The Christmas message in 10 words
Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 20, 2008
We are extremely indebted to the two Gospel writers, Matthew and Luke, for giving us great details in explaining the events relating to the birth of our Lord Jesus.
But the Apostle John, in his Gospel, omits the details and the events, and in ten words explains that: This is what it all means. Those ten words are, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). The different approach of John’s Gospel is that the other three tell what happened and what was said, but John seeks to tell us what it all means and how it will affect you personally.
In the first 29 verses of chapter one, the Apostle John answers five simple questions for us about the baby in the Bethlehem manger.
First, who was the baby? He was equal with God; he was the Eternal Creator and source of all life, and the one who made man, the crown of all creation (see John 1:1-5).
Second, how did He come? “The Word was made flesh” (1:14). The entire message and declaration of what God is like was deposited in that Bethlehem baby and who that baby was and would become and say and do.
Third, why did he come? John emphasizes two primary reasons. He came that the world might truly know what God is like. In verse eighteen he says, “No person has seen God at any time, but the one and only Son, who is at the Father’s right side, has made Him known” (vs.18). Next, he came that we might be made right with God. In verse 29, Jesus is called “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” He is referring to the once and for all eternal sacrifice on the cross for our sins.
Fourth, what may we do with him? John points out that one of three things a person will do with Jesus. One will be that some persons will never recognize who Jesus is and how much they need him. “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, but the world did not recognize him” (vs. 10). Another option is that a person may choose to reject Jesus. “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (vs. 11). But the third wise and wonderful option is that you may “receive Him by believing in all that he is and all that he has provided for you through the cross and the resurrection” (vs. 12).
How will Jesus affect you, if you receive him? He will take your sin away (vs.29). He will give you the right to become a born again child of God. This will be something beyond what your parents could ever do for you, that you could ever do for yourself or that anyone else could ever do for you (vs. 12-13).
You may move from the miraculous birth in Bethlehem to your own new birth by receiving Jesus Christ, the crucified and living Lord, and you may make that move today.