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Flesh: an advent devotional

Stan Key has served for decades as a pastor, missionary, author, and now as OneWay's minister-at-large. He is a longtime friend of the ministry who shares decades of experience and wisdom to encourage and challenge many.

Advent devotional — week 2

Word for the day: FLESH

by Pastor Stan

A Personal Paraphrase of John 1:1-18

The Word was first.

Yes, before there was anything else, God was talking — to himself. And what He said was who He is. You just can’t separate God and His Word. This God-Word created everything. He spoke and it was. In fact, there is noting in the universe that He didn’t speak into being. 

This was a life-giving Word, so wherever this Word went there was life. 

And wherever there was life, there was light. And all the darkness in the universe could not extinguish this light that came from God. It enabled people to see things that before had been shrouded in darkness.

God sent someone to us named John the Baptizer. 

Some mistook him for God’s light. But he was only a lamp, not the light. He came to help us find the light so that we could put our trust in the true light that comes from God. John’s purpose was to help people everywhere receive light and life. He said this would not happen through his ministry but through the ministry of the one who was about to come.

But now He’s here! Yes, the one John was talking about is among us. 

And because the promised one has come, the lights are now on and we can see things clearly — that is, if we want to. You would think that everyone would be ecstatic about this. Alas. The one who made the world came into the world He had made, and most people didn’t even know who he was. Even among His own Jewish people who should have recognized Him, He was rejected. How do you fail to see the light of the world? 

But a few people saw clearly. 

They realized who He was and welcomed Him as the self-expression of God. When they put their trust in him, God made them His very own children! They weren’t born the way babies usually are. The life these people had was not of human origin. They were conceived by God, so their life had a supernatural dimension. What I am trying to say is that this Word has become one of us. 

You might say that He enfleshed Himself, put on human skin and moved in next door. And some of us have gotten to know Him personally! We touched Him. We saw the light with our own eyes. We talked with the Word!

You may be wondering what He looked like.

Well, let me just say that He looked like his Father — a crazy combination of grace and truth. I don’t mean that he was part grace and part truth. This man was 100% grace and 100% truth. Frankly, I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. He was (and is) glorious!

This is the one John the Baptizer was talking about. “That’s Him! He’s the one!”, John said. “Though I got here before He did, He got here long before me. I’m just a voice in the desert. He is the Word. He is God’s message for you. I hope you are listening.”

Here’s the deal. Moses gave us the law. But now Jesus has come and brought us grace and truth. I know that it’s impossible to see God. But I’m telling you that Jesus shows us the very face of the Father.

End of paraphrase.


Now, before you turn off your screen and move on to something else; take a moment and look at the skin on your arms. Touch it. God himself, the Creator of the universe, took on FLESH, just like yours and walked among us.

In fact, even now the incarnate second person of the Trinity sits at the right hand of his Father in heaven bodily! And one day, He will return in the flesh and establish His kingdom on a renewed earth.

Christmas is the bold announcement that Jesus Christ has come not to condemn human flesh, but to redeem it!


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