In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us … No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. – John 1:1, 14, 18
Man cannot know God apart from God making Himself known to man. The creation reveals enough to inform man about God, but it does not reveal God Himself to man. Knowing the creation is not the same as knowing the Creator. Creation reveals enough about God to condemn us, rendering the natural man both without God and without excuse (Romans 1:20). Creation, then, only makes God known as “unknown”—even the ancient Greeks testified to this (Acts 17:23). Why is this our natural condition? Sin. Sin is not merely something we commit, it changes us. Sin has separated humanity from God (Isaiah 59:2) and has left us in our own self-afflicting ignorance of God. And the gripping reality is that man is utterly incapable of coming to God on his own; God must come to man. This is Christmas—God coming to man.
Jesus is the autobiography of God. By His incarnation—which means ‘enfleshment’—God makes visible the invisible God. He assumes human nature to manifest Himself for people to see. “He is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). Christ is the exhibition of God to the world. “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:2). Jesus responds to Philip’s request to see the Father in staggering terms: “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9). It has well been said, “His incarnation affords the brightest discovery of the Divine perfections.” Christ came to give us “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20). This is the explanation of the first reason for the incarnation: “He is the visible revelation of what invisible deity is like. And only deity could clearly manifest forth deity. This manifestation was through a human medium in order that it might be perceptible to human intelligences. And that is the reason for the incarnation.”
While Scripture alone is sufficient to make God known to man, Scripture is the looking glass to God and not God Himself. No one can say, “If you have seen Scripture you have seen God.” Immediately two important considerations come to mind. First, Christ is explicitly called the Word (John 1:1, 14) or The Word of God (Revelation 19:13). As the written word reveals God, so the Incarnate Word reveals God. Christ and Scripture both reveal God, but only in Christ is God Himself revealed. The Scriptures speak of Him and testify to Him; He is the purpose and fulfillment of the Scriptures. Christ is the end; the Scriptures are the means. Second, the Scriptures testify to the significance of the personal revelation of God in Christ as superior to all other revelation: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son … He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:1–3). Are the Scriptures sufficient to make God known to man? Yes, but not apart from Christ. The Scriptures are written words that the natural man is not able to understand apart from the working of God’s Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14). The written word points to and depends on the Incarnate Word to make God fully known to man. As John 1:18 states it, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” Now, through the incarnation, God is knowable through the One and Only who has made Him known. And since knowing God truly is impossible in our natural condition, making God known to man is intimately connected with saving man (John 17:3). Scripture is not our Savior, Christ is.
Every religion in the world, save Christianity, operates on the fundamental assumption that man can work his way to God or “the gods” or some “better” abode as a reward for his morality, virtue, discipline, works, good deeds, sacrifices, religious rites, knowledge, prayers, or intentions. Christianity alone understands that “no one understands” and that “no one seeks for God” (Romans 3:11). Christians are the only people in the world that celebrate a man-seeking God rather than assuming to be a God-seeking man.
Salvation comes through revelation alone. Eternal life is a definitive impossibility apart from the self-revelation of God: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). This is the first reason for the incarnation. The One whom the Father had sent is coequal (John 1:1)—and one and the same (John 10:30)—with “the only true God.” The deep significance of the little clause, “whom you have sent,” has to do with the only possible means of mankind coming to know “the only true God” and thereby coming to have eternal life (cf. 1 John 5:12).
Why the incarnation? Why did God come to man, assuming our own nature and being found in the likeness of our physical constitution? The ancient question cries: Why the God-man? One reason is to make God known to man.
 Charles Simeon, Horae Homileticae Vol. 19: 2 Timothy to Hebrews (London, 1832-63), 135-36.
 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament, vol. 22 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 23.