Jesus

 

Nativity


Jesus.

It’s a name that represents different things to different people. The name is spoken softly and also exclaimed. It’s used to call upon and it’s used to curse. 


What does the name Jesus mean to you?


Come with me as we consider who this Jesus is as explained in God’s holy Word…

 

It’s a new year and we’re looking back on the Christmas season when we possibly hear the name Jesus the most. It’s when we imagine Jesus as a baby born in a manger (Luke 2:7similar to the nativity scene pictured above. There was nothing notable about his parents, Joseph and Mary – nothing special about them in their society, anyway. But they were faithful to God and God chose them (Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-38).

Jesus, on the other hand, was very special. He was formed by God inside the womb of a virgin (Luke 1:26-38). He was the one who gave God’s people hope for hundreds, even thousands of years. He was prophesized to be their Messiah, their Deliverer, their “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, [and] Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6-7). It was prophesied that He would come through the lineage of King David, which was fulfilled with Joseph as His father (Matthew 1:1 and 20-22, Jeremiah 23:5).

But even more, Jesus was to be all of this to all the world. Yes, ‘Joy to the World, the Lord is come. Let earth receive its King.’ 1 But He wouldn’t be the Messiah until several years later, after much hardship, adversity, and rejection  all according to plan, albeit difficult.

Jesus had it hard even before He was born. Without divine protection, He could’ve easily lost His mother since she was a pregnant woman out of wedlock. This was not acceptable in her society more than 2,000 years ago when Mary carried Jesus in her womb. Then Mary had to travel 90 miles to Bethlehem with Joseph before giving birth. And, of course, we know they didn’t have the best travel accommodations, delivering Baby Jesus in a manger where animals lived.

Then 2 years later, His life was in danger again. It was, in fact, threatened by the King of the land who ordered the execution of all children 2 years old and younger (Matthew 2:16-18). Divine protection again kept Jesus safe, and it was still part of a bigger plan.


Divine protection kept Jesus safe
and it was part of a bigger plan

***

Thinking way back to the Garden of Eden, God said Jesus would meet adversity. He said the devil would oppose Him (Genesis 3:14-15). After the Magi’s visit some 2 years after Jesus’ birth, God warned Joseph to flee…

When [the Magi] had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.
“Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.
Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

So he got up, took the child and his mother
during the night and left for Egypt,
where he stayed until the death of Herod.
And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet:
“Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Matthew 2:13-15

 
Jesus was met with opposition, even as a child, but none of it caught Him by surprise. God was in control. He knows and planned every detail. After Egypt, Joseph journeyed with Jesus and Mary to Nazareth and that was fulfillment of another prophecy, that Jesus would be a Nazarene (Matthew2:19-23).

God knows the details and His Son Jesus was so in-tune with God that He knew them, too. He knows us as well, everything about us, and He wants to do life with us. Life on earth and in Heaven. This is why Jesus came. For you and me.


But the birth of Jesus was not just a story of danger. Some recognized Jesus for who He was, even though He was just a baby. Some knew He was the expected one – the Deliverer and Savior of the world. Mary and Joseph knew because the angel Gabriel told them (Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-38). Shepherds in nearby fields knew because they were urged by an angel who was later joined by a choir of angels (Luke 2:8-20). Wise men from a faraway land knew because they were familiar with the prophecy of Jesus, a baby who would someday be the King of God’s people (Matthew 2:1-6). And there must have been others who recognized Jesus for who He was, for Jesus came not to create an exclusive club. He came for all people of all nations of all generations.


Jesus came not to
create an exclusive club
He came for all people
of all nations
of all generations

He came for you and me

***

He came for you and me.

Jesus came to reunite us with God
He was the only One who could
God knew we would fall short of His righteousness
Which we need in order to be with Him

So Jesus came to right our wrongs
He died on a cross like a criminal
To pay for our shortcomings

But He was not a criminal
He was the Son of God in the flesh
He lived a perfect life and died in our place

But He didn’t stay dead
No, He conquered death
He rose from His grave
Alive and still perfect

And He watches and waits for us today
Jesus waits for us to accept His gift of life
He waits for us to trust Him as Savior

And He smiles when we do


Nativity Zoomed Out
When we utter the name Jesus, do we think about the baby, man, and Savior I described above? Do we see Jesus as someone who cares so much that He sacrificed Himself for us? Do we trust Jesus as Savior? Do we follow Him as Lord?

I know Him and I call Him Lord, but too often I don't allow Him to be my Lord. In His perfection, Jesus gave His life for me. He did the same for you, and He rose to live again. We can enjoy new and everlasting life with Him.

If we’re not already doing so, let’s do life with Jesus. 


If you don’t know where to begin, visit my
Good News page.

 



If the person called Jesus is new to you or you want to learn more about Him, please email me at
authordlv@att.net or visit the Good News page on my blog. Jesus is alive and preparing a place for us in Heaven while we do life on earth until He comes back for us.

Read more blog posts here.

1Lyrics from the song “Joy to the World

 

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 


Comments

  1. Great message Stephen. I love the message that Jesus did not come to create an exclusive club but is here for all people. Amen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so love the reality of a non-exclusive club, too. We see all kinds of people come to Jesus in the Bible and in our times. How refreshing!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for this evangelistic message on Jesus, Stephen. I pray to remember the power in His name and as Lord and Savior. And to share the good news with others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to share, Karen. And how I need to always remember the power in His name and to share about it with others.

      Delete
  3. Love this, Stephen!! And it's helpful for us to remember that, as you say, "God was in control. He knows and planned every detail." I look looking back at the context of what happened in the world at the time Christ came. It helps the whole story come into perspective!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. There is so much in the story of Jesus' birth that is so easy to miss if we don't stop to think it through. I still forget or miss things when I read the stories and it's good to take the time to consider. Amen. God is in control!

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  4. When I speak the name of Jesus outloud or say His name in my thoughts, I am filled with peace and comfort. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. All may come. That's the opposite of exclusive. Great message, Stephen. God bless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Nancy. I hope we as Christians can break the oft habit of being exclusive, sticking to ourselves, overlooking those who need attention, and many, many other acts of sacrificial compassion.

      Delete
  6. Hi Steve - Appreciate the sharing! I happened to see this link that you shared on LinkedIn. I am happy to find out another Christian person in my workplace. - Chloe :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Chloe. That's why I mentioned to you I was glad that you shared a Bible verse in one of our meetings. People, including our co-workers, need Jesus!

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