And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory…
I am thinking of a word. Do you know what it is? No, not until I have told you. But as soon as I say "John," then you know the word I was thinking of. You know it now because the word was made sound, and you caught it. Were I to write it you would know it, because the word would be made ink, and you see it. Something like that is what our text means. We could not tell what God's thoughts about us were until He showed us them in a way we could understand. And He let us know them by sending Jesus Christ into the world. He took a body like ours in order that we might know God's thoughts about us; and the more we know Jesus the more we know of God's mind. He is the Word; God's thought made flesh. But then we might see and hear A word and yet not understand it. Did you ever see a Hebrew book? The letters are little, thick, squarish things, with dots all over them, as if the pen had been sputtering when it was writing I Now you could see these words, but you could not understand them by yourself. How then do we come to know Hebrew? We get some person who knows Hebrew, but who also knows English, and he teaches us. He knows the Hebrew word, and he tells us in English what it means, and so we come to learn. It is the same with the Word made flesh — with Jesus. We may see Him, may read about Him, but before we can know Him we must get help from some one who knows Jesus Christ and also knows us. Who is that Teacher? He is the Holy Spirit. Till He teaches us we cannot know God's thoughts about us; we might see the words in the Bible, might see the Word made flesh, but yet not be able to understand their true meaning, any more than we could understand a foreign book till some one had taught us the language.
(T. R. Howat.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.