1 Timothy 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels…
Why was Jesus Christ made flesh?
1. The especial and repulsive cause was free grace; it was love in God the Father to send Christ, and love in Christ that He came to be incarnate. Love was the intrinsical motive.
2. Christ took our flesh upon Him that He might take our sins upon Him. He took our flesh that He might take our sins, and so appease God's wrath.
3. Christ took our flesh that He might make the human nature appear lovely to God, and the Divine nature appear lovely to man. As when the sun shines on the glass it casts a bright lustre, so Christ, being clad with our flesh, makes the human nature shine and appear amiable in God's eyes. As Christ, being clothed with our flesh, makes the human nature appear lovely to God, so He makes the Divine nature appear lovely to man. Now we need not be afraid to look upon God, seeing Him through Christ's human nature. It was a custom of old among the shepherds, they were wont to clothe themselves with sheep-skins to be more pleasing to the sheep; so Christ clothed himself with our flesh that the Divine nature may be more pleasing to us.
4. Jesus Christ united Himself to man "that man might be drawn nearer to God." God before was an enemy to us by reason of sin; but Christ taking our flesh doth mediate for us, and bring us into favour with God. If Solomon did so wonder that God should dwell in the temple, which was enriched and hung with gold, how may we wonder that God should dwell in man's weak and frail nature? Behold here a secret riddle or paradox, "God manifest in the flesh." The text calls it a mystery. That man should be made in God's image was a wonder; but that God should be made in man's image is a greater wonder. From hence, "God manifest in the flesh, Christ born of a virgin," a thing not only strange in nature, but impossible, learn that there are no impossibilities with God. He would not be our God if He could not do more than we can think. He can reconcile contraries. How apt are we to be discouraged with seeming impossibilities! How do our hearts die within us when things go cross to our sense and reason! What will it profit us, that Christ was born into the world, unless He be born into our hearts: that He was united to our nature, unless He be united to our persons? Be like Christ in grace. He was like us in having our flesh, let us be like Him in having His grace.
Parallel VersesKJV: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
WEB: Without controversy, the mystery of godliness is great: God was revealed in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, and received up in glory.