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.
After a very full nine months in the Old Testament, we finally begin the New Testament. As a young friend, who is also reading chronologically through the Bible this year, said on Facebook:
"Time for Jesus!"
Four Gospels, four different perspectives. Matthew writes from a Jewish perspective, beginning with a genealogy intended to show that Jesus is descended from the kingly line of David, as would be the prophesied Christ. Matthew uses extensive quotes from the Old Testament to convince his readers that Jesus is, in fact, the promised Messiah.
Mark takes more of a Joe Friday, "just the facts, ma'am" approach, writing primarily to Gentiles. He focuses on the miracles Jesus performed, pointing out that He is no ordinary man.
Luke, ever the historian, wants to set down as much eyewitness testimony as he can, "that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught." (Luke 1:4) He wants people to know that Jesus is real - not a myth handed down (with added embroidery) from generation to generation.
But John - from the very outset of his Gospel, John wants people to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is God. The implications of the verse quoted above are staggering. God Himself, while still fully God, became fully human as well and dwelt among us. Surely He wouldn't do that just for fun - He had a very specific purpose, as John (and the other Gospel writers) will reveal as we read through over the next month or so.
Stick around - this is just the beginning!