Weekly Devotional 12-20-21 Jesus’ First Advent
Some time ago a friend said, “It is foolish to believe that Jesus Christ was (is) the Savior of the world. He was an insignificant figure of the past that was not even known outside of the small area in which He was born, and like all other men He died. How then could He be the Savior of the world?”
This was the same question that plagued His own (the Jewish) people while He walked among them, and still does to this day. The record states that He was born to Joseph and Mary, people of Galilee, people of low esteem. Historians, such as Josephus wrote that “he was a wise man, a doer of wonderful works—a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ and Pilate at the suggestion of the principled men among us, condemned him to the cross” (Antiquities of the Jews Book XV111 chapter 3, page 11). Josephus continued, “That those who loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”
The Biblical record informs us that this man Jesus came into the world as all other men do, through the birth process as a baby, but different in that He was without a human Father. This is beyond natural comprehension. Never had this ever happened nor since, even though some, in error, claim otherwise. Concerning the conception and birth of Jesus, the Apostle Matthew wrote, “18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’22So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘23Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’ 24Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus” (Matthew 1:18-25 (NKJV).
They shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, ‘God with us’ is an interesting and a very important phrase, and for a proper understanding we turn to the Apostle John’s opening statements in his testimony about Jesus and read, “1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made…14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” John 1:1-3 NKJV).
What a testimony! Creator God Himself entered into His creation as a baby taking upon Himself human flesh, humbly and quietly. Being Creator He could have appeared to and among men as a fully grown man and as the ruling potentate, but instead He came as a babe and was wrapped in swaddling clothes. He did live a quiet life for thirty years, but then for the last three years of His humanity He set in motion that which would change the world. Faith in Him changed the life of many of His day and during the many centuries that have followed. That same faith is changing lives today. He declared to His disciples that He would build His church and the gates of Hell (His physical death) would not prevent it, and that continues, as many around the world are added to the church each day.
He came into the world as a babe, taking upon Himself human flesh not without purpose, so that as a human He could identify with His creation. He was exposed to and suffered the things that are of the flesh. He was tempted in His humanity as mankind was (is) tempted but did not sin (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:31-34). He was born into humanity so that in His humanity He could die. This is something He could not do as the invisible God.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that God was not satisfied with the blood of bulls and goats but with the shed blood of Jesus Christ, His Son. That writer also tells us that a body had been prepared for Him so that He could shed His blood, the only acceptable and complete sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:1-12).
Today He sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven waiting for the appointed time when He will again appear among men. However, when He does it will not be as a human baby or as just a man, but as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1st Timothy 6:15). Even so come Lord Jesus.
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man