The story of Christmas has been told and retold for centuries, and traditions have been intertwined with truth. But what did this special holiday truly mean to the biblical figures of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John? Their messages from over 2,000 years ago continue to hold essential significance for us today. As we delve into their perspectives on the birth of Jesus Christ, we uncover a rich tapestry of history, faith, and profound meaning that resonates with us in our modern world. Learn more with the message “What Christmas meant to Mathew, Mark, Luke and John and why their messages are so essential for us today”

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Read What Christmas meant to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and why their messages are so essential for us Today

Have you heard the 12 crazy days of Christmas? The final verse goes like this.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Twelve dozen cookies

Eleven shoppers fighting

Ten cars a-honking

Nine broken presents
Eight bags a-missing

Seven Christmas parties

Six crazy in-laws

Five extra pounds

Four full credit cards

Three crying babies

Two missing parts

and a dried brown Christmas tree

We’ve all been there, right? It’s easy for us to get so distracted with the busyness of the season that we forget the real meaning of the season. 

Thanks for taking this time to focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story comes down to us from antiquity from two main sources. I’m not counting the Armenian Infancy Gospels or the more modern Saint Nicholas folklore. All though if you want to hear the story of the man who would become  St. Nick, it’s awesome, unsubstantiated and from 1000 years after the events, but it is very cool. 

The Story of Jesus coming to earth as a baby are delivered to us by primarily two of the gospel writers – Matthew and Luke. They give the details. They highlight the fulfilled prophecy. They place the event in Jewish and World history.

But the other two Gospels tell us a lot more about His arrival and purpose than we might otherwise pick up on in either of the main historical accounts.

The beauty of historical accounts show us the authors main focus and main purpose. So we’ll  look at how each Gospel writer handles the coming of Jesus as a baby reveals their message to their first readers and to us today.

The Story in the Gospels

Each Gospel handles the birth of Jesus a little differently. These are meaningful differences. They are written by different people and for different people, but each gives us another reason to fall in love with Jesus all over again.

So let’s look at a What Christmas meant to Mathew, Mark, Luke and John and why their messages are so essential for us today.

Can I  pray?

What does Mathew tell us about Christmas?

The background of Matthew

Matthew was written to Jewish believers and/or possibly Jewish people as an apologetic. He writes it like this

Matthew 1:18-2:18 18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ 22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written: 6 ‘“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”’ 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.’ 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. 13 When they 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.’ 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 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.’ 16 When Herod realised that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted,  because they are no more.’

NB

Matthew doesn’t have the star or the wise men at the manger. We put them there for symbolic reasons in our naivety scenes, but Matthew says they came to the house and that Herod killed all the boys 2 years old and younger, so we know they didn’t come the night he was born. 

Matthew puts Jesus in Jewish History

His genealogy places Jesus in Jewish history. We look more at that in a few minutes. 

He continually points out how Jesus fulfills the prophecy for the Messiah – including, but not limited to these prophecies about  the Messiah:

Prophecy about Messiah

  • Would come from a descendant of Shem named Abraham ( Genesis 22:18; 12; 17; 22). Fulfilled: See Christ’s genealogy in Matthew 1.
  • Would be a descendant of Abraham’s son, Isaac, not Ishmael (Gen. 17; 21). 
  • Fulfilled: See Christ’s genealogy in Matthew 1.
  • Would be a descendant of Isaac’s son, Jacob, not Esau (Gen. 28; 35:10-12; Num. 24:17). 
  • Fulfilled: See Christ’s genealogy in Matthew 1.
  • Would be a descendant of Judah, not of the other eleven brothers of Jacob. 
  • Fulfilled: See Christ’s genealogy in Matthew 1.
  • Would be a descendant of the family of Jesse in the tribe of Benjamin (Isaiah 11:1-5). Fulfilled: See Christ’s genealogy in Matthew 1 and Luke 3:23-38.
  • Would be of the house of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Jeremiah 23:5; Psalm 89:3-4). Fulfilled: See Christ’s genealogy in Matthew 1; Luke 1:27, 32, 69. Note: Since the the Jewish genealogical records were destroyed in 70 A.D., along with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, it would not be possible for a Messiah impostor who was born later to prove his lineage back to David and thus fulfill this prophecy.
  • Would be born in a small city called Bethlehem, specifically the one formerly known as Ephratah (Micah 5:2). 
  • Fulfilled: Matthew 2:4-6
  • Would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). 
  • Fulfilled: Matthew 1; Luke 1.
  • Would come while the Temple of Jerusalem is standing ( Malachi 3:1; Psalm 118:26; Daniel 9:26; Zechariah 11:13; Haggai 2:7-9). 
  • Fulfilled: Matthew 21:12, etc.

Prophecies about Jesus’ Life Fulfilled in Matthew

  • Will perform many miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6). Fulfillment: See the Gospels
  • Will open the eyes of the blind (Isa. 29:18). Fulfillment: Matt 9:27-31; 12:22; 20:29;
  • Will speak in parables (Psalm 78:2). Fulfillment: Matthew 13:34, etc.
  • Will have his way prepared by a messenger (a man of the wilderness) (Isa. 40:3; Malachi 3:1). See John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-3; 11:10; John 1:23; Luke 1:17).
  • Will be betrayed (Psalm 41:9). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:3-10.
  • Will be betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:3-10; 26:47-48.
  • Will be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (Zech. 11:12). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:3-10.
  • The betrayal money will be cast onto the floor of the Temple (Zech. 11:13). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:3-10.
  • The betrayal money will be used to buy a potter’s field (Zech. 11:13). Fulfillment: Matt. 27:6-10.
  • Will not open his mouth to defend himself (Isaiah 53:7). Fulfillment: Matthew 27:12.
  • Will be beaten and spit upon (Isaiah 50:6). Fulfillment: Matthew 26:67; 27:26-30.
  • Will be “numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). Fulfillment: Jesus was crucified as a criminal in between two thieves (Mat 27:38).
  • Will be given vinegar and gall to drink (Psalm 69:21). Fulfillment: Matthew 27:34, 48.
  • Will be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9). Fulfillment: Matthew 27.
  • Will be the Son of God (Psa. 2:7). Fulfilled: Matthew 3:17, etc.

Matthew wanted to show Jewish people Jesus is their Messiah. 

Jewish people around the time of Jesus were looking for a Messiah who would be King.

Their recent history proved that a dedicated resistance – with the help of God – could overthrow a world power and set up an earthly Kingdom.

This is exactly what happened during the inter-testmental period when Judas Maccabeus revolted against the Seleucid Empire. The Greeks had forbidden the practicing Jewish religion since 175 BC. Maccabeus was ultimately victorious, saw the miracle that is remembered in Hanukkah and forged an alliance with the emerging state of Rome to keep the theocracy free.

It happened once – not that long ago in the memory of an ancient people – and Lord willing it could happen again.

Genealogy

The genealogy starts with Abraham and goes to Joseph then Jesus. 

Matthew uses a hermeneutic that’s lost on us today (hermeneutic is how we interpret Scripture) Matthew’s hermeneutic  made sense to the first century Jewish thinking. It doesn’t quite make sense to us. Let me quickly give you some examples.

1.  His genealogy is 14-14-14. 14 generations from Abraham to David, from David to the exile, from the exile to Christ. 

We know it wasn’t that clean, but it made sense to first readers.

2. His prophecy on the Messiah being a Nazarene can’t be found in the Hebrew Scriptures. 

Our best guess is he’s using the term for ‘branch’ in Isaiah 11:1 because it’s very similar in sound. Again, this is a perfectly legitimated understanding for first century listeners. Please don’t let it make you uncomfortable.

Focus on Joseph

His genealogy ends with Joseph. He wrote about Joseph and the dreams God gave him. The father’s role of the Messiah was important to the early Jewish believers.

Angels are in dreams

And Angels in dreams were more common to Jewish literature at the time. All the angels appear in dreams.

Matthew includes royalty.

The gifts the Magi brought were royal gifts. A start guided them – stars are symbols of royal action in our ancient past. 

Matthew places Jesus in Jewish History.

Matthew reminds us that Jesus came as King.

What does this means to us? In our modern world, we don’t understand what a king was. We live in a recent concept of nation-states with various degrees of democracy or political influence.

Do you know there hardly a time in world history that there was a singular people gathered under rule? Even King David had Hittites and Ammonites as part of his mighty men. For most of world history, people gathered around leaders, not nationality.

It was the King who was responsible for provision, protection, identity, justice.

Jesus is King whether you acknowledge it or not. Will you follow Him as your king and trust Him for provision, protection, identity, justice?

Matthew tells us is Jesus came as King.

The question for us

In my heart, have I set apart, Christ as Lord?

Is he Lord of my life? Lord of this Christmas season? 

Jesus came as king.

In my heart, have I set apart Christ as Lord?

What does Mark tell us about Christmas?

Mark doesn’t mention anything about the Christmas story. 

When we were kids, we opened our presents Christmas Eve, and we had to wait until the light came on in our yard. It came on when it was dark enough. When it wasn’t deathly cold, I remember I was thrown outside and told not to come in until the light came on. That might have been the year the cat was somehow thrown near the tree shredded paper on the mad dash away from the tinsel.  

Each year our dad would read the Christmas story before we could open presents. My tradition was trying to get him to read it from Mark.  He never fell for it. 

Matthew places Jesus in Jewish history, we can say Mark places Jesus in Soteriological History. Don’t worry that’s just a big word for “salvation”.

Mark’s conspicuous absence of a nativity account speaks volumes to us and that’s what I want us to consider.

Why would Mark leave Christmas out?

Why would Mark – that in many ways is so close to its synoptic brothers (Matthew and Luke) – leave out any mention of the coming of Jesus as a baby?

The book starts with a quick mention of John the Baptist and then right into Jesus’ baptism and ministry.

He doesn’t seem to care about the prophecies Jesus fulfilled like Matthew.

He certainly doesn’t care to put Jesus into Jewish or World history.

Some describe Mark as the passion – with a longer introduction. Before I explain that, let’s take a look at a few things about this book.

History of Mark

Since the earliest times it’s been held that Mark—while a witness to the events of Jesus’ life—was the scribe for Peter.

Remember Peter was the one to jump onto the waves. He was the one to run into the tomb when John stopped at the entrance. He was the one to speak up and say things Jesus dismissed when the rest of the disciples were quiet.

Peter was the impetuous one.

Look at how Young’s Literal Translation renders three verses in Mark 1:28-31 YLT

And the fame of him went forth immediately to all the region, round about, of Galilee. And immediately, having come forth out of the synagogue, they went to the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John, and the mother-in-law of Simon was lying fevered, and immediately they tell him about her, and having come near, he raised her up, having laid hold of her hand, and the fever left her immediately, and she was ministering to them. 

Mark 1:28-31 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

42 times in 16 chapter (and these are just the ones that make it into English) the word “immediately” is used in the book. εὐθέως

Everything is focussed on the one event.

Everything in Mark is focussed on the one event. Everything rushes towards the reason Jesus came.

Mark is so focussed on the passion of Christ – His death on the cross – that he doesn’t have time to waste on Jesus‘ birth.

And that’s something we can never forget in the Christmas season.

Yes, Jesus came as a baby and we started celebrating his birthday (before 336 AD)  on the only day early Christians could celebrate together as slave and free – the pagan holiday of Saturnalia December 17 – 24 – Early christian writers complained about how Romans celebrated Saturnalia – kids would knock on doors and offer something small and expect to get back something more valuable. And early Christians thought Christians shouldn’t participate because it makes kids greedy and is the opposite of Christian love.  

In 336 Christianity was the religion of Rome and Christians took Saturnalia over as The Feast of the Nativity  and that feast had morphed to include Christ’s Mass –  Christmas – in the 8th century.  It had spread to England and Scandinavia Germany and Latvia…

But 8th century Christmas was not with the traditions we have today…well it was the formation of some of the traditions we have today. 

Actually early on, Christmas was an extension of the pagan feast of Saturnalia. Look at what happened in England, this comes from maybe 8 or 900 years later.

On Christmas, most believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the “lord of misrule” and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink or demand they throw out coins. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief or worse. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined “debt” to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.

This Lord of Misrule was a thing in England up until the 17th Century when the Puritans outlawed as it was deemed “disruptive”. 

Actually the Puritans weren’t too excited about Christmas. They knew Jesus probably wasn’t born around the Winter solstice – and it was a wild drunken celebration. (Not so unlike some companies Christmas parties today). BTW “Merry Christmas” originally meant “I hope you get drunk this Christmas” 

When Puritans founded the American colonies, they didn’t bring Christmas with them. There was a report from Jamestown that “The first Christmas passed and was uneventful”. Christmas wasn’t an official holiday in the US until 1870.  Incidentally, in Canada it was the same year it was a national holiday but we had only been a country since 1867. 

How did we get our traditions for Christmas is it was about drunken riots for 1000 years in England?

That’s a great question, I’m so glad you asked.

There were people in the US who purposely rewrote the history of Christmas because they didn’t want the riots that took place in England. They wrote the tradition was to gather family and friends around the fire and drink warm cider and exchange gifts with each other. Pure fabrication with really good intentions. And it has seemed to stick. 

It wasn’t until 1931 that Coca-Cola gave us the Santa Clause we know today. 

But this whole “Lord of Misrule” tradition is why we have carolling today.  Carolling comes from an extension of the festival of Saturnalia. 

Let me give you an example. 

We Wish You a Merry Christmas (arranged in 1935) – probably comes from a folk song from the 16th or 17th century… look at the lyrics from the second and third verse.

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding

And bring it right here

Good tidings we bring to you and your kin

We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year

We won’t go until we get some

We won’t go until we get some

We won’t go until we get some

So bring it right here

Honest truth

We celebrate his birth at a time when he most likely NOT BORN—shepherds don’t keep watch over their flocks by night in the middle of winter so it’s most likely Jesus was born in the spring—with some pagan traditions that pre-date Christianity random traditions pulled from all over world, designed to temper hostilities.  

(Although I was pleasantly surprised to learn that current scholarship agree that Christmas Trees are a uniquely Christian thing—not a pagan thing Christians adopted. They come from Estonia, Germany and Livonia (now Latvia)) 723 St. Boniface. It seems that no pagan ever thought it was a good idea to bring a tree inside, and have candles burn on it.) 

We celebrate his birth at a time when he most likely NOT BORN with some pagan traditions that pre-date Christianity and fabricated traditions meant to make us nice and spend money. 

With hustle and bustle and busy-ness it is easy to not leave space for the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control that Holy Spirit grows.  

All that is to say… Christmas without the cross is no better than a pagan holiday.

And Mark reminds us Jesus came to die.

Christmas without the cross is no better than a pagan holiday.

And everything changed at the cross.

7 things that changed at the Cross

  1. Guilt was removed (Justification). Romans 3:23-24
  2. The price of sin was paid (Redemption). Romans 3:25
  3. Our sins were washed (Propitiation). 1 Corinthians 6:11
  4. We were made friends again with God (Reconciliation). 2 Corinthians 5:19
  5. We are no longer fallen (Identification). Ephesians 2:4-6
  6. Satan’s rule was ended (Reclamation). Colossians 2:15
  7. The curse of the law was canceled (Expiation). Galatians 3:13

Everything changed at the cross.

Mark reminds us that Jesus came to die. 

The question we can ask ourselves

Has the cross made its difference in my life this week?

It’s in the day-to-day of everyday that the cross makes its difference in our life. Because the cross changes everything. It changes how we approach God, it changes how we interact with each other. It changes how we interact with strangers. It changes how we live our lives.  I suppose another question we could ask is  “Are you living up to what you’ve already attained?“

Jesus came to die.

Has the cross made its difference in my life this week?

What does Luke tell us about Christmas?

Luke has carefully researched the events around Christ’s birth – and he starts with the events around Jesus’ cousin’s birth – the miraculous birth of John.

The book of Luke was written to “Theophilus”.

Literally, that means “God-lover”. He could have been a wealthy patron, or it might have been a group of people. What if Greek Christians, before they were called Christians called themselves Theophilians?

Matthew places Jesus in Jewish History, Mark places Jesus in Soteriological History, Luke places Jesus in World History

Luke 2:1-20 NIVUK 2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Peace on Earth

We sing and we send cards talking about peace on earth. 

 But the angels never sang about peace on earth. In fact Jesus will later say he didn’t come to bring peace but a sword. What the angels sang was “Peace on Earth on whom his favour rests.” 

His favour rests on you. You can and should have peace and joy and hope at all times and in every situation…including Christmas. 

Luke places Jesus in World History. 

He writes about Caesar Augustus and Quirinius being the governor of Syria.

 For years we didn’t have a Roman record of Quirinius being at this time and scholars said Luke got it wrong. They basically said they were smarter than him because they didn’t have the evidence. Well, the records were found and Luke was right.  Look at what’s happened  in my lifetime. 

Based on his accurate description of towns, cities and islands, as well as correctly naming various official titles, archaeologist William Mitchell Ramsay wrote that “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy. …[He] should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.

Genealogy

His genealogy goes from Joseph all the way back to Adam.

Luke gives fuller accounts of angels.

The Greeks-speakers  he was writing to were more accustomed to stories of the gods interacting with humans and so would be interested in angelic encounters.

He writes about the angel coming to Zachariah who didn’t believe He could become a father and so had his mouth shut until the prophecy was fulfilled. Luke talks about everything Mary hid in her heart about Gabriel’s visit.

Luke includes unlikely people.

He reveals the story of the shepherd in the field keeping watch over their flocks by night

He includes women – Elizabeth, Mary. 

He includes the elderly – Simeon, Zechariah, Anna.

Luke was writing to Greek speaking believers who needed to know the Jewish Messiah was for them. 

You don’t have to be born into the right family. 

You don’t need to be the top of society. 

You don’t need to be a man to be loved by God.

Luke reminds us Jesus came for everyone

Luke reminds us that Jesus came for everyone. 

Not just the Jews. 

Not just the righteous. 

Not just the important. 

Not just those you would expect.

Jesus came for everyone. In Christ there is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, we are all one in Christ. (See Galatians 3:26-30) And the love we get from God and the love we share with each other is the love we can extend to others who need to know Jesus came for them.

The question we can ask ourselves

Do I see what God loves about the people I can’t love on my own?

We all have people…not the nearest and dearest to us, but people we interact with. They are in our neighbourhood, they shop in our Walmart, they drive in our streets, they lead our governments… and Jesus came for all them. Jesus LOVES them and tells you to love them with the love He gives you.  This is especially challenging if you unthinkingly move along with hustle and bustle of Christmas.

Jesus came for all. 

Do I see what God loves about the people I can’t love on my own?

Now we come to the good stuff…

What does John tell us about Christmas?

Matthew places Jesus in Jewish History, Mark places Jesus in Soteriological History, Luke places Jesus in World History. John places Jesus in Cosmological History

John 1:1-14 NIVUK In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John reminds us that GOD came

The One who SPOKE and the 100 billion stars of this galaxy were formed and 2 trillion galaxies of this universe came into being.  The One who speaks and sustains the spin of an electron around a proton and makes the dark matter we’re only speculating about keep the universe together…  He took on flesh and camped out for a while.

….

Yes, Jesus came as our King. He came to die in our place. He came for all. But the thing that continually puts me in awe during Christmas is HE CAME. 

Philippians 2:3-11 (NIVUK) 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing  by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himsel   by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place  and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,   in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,  to the glory of God the Father.

There it is. The entire Christmas story. GOD came. He came to die. He came for all. He came as King and He is Lord. 

Immanuel – “God With Us” stripped himself of his omnipresence and omniscience and came as a helpless baby in a manger. He came to die. He came for all. He came as King 

I don’t understand. I can’t comprehend it. It hurts my brain to think to hard about it. 

But I appreciate it and I’m in awe of it. GOD came. GOD is love. GOD is with us. 

The question we can ask ourselves

Can I be still…and know…He IS God?

It might be the hustle and bustle of the season that you need to make space in to be still and know He is God and God is with you. 

It might be lack and loss you’re struggling with this year. 

Any time we celebrate, the enemy —and sometimes our fallen nature—will have us focus on what we lack or what we’ve lost in our relationships or health or in what we receive for what we do. 

The battle for hope is always in or health, or relationships or in what we receive for what we do. It is a battle for identity and that’s what makes you who you are. 

And this season is all about hope. God came and God is with us. It’s hard to be hopeful if you’re living offended at Him. 

I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but I’ve been around enough to know that when everyone is celebrating what they have, it’s easy to look and what I lack. 

Maybe it’s the first Christmas without a loved one? Or maybe your family and friends can’t gather. Or maybe your health won’t allow you to host the parties you once did or maybe you’ve maxed out your credit cards to give your kids toys you know they won’t appreciate. 

This is more than the hustle and bustle…you may have the hustle and bustle but on top it…or overshadowing it is lack and loss. 

And the thought of “GOD came” isn’t the answer to the questions you came with today. 

I don’t know what you’re dealing with this season, but I know I can never afford to give up my peace. I get peace and hope and joy as I trust in Him. I’m not trusting Him if I’m living offended at Him. 

A good clue I’m living offended at Him is my focus is on lack and loss. 

You can ask him to help you. Agree with Him that you’re mad at Him—that’s confession—and ask Holy Spirt to help you live unoffended at Him. That’s repentance. He’ll help you look to see what He’s doing and not to focus on what’s left undone. 

He’ll do that for you because he’s done that for me. If you can’t be still and know he is God, start with confession and repentance then be still and know he is God. 

GOD came.

Can I be still and know He is God?

Challenge

Matthew puts Jesus in Jewish History and reminds us Jesus came as King.

In my heart, have I set apart, Christ as Lord?

Mark puts Jesus in Soteriology History and reminds us He came to die

Has the cross made its difference in my life this week?

Luke puts Jesus in World History and reminds us He came for all. 

Do I see what God loves about the people I can’t love on my own?

John puts Jesus in Cosmological History and reminds us GOD came. 

Can I be still…and know…He IS God?

Pray…

Information is only as valuable as the transformation it helps facilitate. 

What we need is transformation and that accelerates through revelation.

Stand if you want to receive…

revtrev

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