In the Neighborhood

January 19, 2023

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish. John 1:14 MSG

When the time came that Jesus was going to fulfill the promise of good news of a new relationship with God and the kingdom of God here and now, He didn’t use His supernatural powers to do it from a distance. That would have been easy, convenient, and kept His hands clean. Being God, He surely would have come up with a way to do something that worked without getting His hands dirty, certainly without suffering and getting killed.

But Jesus’ goal was to make the ultimate difference, not to avoid discomfort, difficulty, and pain. He became flesh and blood. He was fully divine with all the accompanying authority, rights, and privileges. He needed no one. Yet He became human with all of our limitations, and He “moved into the neighborhood.” Can you imagine what it was like to leave heaven and all it held for Him to come here?

When He moved into the neighborhood of dirt and pain and struggle, humans saw up close and personal the glory of God. They began to realize what God looked like. Jesus told them, “You want to know what God looks like? Look at me! If you see me, you see my Father.” They saw the grace and truth of God in Jesus as they saw His generosity and consistency all the way through in all situations.

Now it is our turn. We get to incarnate God. We get to be Jesus in the flesh, His hands and feet, His voice and ears to the world around us. We can only do it as we “move into the neighborhood.” We must get up close and personal. That is the only way people will know what God is like. It is the only way they will discover grace and truth—when they see it through us.

Is it challenging? Yes. Can it be uncomfortable? Yes. Will we get our hands dirty? Absolutely. But we will be like Jesus, and we will shine. People will see His glory and understand the love of God because they see ours.

  • Jesus, I want to be like You. I know I cannot impact from a distance. I need to move into the neighborhood, engage up close and personal with people so they can see and trust You. Help me lay down whatever obscures people from seeing Your glory in me.