December 9, 2016
The Right Person
By Skip Heitzig
There was a family who loved to go out every year and look at all the Christmas displays in town. One church always had the most beautiful nativity set, and as they went by, the grandma would say, "Isn't it magnificent? Look at the shepherds and the wise men!" One year, the little granddaughter very astutely answered, "Well, yeah, it's nice, Grandma, but why is Jesus the same size this year as He was last year? When will He grow up?"
When will Jesus grow bigger in our thinking, in our hearts as believers? Every year, people overlook the real meaning of Christmas: that Jesus Christ, God's Son, was born into this world to atone for our sins.We have commercialized the holiday, made it all about a fat man named Santa Claus. Where's Christ?
Last week, we saw that God sent Jesus at exactly the right time. This week, let's look at three things you need to know about Jesus, the right person.
First, this right person was sent by God: "When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son" (Galatians 4:4). Notice it doesn't say that at the fullness of time, God created or made His Son; the wording implies that Jesus Christ was in the presence of the Father as the second person of the triune God, then at just the right time, He came forth from that presence on a mission to the earth. Jesus stated it plainly in John 8:42: "I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me" (see also John 6:38).
Number two, the right person was the Son of God: "God sent forth His Son" (Galatians 4:4). Now we are diving headlong into the mysteries of the incarnation, God becoming man (see 1 Timothy 3:16). When you see the term Son of God, understand that it implies deity. I have a son, and though he's a very different person than I am, he shares my nature: we're both human. Son of Godimplies that Jesus shares the same nature with His Father—that of deity. Jesus was God before He was born, and He was God after He became a man. "And the Word became flesh…and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father" (John 1:14).
And why did God send His Son? Because He wanted to reveal Himself. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. Jesus said, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). That means when you see Jesus dying on a cross, you are seeing a God who isn't aloof from all of our tragedy but who came to this earth determined to do something about sin.
The third and final point is that this right person was surrendered to God. Look at the rest of Galatians 4:4: "God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law." Now we're emphasizing the humanity of Jesus—that He was born into our world. He was not only 100 percent God; He was 100 percent human. He had to be God to have the power of salvation, and He had to be a man to have the privilege of substitution. Larger than the universe, yet confined to the womb of a woman. That's mind-blowing.
To bring it all together: God didn't send a Santa; He sent His Son as a Savior. Now, I have nothing against Santa Claus. In fact, I encourage you to look up the story of the real Santa Claus—Nicholas of Myra, a pastor in ancient Anatolia. But it's wrong to exalt a man of history to the point where we've given him the job of bringing joy to every person. That's a myth—this is reality.
This season, I challenge you to fully embrace the reality of the person who has risen from the dead, is active and dynamic, and is in the business of changing lives. I pray that Jesus wouldn't stay a baby to you, but that He'd grow bigger in your heart and your mind as the Son of God and the Savior you follow.
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