The Word Became Flesh

Artwork by Elhanan ben-Avraham


But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. – Jacob 1:22

Words are powerful, but words written on the pages of a closed and unread book have no life, but only potential life. A Bible sitting unopened on a mantel is about as effective as a bookend. The word to have any meaning must come off the page and into the eye and enter the soul to manifest its life in action in this world, not only in Heaven. The word must become flesh.

A disconnect is the enemy of every serious artist, who seeks sometimes with great struggle and tears to shorten the disconnect between the vision and the reality, and bring the vision down to the reality of their work, that it may be seen on the canvas. Unfortunately, we have seen no small disconnect in Christendom’s long history between what is written and what is manifest in this world. Even currently we have seen professions of faith about keeping pace with divorces and infidelities and indignities of all sorts among believers, which ought not to be. What kind of picture are we painting for a world in darkness- especially the Jewish world- to see? “Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

Yeshua said to us, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” I would not be at all surprised if he held up his ten fingers, alluding to the Ten Commandments from which he took those words: “Keeping grace to a thousand generations to those who love me and keep my commandments.”

He went on: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness!’ Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the torrents raged, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the torrents raged, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its collapse!”

“For it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but it is the doers of the Law who will be declared righteous” (Romans 2:13). Therefore, may the Word become flesh in our own lives, that the LORD’S will might “be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

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Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published five illustrated books of poetry, painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, and most recently produced THE JERUSALEM ILLUSTRATED BIBLE, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.