|Vol. 15 No. 12 December 2013||
Rodney Nulph, Associate Editor
The Christmas season for many is about baby Jesus in a manger. Wise men, gifts and other holiday traditions are usually emphasized as well. While I am happy that at least some folks still remember Jesus in some form and fashion, Jesus is so much more than a baby! While His virgin birth and the events surrounding His entry into this world are miraculous, there is much more to Jesus than His birth and infancy.
Firstly, there is His servant-hood. Thankfully Jesus did not stay as a baby in a manger! He grew “…in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52b). His growth enabled Him to fulfill the greatest example of servant-hood the world has ever known! In fact, Jesus is the perfect “example” of what real servant-hood is all about (1 Peter 2:21). He served His Father (Matthew 26:42; Luke 2:49; John 5:30); He served His fellow man (John 13:4ff; Philippians 2:5-8); and He even served His foes (Luke 23:34). His servant-hood shows that He is more than just a baby!
Secondly, there is His self-sacrifice. Jesus’ purpose for becoming flesh was not to remain in a manger as an infant, but rather was to “…seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10b). His self-sacrifice is seen in His incarnation (John 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8); His self-sacrifice is seen in His humiliation (Luke 9:58); and His self-sacrifice is seen in His termination (John 15:13; 1 John 3:16). Thank the Father above for Jesus and His Self-Sacrifice!
Thirdly, there is His Second Coming. While many like to think of sweet, little, baby Jesus, He is much more than that! In fact, sadly, many people leave Jesus in the manger for their entire lives, never realizing that He is much more than a baby! In fact, one day He will appear with all His holy angels to judge the world (Matthew 25:31ff; Acts 17:31). Wouldn’t it be tragic to leave Jesus in the manger in our minds, only to be shocked and unprepared to meet Him at His Second Coming?
While it is true Jesus made His first advent into this world as a baby, He did not remain as such. The Jesus that the world really needs is more than a baby! His servant-hood, self-sacrifice and Second Coming all point to that fact that Jesus grew. While we may occasionally reflect upon the Savior’s birth, our minds cannot stay there. Dear reader believe me when I say, Jesus is more than a baby!
Rodney Nulph, Associate Editor
Someone correctly penned of Jesus:
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. Until he was thirty, he worked in a carpenter’s shop, and then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He wrote no books, held no office, never owned a home, never was in a big city, and never traveled more than two-hundred miles. The authorities condemned his teachings; his friends deserted him. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for the only piece of property he owned—his coat. When he was dead, he was buried in a borrowed tomb. Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone, yet today he is the crowning glory of the human race, the adored leader of millions of the earth’s inhabitants. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the rulers that ever reigned have not affected the life of a man upon this earth as profoundly as has that One Solitary Man!
To the above we must reply Amen! However, it is logical to ask, why do millions follow Him? What makes Jesus so magnificent? Why is He so worthy of our devotion and dedication? Consider:
His mission makes Him worthy of our devotion. After creating mankind, God warned that man would be destroyed if he disobeyed God’s law (Genesis 2:16-17). Of course, man defiantly missed the mark of God’s law, and thus separation from God occurred (Isaiah 59:1-2). God’s justice demanded the penalty of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23), but His grace and mercy provided a means for reconciliation back to God (2 Corinthians 5:18, 21; Ephesians 4:2-10). Therefore, at the birth of Jesus, the Bible declares His mission, “…save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21)! Now because of that mission, “…the love of Christ constraineth us…” (2 Corinthians 5:14)! What a mission!
His ministry makes Him worthy of our devotion. At the age of thirty, Jesus left Nazareth to begin ministering and serving humanity. Ministry for Jesus was not about being served but rather serving (Matthew 20:28). He served the helpless (Mark 1:40-45); He served the hurting (Mark 5:22-43), and He even served the horrible (John 13, washed Judas’ feet). Thankfully, His service did not end with His life, but even by His death, especially in His death, Jesus served all the world the greatest plan and the greatest pardon ever known (John 3:16)!
His mediation makes Him worthy of our devotion. For most “servants,” death causes servitude to cease, but not so with Jesus! He ever lives to make intercession for His followers (Hebrews 7:25). His mediation is singular (1 Timothy 2:5-6), no one can be a “go between” for humanity, except the God-man! His mediation is superior (Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24), and His mediation is to be shared (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
Little wonder why this one solitary life has influenced so many! When I consider that Jesus’ life was given for me, I am moved to commit my soul, my life and my all to Him! He is certainly worthy!