For many early Christians, the idea that Jesus came in the flesh was a hard pill to swallow. Many in the Roman world believed that everything physical or material was bad, that the goal of salvation was to escape this world. They thought the goal was to escape the physical and become a spirit. John took on the challenge of confronting that ungodly thought of his day. He writes,
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete. 1 John 1:1-4
John the evangelist wrote both the Gospel of John and the 3 Epistles of John known as 1, 2, and 3 John. You will see a similarity in the first part of the Gospel of John as he talks about the incarnate Jesus which means that He came in the flesh.
In one sense, if the physical world’s only foundation comes from itself, then the early Christians would be right in the fact that it was not so good. But when the spiritual is in control of the physical then it can be controlled by the mystery of God. John wants to bring fellowship with man and God to the forefront. We are to constantly be growing closer to God and with others. The Christian message can be summed up with the greatest commandment, Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, then to love your neighbor as yourself. This will truly bring your joy to completeness. It is through the physical that Jesus impacts this lost world.
May God remind you that He loves you with a love so much that He came down to this earth and became a part of the physical world to show us how to love Him more and save us from sin. What a God we serve.
Thinking on this makes for a great day…
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene