jesus Himself when He says, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). The identity of the Word as pre-existent is further solidified in Exodus 3:14, where God names Himself as “I AM THAT I AM”, suggesting an eternal and unchangeable nature.

The Word as Creator

Moreover, it is this pre-existent Word that is identified as the Creator of all things, as stated in various scriptures (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:14-17, Ephesians 3:9, Hebrews 1:1-3). Thus, in the act of Incarnation, the Word that initiated the cosmos took on flesh, merging the divine and the human.

The Word’s Humanity

The Son of God’s humanity is as real as any human. He was born like any child (Luke 2:7; Gal. 4:4; Isa. 9:6), experienced growth and development (Luke 2:52), and required nourishment and rest (Matt. 21:18; 25:35; Matt. 27:48; John 4:6).

Reasons for the Incarnation

The Bible gives three specific reasons for the Incarnation. Firstly, to qualify for the priesthood, the Son of God had to partake of the nature of the seed of Abraham (Hebrews 2:14-16). Secondly, the necessity for a sacrifice for sin demanded the Incarnation (Isaiah 53:1-12). The sacrifice involved the shedding of His blood (1 Peter 1:18,19). Lastly, in His humanity, Christ met and defeated Satan at every turn. Through perfect obedience, He demonstrated that God’s holy law is a reflection of God’s character and love (Ex. 20:3-17; Ps. 40:6-8; Isa 42:19, 20; John 12:49). In His steadfastness against all temptations, Christ defeated Satan (1 Cor. 15:57). Thus, Christ, the second Adam, regained all that was lost through the transgression of our first parents (Mi. 4:8; Rom. 5:12-19).

The Word Dwelling Among Us

The phrase “And dwelt among us” echoes God’s intention when He directed Moses to build the earthly sanctuary, stating, “That I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8, 29:46). When the earth will have been made new, God will, again, dwell among

men (Revelation 21:3). Christ, the Son of man, tabernacled among men for about thirty-three years, directly experiencing human life.

Divinity Discovered in Flesh

Often, during Christ’s earthly life, His divine nature shone through His humanity, offering glimpses of His true identity (John 2:11; Matthew 14:25-32). It was a profound case of divinity clothed with humanity. Several characters in the Bible recognized this divine presence: Nathanael (John 1:47,48), Peter (Mark 5:1-19; Matthew 14:28-33), Thomas (John 20:28), and the wedding guests at Cana (John 2:1-11) all bear witness to this.

The apostle Paul writes in 1 Timothy 3:16, “God was truly manifested in the flesh, seen of the angels, and accepted by men.” This divine-human unity personified in Christ allowed mankind to glimpse God’s nature and character. The Incarnation opened the path for humanity to reconnect with the divine, thereby potentially enabling us to “re-enter the family of sinless beings” (Ephesians 3:15).


In the poetic language of the Bible, the Word was made flesh, and this Word was none other than God’s Son, Jesus Christ. The mystery of the Incarnation encapsulates the paradox of the infinite God taking finite human form, showcasing the extent of divine love and humility. It speaks of God’s desire to relate intimately with His creation, to dwell among us, to share our experiences, and ultimately, to redeem us. The Incarnation is not merely an historical event; it is an ongoing invitation to perceive the divine in the human and to aspire towards that unity in our lives. As we reflect on the Incarnation, may we find renewed inspiration in our journey towards understanding the divine mysteries and our place within them.


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