Summary: Jesus is more than just a baby in a manger. He is Lord; worship Him. He is Light; welcome Him. He is Love; trust Him with your life.
On January 12, 2007, Joshua Bell emerged from the Washington D.C. Metro and positioned himself against a wall beside a trash basket in the station. He was a young white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt, and a Washington Nationals baseball cap, pretty nondescript. From a small case, he removed a violin; and placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money and began to play. Take a look (Play YouTube Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnOPu0_YWhw)
For the next 45 minutes, Bell played Mozart and Schubert as over 1,000 people streamed by, most hardly taking notice. If they had paid attention, they might have recognized the young man as a world-renowned violinist. They also might have noted the violin he played – a rare Stradivarius worth over $3 million. It was all part of a project arranged by The Washington Post, what they called “an experiment in context, perception, and priorities – as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste.” The Washington Post wanted to know, “In a banal setting, at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?”
Just three days earlier, Joshua Bell sold out Boston Symphony Hall, with ordinary seats going for $100. In the subway, Bell collected about $32 from the 27 people who stopped long enough to give a donation. (Gene Weingarten, “Pearls Before Breakfast,” The Washington Post, 4-10-07; www.PreachingToday.com)
On a particular day, over 2,000 years ago, God entered our banal world, but very few people hardly noticed Him. Even to this day, some might throw Him a tip, attend a Christmas Eve service, or put up a Nativity set, but do they really know who He is?
After all, when God became a man, He was born to a peasant girl and laid in a feeding trough. He wasn’t much to look at; but if we pay attention, we’ll find that He’s so much more than what He seems on the surface.
So who is this Jesus, whose birthday we celebrate tonight? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to John 1, John 1, where one of His followers who knew Him best describes who He is.
John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. (ESV)
Who is Jesus Christ? Well, He is none other than God Himself.
JESUS IS LORD!
He is the Sovereign King of the Universe, the God of all gods and the Lord of all Lords.
John calls Him “the Word” – o logos in the original Greek. It’s the term the Greeks used in John’s day to talk about the “Controlling Reason of the Universe.” They had many gods with many names, but the Supreme God, the Ultimate Intelligence of the Universe, they called o logos – the Word.
Jesus is the Word, the God of all gods, which means He is eternal. He has no beginning and no end. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning WAS the Word” – Not “In the beginning the Word came to be,” nor “In the beginning God created the Word.” NO! “In the beginning WAS the Word.” At the very beginning of time, the Word was already existing. Jesus had no beginning.
He is the eternal God, and He is equal with God. John 1:1 says, “The Word was WITH God.” Literally, “The Word was TOWARDS God”, or FACE TO FACE with Him. Jesus was not only WITH God in terms of being in the same place. He was WITH God on equal terms – in His face, so to speak.
Growing up in Maryland, I had many opportunities to visit Washington D.C. I especially enjoyed the White House and the Capital Building where you just might catch a glimpse of some of the most powerful people in the world! You can be in the same building “with” the President or “with” the Speaker of the House, but none of us could ever be “WITH” these men on equal terms. We were just tourists. No.
The only people who are WITH the president or WITH the Speaker are cabinet members, other representatives, and other senators. They make and enforce laws together. They walk together, sharing private conversations. They sit together as equals around the dinner table or in a conference room.
In the same way, Jesus is WITH God. He is NOT a tourist in the same place as God. He is WITH God on equal terms, and they are running the universe together.
Jesus is the eternal God. He is equal with God, and He is in His very essence God. John 1:1 says, “The Word was God” – very God of very God. Not “a god” like some claim, but THE God of the universe.