Notwithstanding Amazon Alexa’s claim that Jesus is a “fictional character,” we just came through the Christmas season, a time when those of the Christian faith remember and celebrate the greatest gift God ever gave to humanity. I recognize that within the believing community there are those who opt to not celebrate Christmas in this way, noting that we are never commanded to observe the holiday, while others enjoy disputing the December 25th date, and still others object to the pagan roots of the Christmas celebration as we know it today.
While fascinating, at times, to indulge these side-trips, they are not what concerns me today. In this blog posting, I want to examine the substance of what was actually being proclaimed and celebrated just a few short days ago. “The Word became flesh, and pitched his tent among us.” (John 1:14)
Jesus is God in Human Flesh
Many are those who will confess that Jesus was a great man, impactful, perhaps even a prophet, yet who are unwilling to confess him as the unique Son of God. Scripture is not so shy to make this proclamation. Jesus is indeed God’s only begotten Son.
1) Proclaimed by the Angel, Gabriel
Prior to Jesus’ birth, God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary, the soon-to-be mother of God-in-the-flesh, to explain to her what was about to happen inside her womb. It is difficult to imagine a more unsettling message.
“And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.'” – Luke 1:35, ESV
I strongly suspect this is the same (unnamed) angel who appeared to Joseph, in Matthew 1, to calm him down by assuring him that his fiancée had not been fooling around behind his back.
2) Proclaimed by the Men Who Knew Him
John the Immerser (Baptist) declared Jesus to be God’s Son.
“I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” – Luke 1:35, ESV
His disciples recognized him as the Son of God, and said so outright.
“Nathanael answered Him, ‘Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.'” – Luke 1:35, NASB
“Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'” – Matthew 16:16, ESV
“…but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” – John 20:31, NASB
“Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!'” – John 20:28, ESV
3) Proclaimed by Demons
Even the powers of darkness knew who Jesus was, and they grudgingly declared him to be the Son of God.
“And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.'” – Mark 3:11, ESV
4) Proclaimed by Those who Barely Knew Him
As Jesus hung, dying, on the cross among other convicted criminals, even the battle-hardened centurion who supervised his execution could not help but recognize the truth about Jesus. He likely did not fully understand the implications, but he knew it was true!
“When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!'” – Matthew 27:54, ESV
5) Proclaimed by The Father
As if all of these witnesses were not enough, we have the most important testimony of all from God the Father, who declared Jesus to be the Son.
“And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.'” – Mark 1:11, ESV
“He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.'” – Matthew 17:5, ESV
I recognize this posting is more scripture than my thoughts, and that’s fine. Scripture, not me, is the authoritative word. But why does any of this even matter? Why make such a fuss over it?
Well, to continue the theme, let’s let scripture answer that question for us. This is the Long View…
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” – John 3:18, ESV
Happy New Year my friends.
Victoriously in Christ!