For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Is. 9:6
When you think of the name “Jesus”, what’s the first image that comes into your mind? Is it Jesus teaching the disciples? Turning the tables over on the money-changers? Healing someone? Perhaps Jesus on the cross, or in the manger?
Chances are, when most of us think of Jesus, we think of Him in fleshly form. And, to a large degree, that’s completely understandable, given our frame of reference. Which is why it’s so important that we not think only that way at Christmastime. We’ve got to use this precious time of reflection to dwell deeply on the fact that Jesus was and is wholly God, as well as wholly man.
Only when we dwell on the majesty of Jesus, Almighty God, do we grasp the scandal of the stable; only then do we understand the fullness and breadth of what Christ willingly, lovingly left behind to come and get you.
Jesus is the Creator. Genesis 1 tells that that all that is came into being by the Word of God, that it was all spoken from God’s mind into reality by the Word. John tells us that the Word was Jesus, who became flesh and dwelled among us. Jesus told the sun to ignite, for the rings to go around Saturn, for the Earth to be round and wet and dry and hot and cold and beautiful and desolate. He spoke the legs onto the antelope, the tusks onto the elephant and the neck onto the giraffe. He just said it, and BOOM….it happened. He made it all.
He’s not only the Creator; He’s the Sustainer, the one “In whom we live and move and have our being”. “All things are held together by His Hand. He was and is active in His creation. Every time my brain tells my heart to beat, it’s because He says “beat”. Every time the sun rises, or the planets revolve around the sun or the galaxy, or the universe, it’s because Jesus says, “Do it again!” “One more time!” The atoms and molecules that make up my body don’t go exploding outward because He says “hold…hold…hold”. We live day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute because He wills it to be so.
He’s also the Ruler. Angels, authorities, and powers are in submission to Him. The Father has given Him authority over all. “It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.” Isaiah 40. The most powerful ruler, the greatest president, the angelic host, even Satan himself, are completely and totally subject to the all-powerful, all-Mighty God, Jesus the Son.
Naked? Cold? Hungry? Totally dependent on a fallible, excited but frightened teenaged girl for life? Dirt-poor, filthy stable, outcasts and downtrodden standing by? Do you hear His cries? Tiny, frail voice foreshadowing the Shout that will signal the end of all ages. Do you see the blood? Drops of blood signaling the torrents that would be shed for all mankind? Do you smell the dust, the animal excrement, the shepherd’s body odor, the very depths of life, giving a foretaste of creation reborn, of those who would one day rule over angels? Can you gaze down on the tiny features, the puckered lips, the squinty, newborn-blue eyes, the upturned nose, the flushed cheeks of Almighty Jehovah Himself?
This season is about joy and wonder at the love of Christ, who would set aside His mightiness for you. Brennan Manning: “You could more easily catch a hurricane in a shrimp net than you can understand the wild, relentless, passionate, uncompromising, pursuing love of God made present in the manger.” Love for you.