Last night it was rude and bare. Bethlehem. No room at the inn. Lay Jesus in the manger. Yet the angel preached about Him: For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. So why should you believe in the lowly-born Infant Jesus as your Savior? If you put Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus next to the prologue of John’s Gospel there’s no doubt that John opens up the transcendence of Jesus’ birth. Luke gives us the immanence of His birth. Jesus is up close and personal in Luke chapter two. Jesus is out of this world, literally, in John chapter one. The two accounts are enough to make you wonder whether or not this Jesus really is the Savior. One writer has Him spiraling into our world from outside the cosmos. Another has Him right there, in your face, with the animals and the shepherds.
John’s account of the birth of Jesus shows us that He is a great and wonderful Savior. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. Jesus has come not merely in time. Jesus is from eternity. Here is the second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Son of God; God Himself; the Creator of all creation, now in flesh appearing.
Hard to believe, isn’t it. Whoever heard of God becoming man in order to pay for the sin of the world? You believe it. You’re willing to die for it. You’re willing to forsake everything for it. God becomes man. It’s that simple. It can’t be explained or measured. It is believed.
Jesus is also the only Savior. Spiritual life and light for mankind is only in Him. Mankind is in death and darkness without Jesus. John the Baptist had the task to indicate to all men this one Light. What is sad about John the Baptist’s witness of Jesus is that not all who heard his preaching believed it, especially among the Jews. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. As a result the Jews excluded themselves from being children of God. They forfeited eternal life.
Jesus comes for both Jew and Gentile. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. Jesus is for you because God wills it. You weren’t born into His redemption. You are not a blood relative. You can’t will yourself into eternal life. Neither can your family or your neighbor or even your pastor. Only God gives you the right to be called a child of God. Only God does the heavy lifting of creating and sustaining faith in Jesus Christ. Only God bestows the birth from above and makes you an heir of eternal life.
Jesus is also a kind and loving Savior. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. He pitched His tabernacle among us. God becomes man. Although the glory that He revealed that holy night of His birth was a divine glory, this glory was not a consuming fire or a glory of an angry judge.
The glory of God was full of grace and truth. Jesus Christ is full of grace, full of the heavenly Father’s undeserved love toward sinners. Grace is not a thing. Grace is a state of being. It is how God is because of Jesus Christ. It is how the Father is when He sees His Son’s blood and righteousness that covers you. He is well-pleased when He sees you in Jesus.
Jesus is also full of truth. The truth is that you deserve eternal death and condemnation because of sin. Nevertheless, Jesus becomes sin for you that you receive His righteousness, innocence, and blessedness. Hearing Christ’s gift of forgiveness and life for you brings you what the Israelites longed for many years. You have life in the Name of Jesus, the God Who saves. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Believe it for Baby Jesus’ sake.