And the Logos became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
When we read that passage at church yesterday, my mind went back to something that N.T. Wright said about the Temple and about Jesus. The Temple was considered by the Jewish people to be the literal presence of God: where heaven and earth actually touched. Then Jesus shows up and begins to use Temple language about himself; like the time that he said they could destroy the temple and it would be raised in three days. The dwelling of God was now not a building, but a person.
The Logos became flesh and lived among us. Heaven and earth met in this man. What must that have meant for the presence of God not to be a building of brick and mortar (not what the Temple was made of, I know), this fixed point where only one person could enter the Holy of Holies once a year?
What must it have meant for the presence to be a living, breathing, moving human being who spoke heaven and released Gods presence with a touch?
For it to be someone that talked and dined and shared with people who would never be considered worthy to enter the Holy of Holies? Women, Gentiles, the maimed, the poor, the utterly sin-stained. Some of these people would not have been able to go to the Temple at all. Yet God’s love was coming to their town and opening the Holiest of Holies up for all to see.
It makes sense why comparing one’s self to a Temple would make people angry. For a man to compare himself to the Temple of God and then to live in the way that Jesus did among the people with whom he lived, there is no wonder it was scandalous. You can understand why such talk, why such a man would be seen as a danger.
Yet there God is: becoming one of us. There is much in Christianity that makes me uncertain. There are times that I feel lost or like an outsider. Yet I hold onto this: Jesus as God among us. And when we look at this walking, talking, loving Temple—the Logos made flesh—we can get a sense of what God is like.