This week, we’re completing our message series entitled, “Christmas.” Through one of the greatest events in human history, we learn an amazing truth about God. Paul wrote about this truth about God here:
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.
Through this series, we’ll look at key individuals in the Christmas account and see just how true it is that God chooses the lowly things of this world, the things that are not, and does the impossible through them so that anyone who boasts will boast in the Lord alone!
So far, we looked at two couples which are inseparable from the Christmas story; Elizabeth and Zechariah and Mary and Joseph. We’ve also looked at two individuals not often included in the Christmas story: Anna and Simeon.
This Christmas morning, we turn to the central person not only of the Christmas account, but of our very existence: Jesus!
If there was ever any doubt in your mind that God chooses the lowly things, the uninfluential, the foolish, the weak, even the things that are not in order to do the miraculous and impossible, Jesus should clear it all up. He was born to the least likely parents during an unexpected time in history and in perhaps the lowliest of circumstances.
Jesus was more than simply Immanuel, God with us. Jesus was God like us. Literally God, Himself wrapped in flesh. Jesus continued to remind us of this as He referred to Himself by both of His titles: “Son of God” as well as “Son of Man.” Paul wrote and reminds us today that:
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Jesus is well familiar with the very same temptations, weaknesses, and struggles that we face, yet overcame them all. That is why He alone is able to help us in our time of need. He won the victory so that He could freely give it to us! That is why we are filled to overflowing with joy!
It’s not because we live a life free from temptation, weakness, and struggle that we rejoice. We choose to count all circumstances as joy because we endure them all knowing that we have the certain victory and triumph over them all!
This is one of the most amazing aspects of the Christmas story! Jesus, God in the flesh, God incarnate, weak and shamed and tempted, yet overcoming it all and rising again in triumph over all things! Then, He chooses to freely give us the victory that He has won! This fills our lives to overflowing with His love, grace, mercy, and joy! Even in the midst of trials, we are overflowing with joy because we know that our victory is on its way!
Isaiah prophesied about Jesus:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
The last time that Jesus is recorded with His earthly father, Joseph, was at the age of twelve when His parents abandoned Him after celebrating the Passover. Though, we do see Mary continuing to follow and support Him in His ministry indicating either that Joseph passed away or had rejected Jesus and Mary. The latter is likely. After all, His own brothers doubted that He was God in the flesh!
1 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. 2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
Not only was He familiar with broken families and rejection, but He was even familiar with the pressure that families put on young adults still single.
In John chapter three, we find the account when Jesus performed His first miracle by turning water to wine. We also get a glimpse of an anxious mother of a 30-year-old single son at a wedding.
3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Obviously this is my personal opinion here, but I read the impatience of a mother who is like, “Look, either start your public ministry or get working on some grandbabies for me!” Yes, young singles, Jesus can even relate to your situation!
Jesus was a man well familiar with rejection, pain, and suffering. However, He knew who He was and what He had come to do. He lived faithful and fully committed to His Heavenly Father despite the increasing opposition to Him. Despite the powerful signs, wonders, and miracles that Jesus performed, there were still those who hated Him and were anxiously awaiting the opportunity to kill Him.
Though Jesus was born in the flesh and well familiar with our weaknesses and sufferings, that was not the end of His story! After all, the Christmas story is not a bleak story of pain and misery, it is one of joy, peace, and hope! Isaiah went on and prophesied:
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Immanuel, God with us and God like us. The God of all of the universe as a helpless infant who would grow to share in our struggles is not what we would expect, but it is exactly what we need. This morning (and every day), because of the birth of Jesus, we can choose to rejoice, to have peace, and to be filled with hope. Because Jesus faced all that we face and yet overcame it all, so shall we also overcome with Him! We close with this reminder.
2 Timothy 2:11-12
Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
Merry Christmas and may the joy, peace, and hope of Jesus reign in your lives today and forevermore!