Summary: I’m really glad God came up with the idea of Christmas. But what did God have in mind when He created Christmas? What motivated Him to bring Christmas to us?
Christmas is really enjoyable on so many levels. But a widow names Stella has an unusual experience on Christmas. Stella’s first Christmas as a widow brought incredible loneliness. One day her doorbell rang and she was greeted by a messenger holding a box. “What’s in the box?” she asked. The messenger opened the flap to reveal a Labrador retriever puppy. “For you, ma’am.” Puzzled, Stella asked, “But . . . who sent the puppy?” Turning to leave, he said, “Your husband. Merry Christmas.” She opened the letter from her husband, full of love and encouragement. He’d purchased the puppy shortly before he died and requested that it be delivered for Christmas. As Stella wiped away tears, she picked up the eager puppy, which licked her face while “Joy to the World” played on her radio. Suddenly, she felt incredible delight. This dying man’s thoughtful choice brought present happiness for him, future happiness for her, and happiness to all who hear their story.
I’m really glad God came up with the idea of Christmas. But what did God have in mind when He created Christmas? What motivated Him to bring Christmas to us? When we think about Christmas, we normally turn to passages inside our Bibles that give us the story of Jesus’ birth. We want to hear about the angels, Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men. Yet, scattered throughout your New Testament are breadcrumbs, little statements of why Jesus came. Like Hansel and Gretel so long ago, these breadcrumbs tell you why Jesus came to earth that first Christmas. Now you have to look for these breadcrumbs – they’re not obvious at first. If we’re not careful, we’ll simply drive right by them.
This is a series devoted to showing God’s why behind Christmas. So why did Jesus come, after all? Buried inside in our Bibles are God’s reasons for creating the first Christmas.
“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”
10 And again it is said,
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”
11 And again,
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.”
12 And again Isaiah says,
“The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:8-13)
Nearly every person connected to the Bible’s narrative of the Christmas story celebrated when the heard the news of the Messiah’s arrival. Remember the wise men “saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (Matthew 2:10). The angels, the shepherds, Mary, along with Elizabeth, all of whom were overcome with happiness for the arrival of the Son of God at the first Christmas. Everywhere we turn, God’s people were saturated with happiness to hear of the Messiah’s arrival.
What was God’s purpose in creating Christmas? Look carefully at verse 8 where you’ll see the why behind Christmas. Christ came for two reasons: Christ came: 1) to advance the truth of God to the Jewish people; Christ came: 2) for all the races to unite in worship. God designed Christmas to show God keeps His promises & to bring all races together on our knees before Him.
1. Jesus’ Purpose Is to Advance God’s Truth
It’s a powerful thing when God keeps His promises. Christmas is Designed to Confirm God’s Promises. Let me show you: “For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs…” (Romans 15:8). Look at the Living Bible paraphrase for a moment: “Remember that Jesus Christ came to show that God is true to his promises and to help the Jews” (Romans 15:8). The Living Bible Paraphrase
1.1 Jesus, the Servant
Paul records that Jesus Christ “became a servant.” Jesus Himself told us He came to serve: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). The word “servant” in verse 8 is where we get our word “deacon.” Does that help you understand Jesus’ purpose in coming?
1.1.1 The Manger
The word “servant” reminds us Jesus came to a place that was more comfortable for animals than humans. Think about it: none of us would permit our children to be born near animals. We want a clean, sanitary place for mom and baby. My wife and I had our three children in the finest, cleanest hospitals near us at the time. So dedicated to humility, God designed His Son’s birth in a really low place. Jesus was born in Bethlehem as a servant.