God Has Hands

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In John 1 we read: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. In the Greek, the word dwelt is more closely translated pitched his tent. He pitched his tent among us. When the Old Testament was translated into Greek for the LXX, the same phrasing was used to describe God’s dwelling within the tabernacle. It was in there God had pitched God’s tent among us, in our midst. Stretching across hundreds of years of stories and history, we find Jesus does not merely come and dwell with us. Jesus becomes flesh, becomes the ark of God’s presence once more, andtabernacles with us. God comes and makes a human body the place where we come to meet God. No longer do we meet God in the tent of a tabernacle or the great stone structure of a temple. In the person of Jesus Christ God is right here, the ark walking around, in our midst.

You have heard this before, you have read it before, but linger a moment on the point. So often we rush to the cross, to the resurrection, and we miss the terrible and awesome moment that is the incarnation. The infinite God comes to dwell personally and finitely in our midst. God has hands, God has feet, but these hands and feet do not stretch across the sky like a cosmic Santa; these hands and feet pick up little children and hold them close, cover blind eyes with spit and mud and make them see, stretch deep across a tree, twist inward to hold a weeping sister.

Preston Yancey, Out of the House of Bread (Zondervan, 2016) page 25.

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