Most of the sermons and Bible lessons you have heard about the birth of Jesus have been from the gospels of Luke and Matthew. We love the telling of the virgin being with child, his humble birth in a cattle stall, the wise men, the gifts, etc. As with many other topics, John, in his gospel gives us another vantage point. As was his custom, John focused on the Jesus he had seen, walked the dusty roads with, shared many meals with, and had witnessed in his resurrected body. The purpose of the gospel of John is clearly stated in John 20.
but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.John 20:31 ESV
Just as in 1st John, in the first chapter of the gospel of John, the elder statesman for the good news about Jesus begins wide open! Right away he established the deity of Jesus, discussed his divine prerogatives, and more!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.John 1:1-4 ESV
Then 10 verses later John gives us the incarnation of the eternal Christ.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.John 1:14 ESV
God became flesh! You might wonder, since God is God and can do anything, why did Jesus have to come and live on earth, be rejected by his own and then die like a common criminal? The answer is God could not compromise his justice to execute his grace and mercy. In the economy of God sin cannot just be overlooked. Sin must be punished because it is an affront to the Holy God of the universe.
Christ came as the man Jesus not only to die, but also to live! He lived and worked and ministered for some 33 years and though tempted to sin in every way mortal men are, He never once gave in to the temptation, he never sinned once. The reason this truth is vitally important is that when He went to the cross and died, it was His perfect life that was given on your behalf. He took your sins (all of them, past, present, and future) and mine upon him and died “for” us, in our stead. God’s requirement of perfect living to be approved by him has been met. You have been credited with Christ’s righteousness. God’s justice has been satisfied, Christ died in our place satisfying God’s righteous requirement that sin be punished.
Because God became a man, Jesus the Christ, you and I can have eternal life. Our sins are forgiven not because of our doing but because of the doing and dying of the Lord Jesus. Because of His great love for sinners God treated Jesus they way you and I deserved to be treated so He could treat us the way Jesus deserved to be treated.
The good news is, Jesus did come here and accomplish His work. He now lives in his followers by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and as our man in heaven who intercedes for us before the Father.
I love the way John tells the story of Jesus making sinners His own people. It is so simple yet profound. The way John explains it there is no room for human goodness, good works, merit, or help in any way.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.John 1:10-13 ESV
Christ himself is the ultimate gift of Christmas. Have you received Him? “All” who received Him, who “believed” in His name became children of God. The gift is for you, and you, and every you who will take the gracious offer.