There is so much to learn about the Christmas Story! Join Rebekah as she delves into how “He Who Is Mighty” entered time by growing in the womb of a virgin.
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A Special Message
There was a moment in time when silence was broken, darkness was shattered, death lost its sting, and history was split in half–when God so loved the world that God sent God to His own very creation. There was no tweet, no shocking news flash that went viral and crashed the internet, no Instagram selfies that harnessed millions of likes.
An angel announced to a select few exactly what the prophets had spoken hundreds of years before that, “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and they shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14) which means God with us. (Matthew 1:23) The angel, Gabriel, told a young girl who had known no man, that she would bear a son in her womb and she shall call his name Jesus. Jesus, meaning Yahweh saves because He should save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21) And He would be the Son of the Most High. Gabriel told Mary that nothing will be impossible with God (Luke 1:37) and the child to be born would be called holy—the Son of God. (Luke 1:35) “And Mary’s response: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
What an honour to carry her Creator, to be a holding place for her Lord to hold Him in her heart and wrap Him in her arms and on her lips were these words of praise: “ . . . he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Luke 1:49)
And “. . . when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman . . . ” (Gal 4:4)
This is how the Christmas story unfolds. And we could fill in all the details of Joseph, the shepherds and angels and Bethlehem and the manger, a bright star and men that seek him; some to worship and some to destroy Him. But, that is not truly how it all begins.
Let us step back and consider the Christmas story without all the details that we typically read and all the characters that we traditionally set out in our nativity scenes. True, they are how the Christmas story transpired, although many of the details we have horribly misshaped and distorted from reality. The Christmas story is more than a baby in a manger. If that is all you see, then you miss the greatest miracle of all eternity.
We essentially skim over the Christmas story in the Gospel of John. John presented the beauty of the climbing down of God, yet left out so many of the details we could easily miss the Christmas story–or at least how we might be most familiar with it.
Oh Come . . . Let us Adore Him.
This is such a wonderful time of year to examine our own hearts and determine who or what we adore. Many are looking for peace in all the wrong places. Peace comes from the Person who created you, came to be near you, and died to cover you with His righteousness, to bring you back into perfect communion with God.
Do you adore this One who climbed down from heaven into a virgin womb, who took on a heartbeat in a world bursting with hearts He had created and yet did not receive Him? When the world still seems dark and lonely and doomed and when you are handed a new day and anxieties begin to sneer at you, remind yourself of who God is and what He has done. Rejoice that God is With us. God does draw near. He is glorious and good. You will see that you can look away from your troubles and unto Jesus and into His face and the “things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
Who Is He?
Come, let us consider who He is.
John tells his readers–Jews and Gentiles–probably sometime before 70AD–about the Christmas story. In John 1:14 we read:
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Now, you may be thinking: that’s not the Christmas story, but stick with me. Permit me to merely scratch the surface of the things John was talking about here. Once we begin to break it down, we can hardly comprehend what He was saying.
This one sentence is so simple we can read it aloud in mere seconds, yet so profound we will need all eternity to grasp the truth of it.
John called Jesus The ‘Word’.
Logos was common thought in Greek philosophy years before John wrote this book. ‘Logos’ to the early Greeks was an “impersonal ordering force”.
Logos was meaningful to the readers of John’s Gospel in the first century. Some would have understood Logos to mean an expression of thought, idea, or plan; some thought of it as “the divine reason implicit in the cosmos”–ordering it and giving it form.
Logos means both “word” and the “thought . . . expressed in words”. “The Logos was the living expression of the nature, purposes, and Will of God.” John’s Logos—the Word–was a Person; an eternal divine Person.
So, we ask: “Who was this Person?” In verse 1 of John 1 we see: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word, the Logos here is the Son of God. Well, what does this tell us of the Son of God?
He Who Is Mighty
That He was with God in the beginning and that He is God. He is pre-existent. The Son of God existed before the incarnation, before creation, before time. Which means He is eternal.
He is, as the Nicene Creed written in the year 325AD defines: the “very God of the very God.” He is the Logos—He is the self-expression of God; “how God spoke to us in these last days”, Hebrews 1:2 emphasizes.
In verses 3 and 10 we read: “All things were made through Him”. He was the agent of creation. Not only the One who created but Colossians 1:16 tells us He was also the goal of Creation – “all things were created through him and for him.” He was not created; the Son of God was not made because as we see in verse 3: “without Him was not any thing made that was made.” He could not make himself. He has always existed.
In the fourth verse, John boldly declares: “In Him was life”. He not only created and made all of life, He is life—life comes from Him—our physical life and spiritual life. This Life is the light of men. Light exposes, light reveals, the light shines in the darkness and makes things visible. Light reveals the truth and some come to see the beauty and grace of this revelation, but many remain blind in their darkness.
The Word who is God, who is the very self-expression of the pre-existent, eternal God, who is the Life and the agent and goal of creation, who is light, He is Holy and without sin. He is the One who stepped down from the heights of heaven and took on flesh that we might be brought back to God.
But, what on earth has He done? Listen next week as we consider what the Eternal God did when He entered time by growing in the womb of a virgin and being born in Bethlehem.
Rebekah Hughes survived a rare childhood cancer that left her with only one functioning lung, but the aggressive treatment she received to kill the cancer, severely damaged her heart. She shares her insights to encourage us as we walk the path God calls us to, whether in calm or in crisis. Rebekah produces Take Heart and Cut to the Heart for HopeStreamRadio. In her program she reflects on spiritual lessons from her observations of life, to encourage and strengthen us in our faith.
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