What Christmas Is Really About
Merry Christmas everyone!
This is a great time of year, is it not? Running around, trying to shop (for some of us this is a great challenge), sending cards, Christmas carols, and wrapping presents; I do love the busyness of Christmas. I really do. I pray that this is a good time of year for you and your family. For some of you, I know that this can be a difficult time. Whether you enjoy this time of year or feel burdened by it, let me encourage you. Jesus is coming. Please allow me to explain.
We have been looking at Christmas scripture from the disciple Luke over the last few weeks. This week we are changing gears, as we will be looking at Christmas scripture contained in the book of John.
I love reading the disciple John’s testimony. I believe that the scripture that we will be studying today explains to us what Christmas is really about. I mean the actual purpose of Christmas and the importance of Christmas. Because the purpose of Christmas is mind-blowing and its importance to us is incalculable. Without Christmas our eternities are awful. Without Christmas, you and I have no hope. Without Christmas, there would be no truth. Without Christmas, there would be no love. No love of God, no awareness of God. No relationship with God.
Yet what we celebrate mostly these days at Christmas is a love of the senses and not a love of God. We love the stuff: food, smells, presents, songs, traditions, family, travel, and a myriad of things. These are, for the most part, all good things. I love all of these things. But none of these are what Christmas is really about.
When Jesus was born, the Word became flesh. This is what Christmas is all about. Let’s explore this thought. John 1:1-5,
“In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him (the Word) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness does not understand it.”
Let’s focus for a second on verse one, “In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.’
This verse is describing the baby in the manger. The baby in the manger is God the Son, Jesus Christ. Isaiah 55:11 prophesied the accomplishments of God’s Word, Jesus Christ.
“...so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
There is a grand purpose for the Word, a grand purpose for the baby in the manger. This is a special baby, like no other baby, with God from the beginning. Isaiah spoke about this almost seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus. Then, from an unknown point in the future, comes a testimony from the disciple John, in Revelation 19:13, where John is describing what he is seeing in a dream, and he is seeing Jesus’ second advent, where Jesus is the returning Warrior King, not a baby.
“He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is Word of God.”
A prophecy fulfilled from the past, and solid confirmation from the future that Christ is indeed, the Word of God. Verse 2 tells us that the Word was with God in the beginning. This is verified in the future in Revelation 1:8 and 1:17-18, Jesus is speaking in the future in John’s vision,
“I am Alpha and Omega, who is, who was, and who is to come. (18) Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever. And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
Well, now we are beginning to see why this baby being born in Bethlehem, the Word of God, is so important. Jesus, in the future, will hold the keys of death and Hades. He doesn’t as a baby. But we know this part of the story, he will take these keys while dead after dying on the cross. He will set you and me free from eternal death and damnation. Oh, and he does not remain dead. Let’s re-read verses 3-5,
“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (This tells me that Jesus is the author of all things.) In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”
The Word is the creator. In him was life, and always when life is mentioned with Jesus, it is referring to eternal life. This eternal life is the light of men.
Now there is a special relationship between light and darkness and mankind. Jesus helps us to understand this relationship in John 3:19-21. These words are from the Word himself, Jesus Christ.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
All of mankind is in darkness. All are sinners. Jesus, when we believe in him, we step out of our sinfulness and into the light. Without the Word, we would be in darkness without truth forever. Truth is not an easy thing to source out anymore, is it? Praise God for the light of His Word. Let’s finish our passage today and with it some closing thoughts by me, and maybe another scripture. John 1:6-14,
There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John (the Baptist). He came as a witness to testify concerning that light so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. (In His First advent) He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own (the Jewish people), but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name (Jesus, the Word), he gave the right to become children of God–children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory (through his life, death, and resurrection), the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
This is the great purpose of Christmas. The Word became flesh. In the instant That Mary gave birth to the child she would name Jesus, all of the world’s history changed. A dark world had received the light necessary to overcome its inherent darkness. Love and truth entered via the light, never to disappear.
You and I stopped being lost and cursed for eternity due to our own sinfulness. We became co-heirs with Christ. Children of God, with Jesus as our brother. Imagine that. One more thing,
Jesus is coming. Jesus’ first advent is over. His life of ministry and his work on the cross, and his resurrection, are all completed works, finished.
But still, hear me now, Jesus is coming. Revelation 19:11-16,
“I saw heaven standing open (as when the angels sang for the shepherds), and before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven (will be ) following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has his name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”
Jesus is coming. I know, I know, the Word became flesh, Jesus has already come. But hear me, Jesus is coming again.
I know it seems as if the truth in our world today has become perverted. The emperor seems to have no clothes. Crime, violence, death, and grief seem to be everywhere. Evil is in control. Satan is in charge. He is, this is his dominion. But only for now. Not for long, because Jesus is coming.
Yes, he is!
Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.
and Harmony UMC