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God became a man. He left His spiritual abode and took on flesh. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:14). This is referred to as the “INCARNATON”. Incarnation is a compound Latin word. “In” (the same meaning as in English – “in”) and “caro” (which means “flesh”). God in the flesh. He was born of a woman. He lived as a man. Each week we partake of the Lord’s supper and are reminded by the bread that this is His body. Jesus thought this was an important point. He came in the flesh.

During the second century a controversy broke out among Christians who were influenced by Greek philosophy. Many Greek philosophies taught that God could not have become flesh since according to them flesh was evil. So, some of these Christians began to celebrate Jan. 6 as the baptismal day of Jesus to prove He was only spirit. In response to this, other Christians began to celebrate Jan. 6 as the physical birthday of Jesus to show he came in the flesh. Many pagan ceremonies and rites were added over the years along with other dates, but not until the 4th century did some choose Dec. 25 as a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Lost to most today is the connection to the essential idea of Jesus coming in the flesh.

The writer of Hebrews refers to “the days of His flesh” (Heb. 5:7). Some believe Paul was making a point to the Gnostic Greek philosophers when he commented “He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death” (Col. 1:22). The cross emphasizes Jesus’ flesh.

When God foretold of the birth of Jesus to Isaiah, He said “they shall call His name Immanuel” which translated means, “God with us” (Isa. 7:14). God came to earth! He lived as a human. The Eternal One entered time. The One who created the universe and sustains it became dependent on a teenage girl. Part of the overwhelming sacrifice of Jesus is the fact that He emptied Himself of deity and became flesh!