couple sitting on top of the rv

John 1:14…Still More.

[New to our exegesis of John’s Gospel? Try starting at The Beginning — see top menu for John 1:1-2].

14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. 

14 Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας·

God Went Camping

The eternal, pre-existing Word (logos) — fully divine — is made flesh — fully human — and dwelt among us. The word here to dwell in Greek is skenoo (σκηνόω) and it means quite literally to camp in a tent. God came and set up camp among us, literally in us, meaning, in his people — in the midst of us.

We continue to see the Jewishness of John even though he employs Greek words with deep, historic meaning. Early in the Hebrew Scriptures, God “tented” in the midst of Israel. The LXX uses a related Greek word skene to translate the Hebrew “tabernacle.” One could translate this verse as “God tabernacled among us.”

John appears to be saying, just as God “tented” among us in earlier days, so now Jesus, the everlasting Word of God, has come to tent among us as God in person. While in the past, these tabernacles and temples were made of wood or stone, in Jesus God has come to tent with us in the flesh, as one of us.

This theme would continue throughout John’s Gospel with Jesus equating himself with the Temple. In John 2:19,  Jesus answered religious leaders, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” Of course, he meant the Temple that is his Body that has come to replace the Jerusalem Temple as the dwelling place of God.

So, where is God in all of this now? The Spirit of Jesus tents within us. He is with us in all we do and encounter. But that Spirit doesn’t just camp within us individually but also in the Church: the Body of Christ. As imperfect as we are as church — and we are! — we are nonetheless the tent of Jesus, dwelling in our towns and villages, proclaiming the One who has set us free from sin and death and promises new life in the Lord.

It’s kinda cool if you think about it for a moment: you are a kind of roving tent of God wherever you go, allowing God to shine God’s glory through you!

I guess you could say we are God’s winnebagos!