The Incarnation (Part 4)

Continuing the story of Jesus’ birth:

12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. 13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” 16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

The wise men give Herod the slip and head back to their country. In the meantime, Joseph is warned by an angel to leave town because Herod has some malicious intentions for Jesus. Without the wise men’s inside information, Herod did not know who the child King was. So he resorted to devastating violence. Herod ordered the killing of every male child under the age of two. Given the population estimates of Bethlehem at the time, that means 10-20 families lost a child that night. Think about how we felt in recent violent acts toward children in our nation. The sorrow, misery, fear, and anger would be no different in Bethlehem.

What’s the point of this flight to Egypt and back? Again, the sovereignty of God is at work. There is a purpose. There is a parallel in the Old Testament that is important to see. In the Old Testament, God delivered His people Israel out of Egypt and established the Mosaic Covenant. In the New Testament, God brings deliverance to all people when the Deliverer was called out from Egypt, establishing the New Covenant. The Old Testament Scriptures quoted here are from Hosea 11:1 and Jeremiah 31:15.

“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” -Hosea 11:1

“Thus says the Lord: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.’” -Jeremiah 31:15

The latter was written when Babylon was conquering Judah and ripping families apart as they carried people away into exile. Like the night Herod had the baby boys killed, this would have been a time of excruciating heartache and sorrow. But right after that, in verses 16 and 17, God promises that they will not be forgotten.

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope for your future, declares the Lord, and your children shall come back to their own country.’” -Jeremiah 31:16-17

You see, Jesus provides the new exodus from the slavery of sin and He ends the exile from God that sin causes. There is hope in the midst of hurt and life in the midst of death.

19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

After Herod dies, the family returns but not to Bethlehem. Things have not settled down entirely because Herod’s son was an apple that had not fallen far from the tree. So they went to Nazareth. And here we see a third prophecy fulfilled in this section. Except that Matthew says the prophets foretold this, yet there is no mention of it in the Old Testament. Christ coming from Nazareth is a picture of what He would endure in His ministry and ultimately His death. Nazareth was not a well-respected town and pretty low on the economic scale of the day. Because of His Nazarene heritage, Jesus would have a hard time being taken seriously by many people. And indeed, this fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 53:

“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” -Isaiah 53:3

This is actually a fitting end to the story of Jesus’ birth. It’s the final impression for the direction that His life would head. He came to save sinners but would be rejected by them. I think if we are honest with ourselves, many of us will find we actually identify more with Herod than we care to admit. We’re afraid of Jesus invading our kingdoms. We see His commands as buzzkills and keeping us from doing the things we enjoy. We see following Jesus as a too great a cost rather than having infinite worth. We have all the knowledge in the world about who He is but fall short of an obedience of faith that He desires of us. And so we come to the point of decision. Will we respond like the religious leaders and utterly reject Jesus? Jesus condemned these men. You can have all the knowledge of Jesus’ life, ministry, and teachings, but unless it leads to repentance, it means nothing. The rejection of Jesus results in condemnation and leads to an eternity in hell.

Will we respond like the masses would, who followed Jesus so long as He met their wants? This is consumerism Christianity and is really no Christianity at all. Jesus would go on to say that these people who claim Christ but do not obey are fooling themselves into thinking they are eternally secure (Matthew 7:21-23). I shudder to think what percentage of church-goers, particularly in the Bible Belt, are living under this false assumption. Whether thinking that going to church or Bible study on a weekly basis or even doing missionary work saves, both actions are of man doing something. They don’t save. They are responses to our salvation. If we accept Jesus’ salvation but reject his lordship, that is not an authentic, saving faith.

The third group we see in Matthew are the disciples of Jesus. These are followers who follow Him with an obedience of faith. Worship, praise, suffering, and sacrifice lead their lives. This is salvation. Jesus began His ministry by saying “follow me and I will make you fishers of men” and He ended by saying “go and make disciples of all nations”. Everything in between was preparation for this task. This is a privileged commission for followers of Jesus, who count it a joy to be considered worthy to give their lives for the sake of the gospel. From the prophecies that told of His coming, to God’s sovereign orchestration of His birth, and all the way to the end of the age in Revelation, Jesus came to save us by the grace, and to the glory, of God and the spread of His name to the ends of earth.

Every single person who encountered the baby Jesus could do only one thing: worship. And they left with such joy they had to tell others about Him. Christ had come. He is the salvation to our sin. He brings hope and life where neither exist. Don’t become desensitized to this miracle or let consumerism block you from the joy of this event. This is a Christmas story worth telling all year.

The Incarnation (Part 4)

The Incarnation (Part 3)

Chapter 2 of Matthew sets the timeline for the events that follow.

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Some wise men from the east came to visit after Jesus’ birth. Not at the time of… after. Unfortunately, our nativities need some adjustment because it would have taken some time for these wise men to travel from their area to Bethlehem. And despite what “We Three Kings” and “The First Noel” say, they didn’t see a star in the east, they came from the east. So they had to travel west and therefore the star must have shown in the west. And there’s really no factual evidence that there were only three men. We generally assume so because it is simply stated that there were three gifts. However, they would likely have traveled with a large group given their position. But that’s not to say they were actual kings. Scripture does not name them as authoritative rulers that we define as kings. Wise men, or magi, in the east were very prominent people in society, but they were more likely studious individuals in astrology and distinguished in the realms of religion and politics. They must have had at least some Jewish influence in their lives because they knew the significance of the star as an announcement of a King’s birth and traveled with the motivation to worshipping Him.

Twice in the Old Testament, the star that signified Jesus’ birth was prophesied. In Numbers, Israel was on their way to the promised land. Their trek made the king of Moab nervous and so he called a seer to curse the people, but what he said was quite different.

“…A star will come from Jacob, and a scepter will arise from Israel.” -Numbers 24:16-17

So we see a man in the east prophesying a star and a King. Then in Matthew, we see the star leading the wise men from the east to the King. Also, in Isaiah:

“…the Lord will shine over you, and His glory will appear over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your radiance…” -Isaiah 60:1-6

Isaiah said that the nations would come to Jesus’ light. In Matthew, men from another nation were drawn to the star’s light. Don’t miss this. Some of the first people to worship Jesus were men from another nation.

3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Herod, as the king at that time, was none to happy to hear that a child was born that people were calling a king. He gathered the religious leaders and asked about it. They quoted Micah 5:2.

“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”  -Micah 5:2

Did you catch that? The religious leaders knew the prophecy. These worship leaders and keepers of the Law knew exactly who Jesus was. They knew the Scriptures foretelling of His birth and who He was supposed to be. And yet in the end, they would deny Him as King and the Son of God. This is a sobering reminder that mere knowledge of Scripture is not enough. To know the Word but fail to respond is dangerous.

Micah’s prophecy confirms the King would come from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. David was a shepherd and Jesus would rule as a shepherd. (See also Ezekiel 34:11-24 and John 10:1-18.) Herod had a plan, so he called the wise men to him and told them when they found the child to let him know. The pretense was that he wanted to worship Jesus too, but really, he intended to kill Him.

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

By this time Jesus’ family had moved into a house and He was less than 2 years old, probably months old to just over a year (accounting for how long the wise men would have traveled west). The wise men followed the star once more. But this time things are a little different. The star moved in front of them, guiding them to exactly the house Jesus was in and came to rest there. Their immediate reaction to seeing the baby was worship and offering. These high class, powerful men fell on their knees before a baby! Should that not be our reaction as well?

The gifts they presented could very well have significance in God’s design and there is some debate among religious scholars about that today. Studies by John Macarthur and William Hendricksen provide good, simple commentary about the gifts. Gold has, throughout history, been associated with royalty. The gift of gold acknowledges Jesus’ kingship. Frankincense was used throughout Old Testament history in ceremonies of worship and offerings. The gift of frankincense acknowledges Jesus’ deity. Myrrh was used both as a perfume and spice used in burials. The gift of myrrh acknowledges Jesus’ humanity and foreshadows his death.

The birth of Jesus is surrounded by worship. It is for His praise that God orchestrated the events of history that led to the birth of Jesus. He directed nature and He drew nations to the event. Matthew makes the message clear. In the beginning, the message is to come and worship the King. In the end, the message is go and spread the Kingdom. We have this responsibility and this privilege. Our Savior’s birth causes us to desire nothing less.

Scripture quoted from the English Standard Version.  Commentary from “Christ-Centered Exposition, Exalting Jesus in Matthew” by B&H Publishing Group.

The Incarnation (Part 3)

The Incarnation (Part 2)

With a look at Jesus’ heritage, I hope you found something new to take away and see there’s more under the surface than just a list of names.   We probably have the tendency to just skip over those lists when we are reading the Bible, but remember this when you see names:  God knows your name, and He has purposed you into redemption history just like those people.  Keeping on with the story, picture the scene that begins in verse 18.

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

Mary and Joseph were engaged and one day Mary finds she is pregnant. In that culture an engagement was more legally binding than it is today or in our society. So separating would have been tantamount to divorce. Mary and Joseph had not been together intimately, so the only logical conclusion Joseph must have arrived to was that Mary had been with another man. Sometimes I think we are able to detach emotion from accounts like this, maybe because they happened so long ago or to people we don’t know. Or maybe we are even desensitized because this type of situation (on the surface) is so common in our society. But just think about this situation happening to you. Whether you are Mary who has unexplainably pregnant and probably considered a liar or Joseph who was certain he’d been cheated on. Not a good situation. Joseph must have been rich in compassion, though, because he opted to settle the matter quietly rather than shaming Mary publicly.

Then an angel came and clarified what was going on.

20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

It’s important to note that the angel addresses Joseph as “son of David”. Here again, it is being established that the baby, who Joseph is about to learn was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was coming from the line of David as promised. Matthew quoted Isaiah 7:14.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. -Isaiah 7:14

Immanuel would be a completely new concept to Israel. God dwelled in the Holy of Holies of the Temple and could only be accessed by the designated priest one day a year. Fair to say they saw Him as detached in many respects. To say “God is with us” was a game-changer. As confusing as all this probably was to Joseph, he obeyed God. He married Mary, never was intimate with her while she was pregnant, and named the baby Jesus.

So what do we know about Jesus to this point? He was physically born to Mary. Jesus is Mary’s son by birth. He is also Joseph’s son by adoption. Legally, Jesus is in every way Joseph’s as he is Mary’s. We know that adoption makes a child belong to a set of parents. Adoptive parents do not speak of an adopted child apart from any children they have by natural birth. All of them are their children. The children take on that family name and grow up in that family’s heritage. There is no differentiation. Therefore, Joseph’s lineage ties Jesus to King David as Jesus’ father. The angel also told Joseph that Jesus was coming to save people from their sins. So Jesus was very much born into a fallen world in need of salvation and ultimately, Jesus is God’s Son. Why was Jesus born of a virgin? To show us that salvation is in need of a divine solution; it cannot be accomplished by any means of man.

Jesus was born of human and came from God. He is both man and divine. Our minds are wired to think either/or but in God’s power, He is both/and. But 100% of both defies our logic. (There are several such mysteries in Scripture that we’ll likely never understand this side of heaven.) It’s not 50/50, mind you; it’s 100% of both. That’s why He was born a baby and also created the universe. That’s why He died and yet conquered death. This is a concept we may not fully understand but generally accept. In fact, we are probably used to the idea and don’t really give deeper consideration to it. But it is worth looking into what this really means.

Because Jesus is fully human, He possesses the full range of human characteristics. That means He had a physical body just like us. His body required sleep and food like ours. In fact, Matthew shows us that Jesus was hungry and tired at times. He also mentally developed like us. The gospel of Luke tells us that Jesus increased in wisdom as he grew up. It’s probably hard for us to separate the Jesus we know who began teaching such profound words with a baby who started out with a simple “mama” and “dada” just like we did. But it’s true! He experienced human emotion. We see joy, anger, and sadness throughout his life. Altogether, Jesus was like us outwardly, meaning his humanity was plain to see. In fact, people from his hometown had a hard time accepting what He had to say because they just knew him as the kid from Nazareth.

It is important for us to understand that Jesus is fully human because we can be assured that He can identify with us. He gets it. He knows what we go through. Isn’t it important for you to have that assurance when you go to someone for care, comfort, or support? You want to know they are empathetic with you. Otherwise, you don’t really make a connection and what they have to say probably won’t weigh that much with you.

Because Jesus is fully divine, He possesses the full range of divine characteristics. He has command over nature. In fact, creation was made through Jesus (Colossians 1:16). So if He made it, it shouldn’t be surprising that He has power over it. Case in point, there is an account of Jesus controlling a storm. He can walk on water because He created the water. He has power over disease. There are many stories about Jesus healing the blind, lame, and sick. Jesus has authority over sin. He is able to offer forgiveness. Jesus also has power over death. He raised people from the dead and ultimately, He raised Himself from the dead.

It is important for us to understand that Jesus is fully divine because we can be assured that He can identify with God. Jesus did not inherit humanity’s sinful nature nor the pronouncement of guilt that comes with sin. We don’t have to doubt the accounts that the gospels give us about the “strange” things Jesus did. He made them anyway! While His human and divine aspects are wholly distinct, they also work in perfect unity. Put together, Jesus’ birth ends up being the most extraordinary miracle in the entire Bible.

If He had come straight from God with no human parents—say, He just showed up out of nowhere one day—we would have a hard time believing He could really understand us. It would probably be even a more apprehensive relationship that led to obedience out of fear rather than love. I think about Greek mythology’s depiction of the people living to please the gods out of fear they will be struck down. (A lot of people, I’m sure, live this way toward God, too.) On the flip side, if Jesus had been born of two human parents by natural means, we probably wouldn’t credit Him His divinity. And therefore we wouldn’t give Him the obedience of our lives that He deserves. And indeed, this is an obstacle for many people today who view Him as a good teacher, but having no divine authority. (e.g. This is the major difference between Christianity and Islam.)

Jesus—fully human and fully divine—came to save people from their sins. He turns hurts into joy, suffering into satisfaction, rebellion into righteousness, and sin into salvation. In one man, Adam, all were condemned to death. In one man, Jesus, all would be made righteous who believed in Him and find life. Adam succumbed to sin; Jesus saves from sin. Where one man’s sin condemned all, another man’s obedience leads to grace greater than all our sins (Romans 5:20). Jesus is transcendent over us and He is also Immanuel—God with us.

Jesus is born in Bethlehem, and what follows is pretty standard knowledge to even those who do not accept Jesus as Savior. Or is it? We sing a lot of Christmas songs that depict a scene that isn’t exactly scriptural. And I think it is time for us to throw away the watered down versions of the Christmas story so deeply ingrained in our culture and see it for what God intends—the coming of our Savior who deserves our worship, praise, surrender, and sacrifice.

For starters, the night of Jesus’ birth was very unlikely a “silent night”. Anyone who has had a baby or kept a baby or even knows someone who has a baby knows that newborns result in many sleepless nights. Again, if Jesus is fully human, he was fully a newborn baby. And once a baby does finally sleep for a couple hours, what parents are going to be happy about “lowing” livestock making noise (Away in a Manger). Just because Jesus is our divine Savior does not mean we need to give Him some romanticized appearance of being any less human than He was. Jesus was a crying, sleeping, feeding, pooping baby just like any other.

We know from other gospel accounts (like Luke) that Mary and Joseph had traveled to Bethlehem to take part of a census. Joseph, being of the lineage of David, had to register there, the hometown of David. Because of the crowded conditions, they had to stay in a stable, where Mary gave birth to Jesus. An angel appeared to some nearby shepherds announcing the birth. There was a great chorus in heaven and the shepherds were intrigued enough—to say the least—to go see the baby. When they found the child exactly as told by the angel, they told others about Him and went back to their flocks rejoicing and worshipping God. The Savior had come. Is the shepherds’ reaction any less than what we should do?

Consider this question this week.  When we study the Bible, we don’t just want an emotional reaction–whether it be guilt or joy–we want change.  In my next post, we’ll continue the story and decide what our response should be.

Scripture quoted from the English Standard Version.  Commentary from “Christ-Centered Exposition, Exalting Jesus in Matthew” by B&H Publishing Group.

The Incarnation (Part 2)

The Incarnation (Part 1)

This holiday season, I wanted to take a look at Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth. Each gospel is written for a different purpose to a different audience. Matthew wrote his account of Jesus’ life to show the Jewish community that Jesus was the prophesied King. Matthew’s gospel is not comprehensive, nor is it chronological, but what he included was purposed in proving Jesus as King. Therefore, when he starts his book with the genealogy of Jesus, this would have been extremely important to his Jewish audience.

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, 4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

There are many Old Testament prophesies that spoke to Jesus coming from the line of David and reigning on David’s throne.

A sample of these prophecies include:

Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse… the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. -Isaiah 1-3, 10

…I will raise up a Righteous Branch of David. -Jeremiah 23:5-6

My servant David will be king over them… My servant David will be their prince forever. -Ezekiel 37:24-25

Ten times in Matthew, he writes that the events in Jesus’ life took place in order to fulfill prophecy. (1:22; 2:15, 17, 23; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17, 13:35; 21:4; 27:9) Matthew made it clear that God keeps His promises and fulfills His Word. Jesus is the promised Christ, the Messiah, the King.

You can look even further back for the beginning of the gospel to Abraham. God’s promise to Abraham was that he would be a blessing to all nations (Genesis 12:1-3). This was fully realized in Jesus. What Israel was expecting from the prophecies was a human king who would rule their country and lead them in military victory. But Jesus is King over all and reigns as Savior in our lives. His kingdom is both here and it is coming. How is it possible for something to be both here and coming? His kingdom is of heaven and it has come to earth with His birth. It is also coming again when He returns. And when we realize this, it changes everything about how we live.

What may be one of the most fascinating aspects of Jesus’ lineage is that he came from a line of human beings: sinful, fallible human beings. David himself committed adultery and murder! There were people guilty of incest, prostitution, immorality, and utter disobedience to God. But what we see in this line of people is that they were never outside the sovereign control of God. But why would God choose this path for His Son? Why are these people included in the line that leads to Jesus? For the same reason each of us is included in the line that leads from Jesus. Solely because of the sovereign grace of God.

See, too, that the lineage of Jesus does not just include Israel. If you remember the gospel blessing in Genesis 12 and realize that God sovereignly chose Gentiles in Jesus’ ancestry, then the picture becomes abundantly clear that God sent Jesus with a global purpose. God not only fulfilled prophecy to bless his chosen people, He also accomplishes His purpose in blessing all people. So even here in Jesus’ birth, the Great Commission is peeking out. If God sent His Son for all people, then the imperative for us to make disciples of those nations is clear from the beginning of Jesus’ life. This point cannot be missed.

And as you read the book of Matthew, you will find that there are three groups of people who respond to this mission. There are the religious leaders who reject Jesus. There are the masses of people who follow Jesus so long as He is giving them what they want. And there are the disciples of Jesus who follow Him unconditionally.

So as we look at the birth of Jesus in this four-part post, I hope that you’ll see it anew and not just through the conventional lens that we are used to seeing it. In fact, we may even debunk some of the songs we sing during the holidays and the nativities we depict. And I think it is important we shrug off those notions and see what the Bible really is telling us. May it affect the way we worship this holiday season and live obediently for God’s global purpose throughout the year.

Scripture quoted from the English Standard Version.  Commentary from “Christ-Centered Exposition, Exalting Jesus in Matthew” by B&H Publishing Group.

The Incarnation (Part 1)