During Advent, as we wait for Christmas, Christians around the world decorate with nativity scenes, sing cherished songs, and read stories to celebrate and remember the birth of Jesus. But who is baby Jesus? The Christmas season is full of nostalgia and tradition, but we should be careful not to gloss over what “Jesus, the Son of God in human flesh” means. In this Groundwork series, we’ll look at the Apostle Paul’s letters to see what Paul says about the incarnation and to better understand why the incarnation of the Son of God is a truth necessary to our beliefs about Jesus, salvation, and our place in God’s family.
If you want to know who Jesus is, study the gospel of John. This fourth gospel is distinct from the first three gospels. For example, unlike Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the writer of John does not record any of Jesus' parables. Instead, he carefully curates and records signs and teachings that point to Jesus Christ’s identity as the Messiah, both fully God and fully human. Most of the stories are unique to the gospel of John, although astute readers will recognize a few that are also present in the other gospels. John begins right away by proclaiming the truth because he urgently desires his audience to both know and believe in Jesus. In this Groundwork series, we explore the themes and nuances of John’s gospel so that together we can grow in our understanding of Jesus Christ, his purpose, and what this means for us as his disciples today.