Bishop Dobbs December
Who is this Jesus we worship at Christmas?
The Christmas carols speak of him as the baby in the manger, the One to whom the three kings of Orient paid homage. But who is He really? The central fact of the Christian faith is not a philosophy, it is a person. To take that person out of Christianity is a little bit like taking the numbers out of math. It is like taking doctors out of medicine, it is like thinking of daylight without the sun. Take Jesus away and the whole thing unravels until there is nothing left worth bothering about.
All the carols, the wrapping, the gifts, the celebrating are in fact about him – about Jesus Christ!
John’s gospel (chapter 1) reveals six powerful insights into who this Christmas Jesus really is.
1. Jesus Is The Eternal One [Vs: 1-3]
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John describes Jesus as logos. It’s a brilliant choice for it held immediate resonances not only for his Jewish but also for his Greek listeners. A Jew would have immediately recognized that the phrase, in the beginning. It resonated back to Genesis, in the beginning. St. Athanasius put it this way, “There never was when he was not.”
2. Jesus Is The Revealed One [Vs: 4-5]
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The picture of God in human flesh. There is nothing of God that we need to know that cannot be seen in Jesus. The mind of Jesus is the mind of God, the words of Jesus are the words of God, the actions of Jesus are the actions of God, the attitudes of Jesus are the attitudes of God. He is the definitive revelation of the Living God.
3. Jesus Is The Promised One. [Vs 6-8]
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. The Old Testament had been anticipating this moment. The law and the sacrifices and everything else had been a shadow of this wonderful reality which was to come in the birth of Jesus and then in his life and death and resurrection.
4. Jesus Is The Rejected One. [Vs 10]
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.” This is so very sad, in fact it is sad beyond description, but Jesus was rejected then and he is rejected now.
5. Jesus is the Saving One [Vs 12-13]
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God [vs. 12]. Christians believe that there can be no closer encounter to be had in this life with Almighty God, than an encounter with Jesus Christ. God makes himself available for our acceptance or our rejection in the person of Jesus. The New Testament is clear, there is no other way to God, except through Jesus Christ.
6. The Glorious One. [Vs 14]
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. Jesus dwelt among us. And suddenly in that moment, heaven and earth are joined as God had always intended. That is the wonder of the incarnation.
So this Advent and Christmas, consider He who is the Eternal One, the Revealed One, the Promised One, the Rejected One, the Saving One, the Glorious One - - O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!
Eternal God, the light of the minds that know you, the joy of the hearts that love you, and the strength of the wills that serve you: grant us so to know you that we may truly love you, so to love you that we may truly serve you, whose service is perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Augustine of Hippo (430)