*The Son Of God
In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God.
In one of the most beautiful and powerful preambles in literature, John reminds us that Jesus was unlike anyone who ever lived, categorically different and utterly unique. The man- who was born as a baby, grew up in a carpenter’s shop, taught and healed people, and died a martyr’s death outside Jerusalem- was flesh and blood, but He was from another realm. He was, in fact, God incarnate.
Even in the prescientific world, people understood that time went back a long way. Today, we have a clearer grasp of the of the age of the universe: some 14.6 billion years old! The age and distances are staggering. Most of us have to strain to remember things that happened thirty, forty, or fifty years ago. But Jesus, God’s Son, was alive before Creation began- infinitely before!
We live in an Information Age, and we like to think that we have everything figured out (or at least, we’re close to having everything figured out). But when we contemplate the wonder of God becoming a man, mystery comes back into our world, and we’re amazed at the nature of God.
Being amazed is a good thing. In fact, wonder is essential to real faith. Creation reminds us that God is great beyond all imagination, and the Cross convinces us again that He loves us more than we’ll ever fathom. The Son of God is truly amazing.
God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshippers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections not line with His, and for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts, and join His global purpose.
Paul, in the letter to the Colossians provides us with a description of our amazing Savior and Lord.
“For He has rescued us and has drawn us to Himself from the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption [because of His sacrifice, resulting in] the forgiveness of our sins [and the cancellation of sins’ penalty]. He is the exact living image [the essential manifestation] of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible], the firstborn [the preeminent one, the sovereign, and the originator] of all creation. For by Him all things were created in heaven and on earth, [things] visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [that is, by His activity] and for Him. And He Himself existed and is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. [His is the controlling, cohesive force of the universe.] He is also the head [the life-source and leader] of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will occupy the first place [He will stand supreme and be preeminent] in everything. For it pleased the Father for all the fullness [of deity—the sum total of His essence, all His perfection, powers, and attributes] to dwell [permanently] in Him (the Son), and through [the intervention of] the Son to reconcile all things to Himself, making peace [with believers] through the blood of His cross; through Him, [I say,] whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
“For in Him all the fullness of Deity (the Godhead) dwells in bodily form [completely expressing the divine essence of God]. And in Him you have been made complete [achieving spiritual stature through Christ], and He is the head over all rule and authority [of every angelic and earthly power]. In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but by the [spiritual] circumcision of Christ in the stripping off of the body of the flesh [the sinful carnal nature], having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God, [as displayed] when He raised Christ from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (worldliness, manner of life), God made you alive together with Christ, having [freely] forgiven us all our sins, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of legal demands [which were in force] against us and which were hostile to us. And this certificate He has set aside and completely removed by nailing it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having triumphed over them through the cross.
In a couple days we will gather as families around dinner tables and Christmas trees. We will eat together, share gifts and laughter and joy. We will celebrate Christmas. And we will do so because on one starry night in the little town of Bethlehem, a child was born. I’m sure that night other children around the world breathed their first breath but this little baby boy was different. He wasn’t born in a palace. Instead his mother gave birth in a stable- more than likely a cave used to house animals. Most of the world wasn’t aware or even concerned about his birth. None in the town had any room for him or his mother. Most of the people were either sleeping or continuing their normal behaviors. But that night the most amazing birth the world has ever known took place. On that night, the eternally, pre existent God- Christ the Lord made His appearance in the form of a tiny baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. Who could have conceived that this seemingly helpless, tiny baby was the very same God who had created the cave, the animals occupying it and even the mother who was giving birth. No wonder it takes faith-God-given faith to believe such a thing. Yet it happened. God became flesh and walked among us. He lived in the form of a human, suffered and died by crucifixion. Not even death could hold power over Him for on the third day He rose from the dead and then ascended back to heaven; His work was done. He had redeemed His creation that had been sold into the slavery of the devil and sin. We echo the words of the centurion at the cross, “Surely this is the Son of God!”
You and I have the privilege to know Him as Savior, Friend, and Prince of Peace. But He’s more, much more than the carpenter who walked the dusty streets of Israel, taught by the seaside and fed multitudes with five loaves and two fish. He is the Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient God, the Sovereign God who rules and reigns over the universe and we have the honor of being called His children.
May we never lose the awe and wonder of that tiny baby laid in the manger. May we be like the shepherds who were given the proclamation of the entrance of the Savior and and may we go and see this miracle. May we be like the Wise Men and seek until we find Him. And may we all fall on our knees before Him and worship Him and honor Him with our hearts and our treasures until that day when we bow in awe before Him as we gather around the throne.
I wish you all a very incredible and joyous Christmas. I pray that even in the midst of all the darkness and trouble in this world, we behold the star standing over a manger and may we behold the Christ-child who has come to set us free from the power of sin and to fill our hearts with peace and comfort.
Merry Christmas and thank all of you who have been faithful readers throughout the year. I pray that each day your hearts have been warmed by the Holy Spirit as you have read.
Dr. John Thompson