Eleven words that trumpet THE event after which the world would never be the same again.
Eleven words that appear to come careening out of nowhere, enigmatically exploding on the page in Matthew 1:18:
Here is how the birth of Yeshua the Messiah took place.
Think of it. When a lofty band of angels announced to a lowly brood of shepherds that Jesus was born, the impossible, the unimaginable happened.
Perhaps the clearest explanation of exactly what happened and why it happened was summarized by the Apostle Paul in the lovely little letter he wrote to his beloved congregation of committed Christ-followers in Philippi.
It’s such a marvelous and magnificent passage. So frequently read, yet so often misunderstood because of its rather unfamiliar phraseology. So I humbly offer to you my expanded paraphrase of Philippians 2:5-11, sort of as The New Testament in High Definition:
Jesus was God.
Yet, He chose to relinquish all of the privileges that were His as God.
If you can imagine it, Jesus voluntarily gave up everything when He became one of us – born as a baby, just as human as you and me. He did this so that He could humbly serve us by meeting our deepest needs – the forgiveness of our sins and the salvation of our souls.
In obedience to God the Father, Jesus even humbled Himself to the lowest point possible: He actually allowed Himself to be executed as if He was a common criminal. See Him there – Almighty God in an all-human body, bloodied and beaten – Jesus hanging from that rugged Roman cross, with the crowds sneering and spitting and laughing at Him.
Ah, but He didn’t stay on that cross, did He?
God the Father reached all the way down to Earth and lifted His Son all the way up to Heaven. He picked Jesus up from the lowest place and raised Him to the highest place, the place of supreme honor.
He gave Jesus a name that is so powerful, so preeminent that at the mere mention of His name – say it with me, “Jesus” – every person, and even every angel, will bow his or her knees before Him and offer to Him the worship that He alone deserves. This includes each of the holy angels in Heaven, every depraved demon in Hell, and each and every precious person who has ever walked this planet.
To the glorious honor of God the Father, everyone will loudly and clearly proclaim this one undeniable and unchangeable fact: Jesus Christ IS the Master of the Universe AND the Lord of our lives.
Such is the “reason for this season.”
From my heart to yours, Merry Christmas! And in the immortal words of A Christmas Carol’s Tiny Tim,
God bless us, every one!