“Who do people say the Son of Man is?” Matthew 16:13b
“The vision of Christ that thou dost see
Is my vision’s greatest enemy:
Thine has a great hook nose like thine,
Mine has a snub nose like to mine…
Both read the Bible day and night,
But thou read’st black where I read white.”
- Have a seat in a quiet place, perhaps with some hot cocoa, and think about the man you are celebrating this Christmas season. Who is He to you? How would you describe Him?
- Read Micah 5:2 and Isaiah 7:14, prophecies of Jesus’ birth.
More Than We Know: This Is Jesus
The more I learn about Jesus, the more I fall in love with Him. I’m happy to know that He is not just the man I learned about in Sunday school, always with a gentle smile on His face and painted among children, rainbows, and baby sheep. Jesus challenges our conceptions of deities and authority figures. He is more than we know and better than we know. Like a constantly evolving partner, He is perfect for us in every season. The Gospels only tell half the story of who Jesus was and is. Scriptures before and after—from the Old Testament to Revelation—allude to His revolutionary impact. This Christmas, celebrate Jesus the baby, born in perfect peace to a modest woman and her husband. But appreciate, also, the complex character of a man who is like no other.
These are just a few reasons to celebrate our Savior:
- Jesus is closer than we think. When Jesus died on the cross, He enabled unlimited access to His presence. Because His presence is not only with us but also within us, we can never escape Him. He moves with us. He feels with us, and He has experienced the whole human spectrum of emotion, so His empathy is unrivaled. Jesus is more sophisticated than any other god, who controls beings from on high, bringing unexplainable disaster and performing sporadic miracles at the snap of a finger. He’s not just watching us from His throne; He’s with us in our homes, getting his hands dirty with our family problems and messy emotions, because He cares. That’s why He gave up His position of glory and came down to the dirt: to bring us up from the dirt, into healing and redemption. Because of Jesus, we never have to approach God in fear. We never have to wonder if He hears us or if He cares. He is always closer than we think.
- Jesus is peace. If you are feeling anxiety or unrest, that is not from Jesus. Jesus came so that we would have peace in our world and individually. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT) tells us, “Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” These verses are a promise to us—that as Jesus is in us, we are guaranteed peace of mind and heart. So, if our minds are focused on the
man nearest to us and not on our fleshly concerns, they will be free.
- Jesus is approachable. We may read the Old Testament and think that God is harsh and unapproachable. I am guilty of seeing Him as far-off and comfortably seated on His throne of judgment. I know that when I sin, I’m scared to face Him. I think He doesn’t want to hear from me, that I’m better off trying again in a couple of days when the sin has “worn off.” This mindset completely disregards God’s decision to send Jesus to the earth so we can access Him more easily. He chose to send a man of flesh and blood, whom we could relate to, and He sent Him first as a harmless baby of humble birth. We are all familiar with the presence that babies bring to our families—they are inviting, unifying, and effortlessly loving. Jesus is as easily loved and loving as a baby. He is not threatening. God orchestrated every detail of Jesus’ birth to foreshadow who He would be to us, a God who we can approach boldly and frequently.
Take time this Christmas to think about the life of our Savior—His birth, death, and everything in between—and how that makes Him, unlike any other man or god, meet and exceed all expectations we may have for Him.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- How have you limited Jesus in the way you think about Him? Are you guilty of seeing Him as distant and impersonal, as a mere figure in a story?
When you read the Gospels, pay close attention to Jesus: notice what He says and does, and ask the Holy Spirit to show you more and more about Him.
If you are looking for reading material on the character of Jesus, check out The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey.