Yesterday, we celebrated something unprecedented – God took on flesh and pitched his tent among humanity.1 It is unprecedented because it had never happened before, and no other faith throughout history even purports that such a thing could, would, or did happen.
Not only do other faiths and cultures not speak of Immanuel (God with us), many find the idea blasphemous and offensive. Gods are beyond that. They are wholly other and cannot bother themselves with the likes of us.
Before we judge them too quickly for thinking that way, let me suggest that western society would to well to recapture some of that reverence toward Yahweh, the Creator, God. It is my observation that we have, in many ways, lost sight of the Godness of God.
And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
– John 1:43-44, ESV
When Mary, the mother of Jesus, went to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth, the mother of John, Elizabeth posed the question above, “Why am I granted this honor?”
This is a worthwhile question and one we could and should ask with regularity regarding the coming of Jesus into our world.
“Jesus, why do you grant us this honor? Why have you come?”
Today, in a different style of blog posting, I want to let scripture, itself, answer that question.
Jesus, Why Are You Here?
- Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. – Matthew 5:17, ESV
- … even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Matthew 20:28, ESV
- …but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”- Luke 4:43, ESV
- I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. – Luke 12:49-53, ESV
- For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. – Luke 19:10, ESV
- For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. – John 3:17, ESV
- Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” – John 9:39, ESV
- The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10, ESV
- Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” – John 18:37, ESV
- The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. – 1 Timothy 1:15, ESV
- …then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” – Hebrews 10:9a, ESV
I know this is a shorter blog posting, but I encourage you to slowly reflect on each statement above. The birth we recognized yesterday has purpose. It has design. That purpose and design is rooted in the deep and abiding love of God for us.
1. John 1:14