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HOME FOR CHRISTMAS Series
“Home” (John 1:1-2,14)

INTRODUCTION: Our message series is called Home for Christmas, and we have been examining the biblical theme of home in the Scriptures using four words as a guide: 1) banished, 2) wandering, 3) longing, and 4) home. God created a perfect home for us with him in the garden, but we were banished from that home because of sin. As a result, we spend our lives wandering from God and his ways on this earth. However, God has built a longing for him deep in our hearts, and, whether we realize it or not, we all long for our true home with God. Which brings us to our final word this evening – home. God sent Jesus at Christmas in order to bring us home to him. (Read John 1:1-2,14 and pray.)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning…. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-2,14)

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When I graduated from college at age twenty-two, I left my home in Massachusetts and moved to California. It was the farthest I had ever been from home, and when that first December rolled around, I was really missing home and family. I was short on funds, but at the last minute, God blessed me with some freelance work, and I booked a flight home for the holidays. I wanted it to be a surprise, so I didn’t tell anyone I was coming. I flew into Logan airport, caught a train at the train station, and then called a cab for the rest of the way.

We lived on a dead-end street off a larger road, so I had the cab driver drop me off at the intersection, and I started walking up the old, familiar street where I grew up as a kid. It was a cold, winter night with snow on the ground and snow in the air, and it was just the greatest feeling walking up that street to my parents’ house where I knew I would find warmth, and fellowship and home.

I didn’t even bother knocking. I just opened the back door, walked right in and called out, “Hello!” My parents came running, my mother hugged me forever, and it was Christmas, and I was home, and there’s really nothing quite like being home for Christmas.

And that’s what tonight’s message is all about. It’s really what this whole series of messages has been about. We are all far from our true home with God, but God sent Jesus at Christmas in order to bring us home to him. That’s what Christmas is all about.

I want us to look at three aspects of home from the Bible tonight, and all three have to do with Jesus. 1) Jesus left his perfect home in heaven. 2) Jesus made his home with us on earth. And 3) Jesus will take us home to be with him forever.

I. Jesus left his perfect home in heaven

So, first of all, Jesus left his perfect home in heaven.

   A. Jesus was with God and was God in the beginning
      – John 1:1-2

The Bible tells us that Jesus was with God and was God in the beginning. We read in John 1:1-2: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” (John 1:1-2)

When you first begin reading the gospel of John, you are not sure who or what this Word is in these opening verses. But as you continue reading it becomes very clear that John is referring to Jesus. Jesus was with God in the beginning, and Jesus was God. Jesus was with God because he was with God the Father and with God the Spirit. Jesus was God because he is God the Son.

Of course, we are dealing with the mystery of the trinity here. From the very beginning, from all of eternity past, God has existed as one God in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. John is telling us at the beginning of his gospel that Jesus is part of that holy trinity. Jesus’ life did not begin at Bethlehem, but he has always existed in perfect harmony with God the Father and God the Spirit as God the Son. Jesus was with God and was God in the beginning.

   B. Jesus came from God and was returning to God
      – John 13:3, 16:28

John also tells us that Jesus came from the Father and was returning to the Father. We read in John 13:3: “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God.” (John 13:3) Or again Jesus puts it plainly in John 16:28: “I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” (John 16:28)

Jesus had a perfect home in heaven. He lived in perfect relationship with God the Father and God the Spirit in a perfect place without sin or sorrow. He created all things and continually received worship and praise in heaven from the angels and other heavenly beings he created. He was constantly with his Father in glory. When Jesus left heaven to enter our world, he was leaving a place of absolute beauty and perfection. That’s the first thing we learn about home for Christmas. Jesus left his perfect home in heaven.

II. Jesus made his home with us on earth

Secondly, Jesus made his home with us on earth. Before Jesus could take us home to be with him, he first had to come to earth to make his home with us.

   A. Jesus became flesh and made his dwelling among us
      – John 1:14

The Bible tells us that Jesus became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We read in John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

“The Word became flesh.” This is a second mystery about God we encounter in these verses. The first mystery is that Jesus was with God and yet was God. We call that the trinity. This second mystery is that the God the Son somehow became flesh. We call this the incarnation.

And the incarnation is really the heart of the Christmas story. The eternal Son of God who has lived through all of eternity and who made all things was born into our world as a human baby. He didn’t stop being God, and he wasn’t only part human. Jesus who is truly God became truly man at the incarnation. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

The word translated “made his dwelling” in this verse is a word that literally means “tent” or “tabernacle.” The tabernacle was the place where God dwelt among his people in the Old Testament. Now God made his dwelling among us in a human body made of flesh. Jesus left his perfect home in heaven. He became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

   B. Jesus offered up his flesh for the life of the world
      – John 6:51

And then Jesus did something truly amazing. He offered up his flesh for the life of the world. Jesus said in John 6:51: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51) Jesus became flesh, so he could offer up his flesh, so we could have life through him.

And this is another amazing truth of Christmas. The child who was born in Bethlehem was born to die. He came into the world at Christmas with a set purpose already in place. The baby born in Bethlehem would one day go to the cross as a man to die for our sins so that we could be forgiven.

It’s interesting, the name “Bethlehem” literally means “house of bread.” Jesus is the living bread that came down from heaven, and the manger in Bethlehem cradled the bread of heaven who gave his flesh for the life of the world.

   C. Jesus longed to return to the Father when his work was done
      – John 17:4-5

Jesus left his perfect home with God in heaven and made his home with us on earth. Jesus became flesh and made his dwelling among us. He offered up his flesh at the cross for the life of the world. And oh, how Jesus longed to return to the Father when his work was done.

It was the night before Jesus went to the cross. He had walked this dusty planet now for over thirty years as a man. During the last three years he had gathered his disciples and taught the people. Now he met with his disciples in the upper room. He washed their feet; he shared a Passover meal with them; he taught them and prayed for them. And he prayed this to the Father in John 17:4-5: “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” (John 17:4-5)

Although Jesus had not yet gone to the cross, it was as good as done. That night he would be betrayed in the garden. The next day he would go to the cross to offer up his flesh for the life of the world. His work would finally be completed, and he would finally be able to return to the Father. And so, he prays: Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” (John 17:5)

Jesus came from God, and he was returning to God. Jesus made his home with us on earth. He became flesh and made his dwelling among us. He offered up his flesh for the life of the world. And how he longed to return to the Father when his work was done.

III. Jesus will take us home to be with him forever

There’s one more part of home for Christmas, and it’s the very best part. That’s right, we’ve saved the best for last. The first part is Jesus left his perfect home in heaven. The second part is Jesus made his home with us on earth. But the best part is Jesus will take us home to be with him forever.

   A. Jesus is preparing a place for us in heaven
      – John 14:1-4

On that same night before Jesus went to the cross, he told his disciples in John 14: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)

Just as God created a perfect home for Adam and Eve in the garden, so Jesus is preparing a perfect home for you and me in heaven. And if he has gone to prepare a place for us, then he will most definitely come back to take us with him that we may be with him forever.

   B. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the only way to be home with God forever.
      – John 14:5-6

One of his disciples, Thomas, was confused. Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:5-6) There is only one way to be home with God forever, and that is through Jesus. Jesus died on the cross to make a way back for us.

What’s the best part of home for Christmas? Jesus will take us home to be with him forever. He is preparing a place for us in heaven. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the only way to be home with God forever.

CONCLUSION: And so, the Biblical story, and indeed the Christmas story, both begins and ends at home. It begins with God and man at home together in the garden, and it ends with God and man at home together in the new heaven and new earth. The true meaning of Christmas is that God sent his Son to bring us home to be with him forever.

We were banished from our original home with God because of sin. As a result, we spent our lives wandering in sin far from God. God set eternity in our hearts, and we all long for our true home with God in heaven. God sent Jesus at Christmas in order to bring us home to him. Even now Jesus is preparing a place for us in heaven.

Apart from Jesus we are lost in our sin and banished from our true home forever. But Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the only way to be home with God forever. God sent Jesus at Christmas in order to bring us home to him.

© Ray Fowler

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