Many of us are familiar with the Christmas story. Each year the birth of Jesus is reenacted by churches all over the world. Songs describing His first coming fill the radio airwaves we hear at shopping malls, restaurants, and business offices every December. But could it be that we’re overfamiliar with the story? Are we so used to hearing it retold each year, that there’s a “disconnect” in our hearts when we stare at this sacred scene? When this happens to me I have to slow down and remember what’s actually taking place when Jesus comes to us as a baby.
It’s a stunning story. The Maker of heaven and earth comes down to us as an infant (Phil. 2:5-7, Lk. 2:7) The Messiah of Israel, prophesied to David a thousand years earlier (2 Sam. 7:12-13), is born to a poor Jewish couple in their Roman-invaded homeland (Lk. 2:22-24), under neighborhood rumors of scandal (Mt. 1:19, Jn. 8:41). He’s not received by the political, military, or religious leaders of the day, but instead is welcomed by local shepherds as He lies in an animal feed trough (Lk. 2:7, 15-16). Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus, “...is the radiance of His (God the Father) glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.” Now He’s totally dependent for His most basic of needs (Luke 2:7).
Then the reality truly sets in that He is not like us. We fight to be in control and look down on weakness. He is the only One who actually was in control, yet chose weakness. We press for money, comfort, and possessions. All wealth was His, but He chose poverty. We want to be recognized, admired, and loved. We want people to like us; we want to be popular. He chose hiddenness (Jn. 1:10-11).
When we stare deeply into the events of the first coming and the birth of Jesus, His heart is revealed. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we begin to see that His heart is foreign and alien to ours, in our fallenness. Jesus is completely different, completely unique. Truly, He is “fairer than the sons of men” as the Psalmist says
As my own heart reconnects to the beautiful heart of Jesus, as the truth of His nature and character strike my spirit in a fresh way, the story moves from overfamiliar to alive. It’s so much more than a Christmas tradition. It’s the very unveiling of the heart of God.
Hear 'Fairer Than The Sons Of Men' at TheOverflow.com