ho logos

Kai ho logos sarks egenato kai eskenosen en hemin,
kai etheasametha ten doxan auto

Our teacher wrote this verse (in Greek) on the board this morning and we parsed it together as a class. It is John 1:14, a verse I am very familiar with and have taught on. I know the Greek dichotomy between flesh and the Word. I know that the English word “dwelt” is weak compared to the Greek word used. None of that was new to me. What struck me was seeing it in Greek. John’s words are rich with power and they thumb their nose at human wisdom.

The Word (ho logos) is sitting right there next to its supposed opposite, the flesh (sarks). Even on the page they are touching, something Greek thought said couldn’t happen. The tabernacle (skena) was where God’s glory (doxa) dwelt. The Word came and “tabernacled” amongst us and we beheld His glory. But “beheld” is weak. You can see something from across the street and say you beheld it. “Etheasametha” is more than just “looked at” it is more like we experienced, we examined, we handled. Moses beheld the glory of God but that wasn’t like what we did.

All of this came together as I looked at Greek letters scribbled in black on a white dry erase board and it struck me how much more Jesus is than we give Him credit (and praise) for. A bumper sticker or t-shirt with a cute phrase can’t capture and express that. When we sit quietly at the word and meditate on this it shuts our mouths in awe. “God in a skin-suit” is not just a stupid heresy, it completely misses the majesty of the Word becoming (not merely taking on) flesh. Wow.

Note: I’m not pulling a Muslim “you have to read the Koran in Arabic to get it” kind of thing here. Our English translations express these thoughts quite well, you don’t have to read it in Greek to “get it”. It was just seeing it in Greek that hit me.

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