We usually have reasons for going to the places we go to. For example, we go to the mall to shop or to church to worship. While there may be secondary reasons why we go to certain places, we usually have a primary reason that moves us to go. As we celebrate Advent—the coming of Jesus—we should ask: What’s so important about the coming of Jesus to the world? What was His mission? Why did He come? The Bible gives us a straightforward answer to these vital questions: “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners...” (1 Tim. 1: 15). The whole Christmas story is centered in this purpose. Many have misunderstood or misrepresented His reason for coming because they have misunderstood or misrepresented who He is. “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him” (John 1:10). “He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets’” (Matt. 16:13-14). We now have the “baby” Jesus, the “sweet” Jesus, the “nice” Jesus, the “good teacher” Jesus, the “good example” Jesus, the “historical” Jesus, and Jesus the “myth.” We have any number of false ideas about who Jesus is and therefore, false ideas concerning why He came into the world.
Jesus knew that people were prone to this and so He warned them (throwing a curveball): “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 10:34-38). If we fail to see the real Jesus and the real purpose of His coming, as so many have failed to do, then we may as well forget celebrating His birth; there would be nothing to celebrate. Many men are born every day—even men we might call “good men”—but we don’t sing “Joy to the World…” If we come to understand who He is, then we will also come to appreciate why He came. Then we will have reason to celebrate.
―Pastor Randy Booth, Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, Nacogdoches, TX
Enemies in Your Mind
“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.” ―Colossians 1:21-23
O Lord, we confess that Jesus is Lord, and that “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Had He not been sent by You―had He not condescended and come for us―we would have justly perished in our sins. We praise You for so great a salvation and rejoice over such a wonderful gift! Amen.