God with Us!

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The conviction of the early church was that when you were looking at Jesus you were looking at no one less than God Himself!

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” — which means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

The birth of a baby is always a special event. Think of the joy of parents at their new arrival; of the smiles of family and friends; of flowers and cards that crowd the home or the hospital bedside. What a special time it is! What a cause for celebration!

But the birth of Jesus was a birth like none other before or since, and a cause for celebration like no other. For the New Testament tells us that Jesus was not like any other human being; nor was He simply a “chosen one,” called to be an enlightened prophet or guru that God would one day use; rather, He was the very Son of God, the One Who had been with the Father right from the beginning, but Who had now come into this world – not as God pretending to be a man, nor as some sort of a half-god half-man – but as a real human being, as fully human as us.

Probably no verse sums up this miracle more succinctly than when John says: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). The Greek word John used for “flesh” is quite a stark one; it is rather like our expression “flesh and blood.” It is almost as if John is saying: “Go on – pinch yourself – feel your body – because that’s the stuff that Jesus became!”

The conviction of the early church was that when you were looking at Jesus you were looking at no one less than God Himself!

At this season of Christmas, we remember once again that the One Who has come to us is no mere prophet or holy man; He is none less than God incarnate – God with us! – just as God promised long ago through the prophets. Let’s thank Him today that such was His love for us that He did not send another, but came Himself.

For in Christ all the fulness of the Deity lives in bodily form. (Colossians 2:9)

Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

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