My Favorite Christmas Verse
::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.:: ~ Matthew 2.2
That is a random favorite Christmas verse, wouldn’t you say? My youth pastor spoke about this verse a few years ago around Christmas time, and I’ve cherished it ever since. If you think about it, this simple statement from the wisemen envelops one of the main points of Christmas.
See, the majority of people before Christ assumed that He was basically gonna pound the Romans out of existence when He came. They figured that His presence would wipe all of their problems away. And that’s how a lot of people deal with Jesus today. “Accepting Him” is like a business transaction that functions like pushing the “easy button.”
But the wisemen understood something about Jesus that seemed to be lost on the average person back then, and still today. That is, Jesus was a King because He was Immanuel, God with us. Jesus was a King before He had done anything. He didn’t have to prove Himself to the world. He didn’t have to accrue a certain number of credentials. He came into the world as a baby; yet He was God, and He was worthy of worship.
The Christmas message convicts me. At its core, it’s about Christian hedonism. That is, where do I find my happiness? Do I treasure Jesus, or do I just treasure what He can do for me? Will I derive my greatest pleasure from God’s greatest earthly gifts to me, or from God Himself? Do I treasure Jesus’ coming to earth more because now I don’t have to spend eternity in hell, or because now I will get to spend eternity with Him?
We all have two clear-cut choices around this time of year. Either we will give in to the commercialism and materialism of Christmas, or will we ask God for His grace to see past the gifts, past the shimmering lights, past the nostalgia and the special times with family and friends, to see Immanuel shining gloriously over it all. If we don’t have Jesus, we don’t have anything!
O come, let us adore HIM!