The Incarnation of Jesus


If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

Today’s post may cause some controversy. To me, the word is very clear on who Jesus was and who He is, but a lot of people don’t see this the same way I do. To find out who Jesus was, let’s look at the first five verses of the book of John.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

What does this mean? Who was this Word? Since verse 3 says all things came into being through Him, we must be talking about Jehovah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. It goes on to say nothing came into being apart from Him. He created it all.

Under the Old Covenant, He was life, and that life was the light of men. It shined in the darkness, but the darkness didn’t comprehend it. The Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Law could not save mankind from his own sin. But as always, God had a plan.

God the Father would take Jehovah and, through some process we can’t hope to comprehend, reduce Him to his essential nature and character. Verse 14 says, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Stay with me here. The Word was Jehovah, but the Word became flesh—became Jesus. Look in an exhaustive concordance, and you won’t find the name “Jesus” in the Old Testament, nor will you find the name “Jehovah” in the New Testament. Jehovah of the Old Testament ceased to be when He became Jesus of the New Testament. The two cannot coexist, because they are different forms of the same person. Jesus could not exist while Jehovah was the God of Israel under the Old Covenant, and Jehovah could no longer exist as such once He became Jesus.

In case these thoughts are not radical enough, let me go a step further and state that when Jehovah surrendered Himself for God to reduce Him to His raw essence and character and place that essence and character in a sperm and place it in the womb of Mary, He also gave up His creative powers.

Sound over the top? Look at John’s words again. According to verse 3, all creative power was resident in the Word as Jehovah. But a few chapters later Jesus Himself says in John 5:19, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.”

By His own testimony, He does nothing in His own power. He does only what He sees the Father doing. Under the Old Covenant, He had all power vested in Himself, but under the New Covenant, He is totally dependent upon God the Father.

We sometimes think of Jesus as some sort of avatar who descended from heaven for a few years to serve as an example and then went back to His old position, but that’s not what happened. The Second Person of the Trinity underwent a permanent and everlasting change when the Word became flesh.

Further evidence of this is found in a word search. The name Jesus does not appear in the Old Testament, and the name Jehovah does not appear in the New Testament. This is not an accident. Jehovah of the Old Testament became Jesus of the New Testament.

To me, this makes the sacrifice much greater. In fact, to me, the sacrifice made at Jesus’s incarnation was much greater than that made at Calvary. It was not a temporary sacrifice for thirty-three years. He didn’t go back and resume His position as Jehovah and His powers as Creator. When we meet Him, He’ll still be Jesus. He’ll still have scars where the nails pierced Him when they put Him on the cross.

You undoubtedly have an opinion about this. I want to hear from you, but I ask two things first. Please give this concept some prayerful thought before excoriating me, and secondly, please keep any comments civil.

Have a New Testament passage or concept you’d like to see discussed here? Maybe something you’ve never quite understood. I’d love to hear from you about that, too. I’ll try my best to explain it.


For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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4 Responses to The Incarnation of Jesus

  1. Thank you for this post, David. I hadn’t really thought about it from this perspective but it makes complete sense to me.


  2. Sherry Isaac says:

    How powerful to know that God would take on a physical body, and submit himself to the physical challenges of that body, in order to walk with us. Thanks, David.


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