Editor’s Introduction Jesus The Christ: The Unique One -- By: John H. Armstrong

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 08:4 (Fall 1999)
Article: Editor’s Introduction Jesus The Christ: The Unique One
Author: John H. Armstrong


Editor’s Introduction
Jesus The Christ: The Unique One

John H. Armstrong

The beloved apostle, in writing some of the highest Christological material of the early church, notes that in the incarnation “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). First year New Testament Greek students learn early in their studies that monogeneis (only begotten) is a singularly important term which underscores the uniqueness, or “one of a kind,” of the person of Christ. And in John 1:14 the apostle also speaks of how the disciples “beheld His glory.” Martin Luther got it right when he translated this Johannine term “glory” by the German word “Herrlichkeit”—Lordlikeness! Make no mistake about it, as true Christians have confessed down through the ages, Christ was, and still is, the unique Lord of glory!

But this is not all. In the light of the universal New Testament witness to Christ John adds, in 1:18: “No one has ever seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” Jesus is God the unique one who “explains” the Father. The Greek word used here literally means that Jesus “exegetes” the Father to us. We cannot know God the Father except as Jesus of Nazareth “exegetes” Him to us. Christ is the alphabet by which we read the Father and come to know Him and His divine revelation. In previous days God had spoken to His people through prophets in dreams and visions and with Moses “face to face.” But now, in these “last days” (Heb. 1:1–2), God has “spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things ....” Thus the writer to the Hebrews concludes, “He [i.e., Christ] is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature” (1:3).

This is why the angels of God continually “worship Him,” and the Father says of Christ, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever” (1:6, 8). And John, reaching the apex of Christological revelation, records Jesus speaking to Philip, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (14:9). Jesus very literally says that He is a “photocopy” of the Father. If ...

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