Christmas: The Word Pitches His Tent Among Us

Posted: December 12, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, The Christian Life


from  Mike Riccardi at the Cripplegate

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…
– John 1:14 –

If we’re reading through this verse in our daily Bible reading, we’re likely to zip right by it with little fanfare. We read that Jesus “dwelt” among us, and when we think of the idea of “dwelling” we just think of “hanging out.” But there’s much more going on in what John is saying than it sounds to us English-speakers. He uses a peculiar word here. There are more common Greek words for “to dwell,” but he chooses skēnoō. Now, the word skēnē in Greek means “tent,” and skēnoō is the verb form. So we could render it, “to pitch a tent.” John tells us that this Word became flesh and pitched his tent among us.

…..And so when the Apostle John uses that peculiar word, when he tells his readers the incarnate Word dwelt among them, he is calling our attention here. John is telling us that the way Yahweh descended and dwelt among His people in the Tabernacle,—and spoke with them in communion and revealed Himself for worship—that very same thing is happening in Jesus Christ! In Jesus, the glory of Yahweh is descending and is pitching His tent to dwell among His people!

As we approach the Christmas season, and as you prepare your hearts to praise God for the gift of the incarnation, let this cause you to worship. Be affected, be moved to awe and adoration by the fact that the Word—the Eternal God Himself, the agent of the creation of all things, the life and the Light of the world—became flesh and tabernacled among us.

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Comments
  1. Danny MacDonald says:

    Rob,

    This is how DA Carson put it in the book we are using in my Sunday school class. I think both are helpful:

    “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (1:14)-the expression I have italicized is literally “he tabernacled among us.” You cannot help but remember that the tabernacle is what God set up at the time of Sinai, a tabernacle with this special Most Holy Place where only the high priest could enter on behalf of himself and everybody else once a year with the blood of the sacrifices. It was the place where sinners met God, the great meeting place that brought together a holy God and rebellious human beings.
    …..
    Again, in John’s next chapter, Jesus insists that he himself is the ultimate temple of God (see John 2:19-21), the ultimate meeting place between human beings and God. It is as if he were saying, “If rebels are going to be reconciled to this holy God, they must come to him by means of the temple that God has ordained-and I am the temple.”

    D. A. Carson. God Who Is There, The: Finding Your Place in God’s Story (p. 111). Kindle Edition.
    D. A. Carson. God Who Is There, The: Finding Your Place in God’s Story (p. 111). Kindle Edition.

  2. Kevin Lapage says:

    “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…”
    – John 1:14 –

    He tabernacled among us: That is because he was born during the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Sukkot not pagan christmas. Yahshua is calling everyone to come out of this falsehood. We are commanded to worship in spirit and TRUTH! Study like the Bereans who accepted the Word with all readiness and proved to themselves all things through scripture. Again the Word says my people are DESTROYED for lack of knowledge. May Yah bless all of you with wisdom. Come out of the pagan beast system.

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