Lesson Five – The Word Became Flesh

The Word Became Flesh

Lesson Aim:       To show how the divine Son of God became incarnate in order to reveal the law of life, and how He condemned sin in the flesh and became the perfect sacrifice for believers’ sins.


The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the gospel.  Mark 1:15

Rome, a Gentile nation, had become a world power (Luke 2:1).  Israel was in subjugation with limited power to rule herself (John 18:3).  A ruthless king named Herod was ruling Israel for Rome (Matt. 2:1).  John the Baptist was preaching in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17).  A virgin named Mary, whose family tree included King David, Judah and Abraham, had already received a sign that she would have a male child, and her Son was now about thirty years old (Luke 1:34; 3:23; Matt. 1:2, 6).

After so long a time could it really be happening?  Are we finally going to have a divine king over God’s kingdom?  The answer is YES!  If the foregoing concurs with the prophecies on our check list from the previous lesson.  In this lesson we will check off each prophecy from that list in order to know the Christ has come.


Let there be no doubt that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  Mark, in his divine account, presented Jesus as God’s Son (Mark 1:1).  The evil spirits recognized Jesus as the Son of God (Mark 5:7).  In the following scripture God spoke out from heaven when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain to attest that He was His Son.

Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is My beloved Son, Listen to Him.”  Mark 9:7

At Jesus’ mock trial the high priest asked if He was the Christ the Son of the Blessed One.  Jesus said, “I Am.”  (Mark 14:61, 62).  And yet Jesus often presented Himself as the Son of man.  (Mark 2:28; 8:38; 9:9, 12, 31).  Truly God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (II Cor. 5:18).

Before we become too deeply engrossed in Jesus’ life on earth let us consider His coming to earth from the heavenly point of view.  For instance, Jesus shocked the Jews when He said, “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I Am.”  (John 8:58).  Jesus did not have His beginning with the conception of the virgin Mary.  In fact, we can place Him on the scene at the creation of the world (Heb. 1:2; Col. 1:16, 17).  The Hebrew writer said that Jesus laid the foundation of the world; however, God loved Him even before (Heb. 1:10; John 17:24).  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, pre-dates the age of man and the creation of the world.

How would we have found Jesus if we had been privileged to see Him before He became incarnate?  The scriptures reveal that He existed in the form of God, and shared the glory of the Father (Phil. 2:6; John 17:5).  He was the Word and the Word was God, and yet the Father is greater, because at some point the Son emptied Himself of that glory and started the process of being made in the likeness of man (Phil. 2:7; John 1:1; 14:28).  Could there have been a “going away party” in heaven for the Son of God?  He did come from heaven (John 3:13).    He was made lower than the angels (Heb. 2:7).  He was made like His brethren in all things and became a bondservant (Heb. 2:17; Phil. 2:7).  Finally, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf.”  (II Cor. 5:21).  We do not know if there was a going away party for Jesus, but God certainly provided a coming into the world party for Him in the city of Bethlehem.  God hung a special star over the place of His birth, and the Magi came from the East to join in the celebration according the following scripture.

Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?  For we saw His star in the East, and have come to worship Him.  Matt. 2:2

His reception into the world was soon darkened by evil as King Herod tried to end His physical life (Matt. 2:16-18).  Jesus’ birth was a blessing, but Herod’s lust for power brought sorrow to all families with young male children around Bethlehem (Matt. 2:16-18).  Consequently, Jesus and His earthly parents had to live the life of a fugitive for several years before they could settle down and let the Son of God mature as the Son of man (Matt. 2:19-23).  What a change from the glory He had before He left heaven.  If there was no going away ceremony it was not because the heavenly beings did not know about the prophecies on our check list (I Pet. 1:12).

Please note that we have already “checked off” several prophecies from the check list we made in Lesson Four.

Let us at this point contemplate our lesson title and aim.  Why was it necessary for the divine Son of God to become flesh?  One reason Christ had to come to earth was to condemn sin in the flesh (Rom. 8:3).  He condemned sin in the flesh by living in a physical body with the knowledge of good and evil, and yet, He chose no evil.  For over thirty-three years He chose good every time.  A Son of Man did the will of God; this pleased the Father.  Sacrifices and offerings alone did not please God, but the sacrifice of One who did the will of God condemned sin in the flesh (Heb. 10:4-10).  This pleased God because He could reconcile His prodigal children and have a kingdom of priestly sons (Rev. 1:6).  Since we could not do this for ourselves it was necessary that the divine become flesh.

The reconciling work of Jesus accomplishes for us, personally, the passing away of our old things from the mind of God (Heb. 8:12; Acts 2:38).  The apostle Paul identified the old things as the “body of flesh” and “old self.”  (Col. 2:11; Rom. 6:6).  The reconciling work of Christ lets us be a “new creature” in Christ, according to the following.

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.   II Cor. 5:17

This new life in the kingdom of God is a life with a conscience purged from dead works so we can serve the living God (Heb. 9:14).  Only the blood of Jesus can give us the perfect cleansing, even of the conscience (Heb. 10:1-4).  This was done for us “that we might become the righteousness of God by the law of faith.”  (Rom. 3:21-26; 4:22-5:1; 5:17, 21).  The apostle Paul said, “Even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.”  (Rom. 5:18).  After Christians receive the gift of God’s righteousness, we live to righteousness in our justified life as sons of God (I Pet. 2:24).

The foregoing is not all that God desired for mankind.  We needed to come to know God, love the brethren and be zealous of good deeds (John 17:3; I John 3:14; Titus 2:14).  If these things are not accomplished, even though we are new creatures, we will not inherit eternal life in God’s eternal kingdom.  We will not be eternally reconciled to God.  But after the fact of being reconciled, we can come to know God, love the brethren, live to righteousness and be zealous for good deeds.  When these happen we do have eternal life and will attain our inheritance.  Therefore, reconciliation alone is not the only reason the divine became flesh.  He came so that God could establish a new covenant with mankind (Heb. 8:10-12).

Jesus blessed the world with His presence in many other ways.  He blessed the kingdom of God with a divine king who has all power in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18).  He used parables to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom in such a way that only the true seekers can understand.  The others were confounded by Jesus’ teaching and were even more perplexed than they were before they heard Him (Matt. 13:10-15).  He fulfilled all righteousness, properly interpreted the Law of Moses and obeyed the laws of the land (Matt. 3:15; 12:1-13; 22:16-22).  He accomplished all that had been written by the prophets about the Messiah (Luke 18:31).  Jesus helped many people with their physical, mental and spiritual needs in miraculous ways (Matt. 4:23, 24).  He trained men to teach the kingdom, and even took time for His family and friends (Matt. 10:1-8; John 2:1; 12:2).

Probably many of the things Jesus did while on earth could have been accomplished without the divine becoming flesh.  But, one thing which could not have been offered was God’s new covenant for the man-dimension of His kingdom.  We will discuss this in Lesson Six as we continue with our study of why the divine became flesh.

Most of the world has not yet accepted the new covenant, but they have the sign of Jonah as a witness that Jesus Christ the divine Son of God became flesh.

An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.  Matt. 16:4

Questions for Discussion

  1. How could the Jews know the time had come for the Messiah’s appearance?
  2. In what ways did the Roman nation meet the requirement of prophecy for the Messiah’s appearance in the world?
  3. Prove by the scriptures Jesus existed before His physical birth.
  4. What was the Christ’s circumstance in heaven before He became the Son of Man?
  5. Describe the reception party for Jesus when He first arrived in the world.
  6. Prove Jesus is the Christ the Son of God by the scriptures.
  7. Explain all that is involved in Jesus’ work in relation to God reconciling the world to Himself.
  8. What do we receive as a result of justification?
  9. What kind of sacrifices please God?
  10. What is God’s goal for His “new creatures” now in time, so we can inherit life?
  11. List some other ways Jesus Christ blessed the world with His presence.
  12. What made Jesus’ trip absolutely necessary?

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