By this, you know the Spirit of God:
Every spirit which plainly says,
“Jesus Anointed One has come in flesh,”
is from God,
and every spirit which does not plainly say,
is not from God.
1 John 4:2-3b lks

There is something about the incarnation that is crucial, core, and basic to our knowledge of God. There is something about this extreme “with-ness”. We see it first in the garden, walking with the entirety of humanity in the cool of the day. We see it in the tabernacle, filling the tent with presence, leading—walking with—his people in the wilderness. We see it in the temple when his presence is so overwhelming that the priests are unable to enter.

But most clearly, we see God’s with-ness in his incarnation. The One who created humanity in his own image takes into himself the image of humanity. By this, he takes upon himself the cost of our self-important yet unnecessary image making and ensures that humanity will once again be the perfect, unstained image of God. And all this is for the sake of with-ness. Make no mistake: with-ness is part of God’s nature. It is not something added on because he was needy or we screwed up.

God, you created us to walk with you, shoulder to shoulder, as it were. You became us and now we who trust you are in you and you are in us. Wow.


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“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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