Which miracle in the Bible do you think is the greatest? Is it our Lord's resurrection from the dead? Or, is it his coming from heaven to earth as a man? Clearly, they are both miraculous and neither one is in competition with the other. Our Lord's resurrection from the dead proves that Jesus is the Son of God. That is the miracle we celebrate at Easter. At Christmas, we celebrate another miracle - the Christmas miracle. Bible teachers call it the incarnation. This is the miracle of God coming to earth and living as a man. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem that is exactly what happened. The Apostle John says it this way: The Word become flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).
J.I. Packer (in Knowing God) states that "the really staggering Christian claim is that Jesus of Nazareth was God made man-that the second person of the Godhead became the 'second man' (I Corinthians 15:47), determining human destiny, the second representative head of the race, and that he took humanity without loss of deity, so that Jesus of Nazareth was as truly and fully divine as he was human...The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as is the truth of the Incarnation."
The Divine Visitor
In his book, The Divine Visitor, Jack Hayford tells the story about a serviceman named Adam who was deployed to Iraq. After a year, when his leave finally approached, Adam called his parents and alerted them of his plans to come home. He didn't tell them the exact day because he wanted to surprise them. Since his family lived on a farm many miles from a major city, getting home required Adam to take a series of buses and then walk the final fifteen miles to his parents' small Kansas farm.
He finally came to the long gravel road that led up to the old farmhouse. He had traveled all night and the sun was beginning to come up. Adam's little sister saw him first, but he motioned for her to keep quiet so that he could surprise the rest of the family. He made some coffee and waited for the fresh-brewed smell to permeate the house. His middle-age parents walked into the kitchen, wondering what was going on. When they saw their son, tears of joy soon replaced the screams of surprise. The much-anticipated visitor had finally arrived. Few things are as wonderful as a visit from someone we dearly long to see.
God Coming to Our Planet
Hayford writes, "What if you were summoned by God to visit a planet to help its deceived and corrupted inhabitants regain their lost nobility? To do so, you would have to become one of them. And yet you would be in constant danger. They would misunderstand your intentions. Many would hate and eventually kill you. Knowing all this, would you still be willing to go to rescue any who might accept your intervening efforts? Would you relinquish the joys and securities of a vastly advantaged circumstance so that some might be recovered by your visit?"
“It has been done...by One whose love we cannot imagine. One Visitor in the past introduces the present promise of His ready availability to make a personal visit to you today. In Jesus, God became a Visitor to mankind. With even more love for His creation than the homebound soldier had for his family, the Creator attests to the worth of His creation."
Open Your Heart
Join me by opening your heart this Christmas season to a fresh revelation of God's love. The love of God revealed by the Christmas miracle has changed history and millions of men and women who have understood its meaning. The Christmas story reminds us that we are loved by God and have been visited by his one and only Son, Jesus Christ.
Author:Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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Discussion questions for your small group or Sunday School class:
1. Why do all the claims of Jesus rest on the Incarnation?
2. How does this Christmas miracle show God's love for us?
3. Why does faith in the Incarnation make every other miracle and claim of Jesus easy to believe?
4. How will faith in the Incarnation change your outlook at Christmastime?
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