Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:4-7
Can you picture a nativity scene, with a manger, a few lowly animals, and a bright shining star introducing the star of the show, baby Jesus?
I wonder how many of us think about Jesus as that cute little babe we see in nativity sets? When I had a baby, can I tell you that every—little—thing she did was adorable!? If you love babies, you know what I am talking about. They are so cute! You know that precious little thing they do when they they are sleeping? They are so relaxed and they put their fists by their face. And if they couldn’t get any cuter, they do this funny little lip-quiver breathing? Babies are cute!
Jesus was a baby like that. Baby Jesus. Cute. Innocent. Human.
Human. But, He was also fully God. Hebrews 4:15 says For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
Because of His humanity He could relate to us; that is why He became human. He understands us because He made us—homemade—from scratch. He wants us to know that He understands. He walked among us: He endured human trials.
Human, but fully God. In Luke 4:16-21, Jesus was making sure His audience knew who He is. Our cute baby Jesus grew up and is announcing His rightful place as our Lord, our Savior, our High Priest, our Creator and our Re-creator, because He remakes us anew.
Listen to how Jesus announces Himself.
And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-21 NASB
Once a cute little babe in a manger, announced by angels, Jesus is now announcing His deity. Not cute. Not cuddly. Not subtle. I’ll bet you could have heard a pin drop!
Philippians 2:5-11 shows us a picture of Jesus’s humanity and divinity. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus is the gospel of good news for those who know we are spiritually poor. He died to give us new life. He heals us and binds up our wounds. He sets us free. We have His favor, now, because He came as a cute baby boy, and grew up, day by day, just like we do, until He read the scroll. It all changed that day! He announced His mission. He died. He rose. He lives. Right here: right now!
Today, He is still writing the stories of our lives. I pray you ponder the miracle of His human birth to fulfill His divine plan for humanity. This season, may you experience the joy of the birth of the baby Jesus proclaimed, and savor the sacrifice of our Savior.
Thank you to the Immanuel Bible Foundation for allowing me to speak to the 700 women at the Christmas Celebration on December 2nd, 2017 at DoubleTree, in Bloomington, IL.