The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14 NIV
In Exodus 26, God gave Moses instructions for building a tabernacle. This tabernacle was a large tent that traveled with Israel on their journey from Sinai to Canaan and was eventually replaced by the Temple. The Tabernacle was the center of worship for Israel and was, at least symbolically, where God dwelt. And, once the Tabernacle was complete and set up, the glory of the Lord filled it (Ex. 40:34-35).
John began his gospel account with a description of the Word. The Word was in the beginning, was with God, and was God. Then, in this verse, John tells us that the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. But John is not just telling us that God became a man and lived on earth for a while.
The word translated as dwelling in the NIV could also be translated as tabernacled. Jesus was God’s tabernacle fulfilled, his dwelling among us. And, like the Tabernacle in Exodus, he was filled with the glory of God. A glory that was seen by his disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-8).
The Tabernacle of Exodus pointed ahead to Jesus and was fulfilled in him. But Jesus, as God’s tabernacle, does what that tabernacle prevented. In Jesus, the curtain that separated humanity from God is torn open (Matt. 27:51). Now, through him, we can enter into the Holy of Holies and draw near to God (Heb. 10:19-22).