John 1:14-18

Reading is a skill children cannot learn alone. They can learn to put on socks or prepare a snack with a few instructions. But developing skilled readers takes years, tools, and help from loving adults.

My six-year-old is learning to read. I cannot send her to the rocking chair to read by herself yet. Though she is able to read some on her own, she wants me to sit next to her and listen, word-by-word. Proximity comforts her, gives her confidence, and helps her focus. My presence and engagement now are necessary to her process of becoming an independent reader.

These last four days, we have explored John’s prologue, which begins, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (v. 1). John expresses our hunger to comprehend God’s profound Word to us in Christ and our tendency to reject or overlook the Word that continually comes to us.

Today, as his prologue ends, John addresses a point of deep human struggle: no one has ever seen God (v. 18). John, always the theologian, uses this teaching moment to tell us to take heart, because those who see Jesus see God. In Christ, not only is God’s existence confirmed, but God’s character is displayed. God comes to us in Jesus, the overflow of God’s compassion. Jesus is God’s way of sitting next to us as we learn to interpret the Word, patiently listening, gently correcting. Jesus does not send us to the rocking chair alone, expecting us to learn how to read by ourselves.

God’s proximity comforts us, gives us confidence, and helps us focus. We are God’s beloved children, equipped and empowered to live in and through Christ.


When has someone helped you learn a skill or concept? What are you trying to learn today? How is Christ present in your learning?


God, we seek to understand your Word to us. We confess our failure to understand and live fully in Christ. Fill us today with compassion and openness. Let our lives be a narration of your love. Amen.

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