Summary: Baby Jesus in the manger looks so small. Yet this same moment is a miracle of salvation where absolute supremacy, authority, power, and the fullness of creation is embodied in this baby. We do not follow a small Jesus.
You can listen to the full message here:-
The Miracle of the Method
The Encyclopaedia of Jewish Medical Ethics tells us that the average weight of a Jewish new-born is 3250 grams … which is 7lb 3oz.
When speaking about the Messiah the prophet Isaiah says:-
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him (Isaiah 53:2)
Jesus mother was Jewish … in the line of David.
Even though Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit there is no need for us to imagine that somehow he was any different from any other Jewish child born at the time.
He was approximately a 3250 gram baby.
That is small.
When we look into the manger this is what we see.
A small baby.
God’s Son … yes … but still a small baby.
It is good to remember His smallness … that He was like us.
For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.
We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
The smallness of the baby is the means by which divinity can identify with humanity.
Like us in every way … a baby who needs to be feed, burped, bathed, changed, carried and rocked to sleep.
One who completely identifies with all our weaknesses – even who knows what temptation feels like.
The small baby in the manger.
Cute … small … one of us.
It is important to see this.
But also important that we keep perspective.
Don’t fixate on the manger and make your Jesus too small.
To see why we can’t make Jesus too small let’s turn to Colossians 1:9-23
When you read these verses, specifically verses 15-20, it is impossible to come to the conclusion that we should make Jesus small.
The Son is the image of the invisible God
Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them.”
So we are image-bearers of God.
But Jesus is that, and more.
Not just in the image.
But THE image.
When you look at us as image bearers you see:-
- put your word there.
When we look at Christ as THE image we see.
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:3)
- fullness of love.
- fullness of power.
- fullness of wisdom.
- fullness of authority.
There is a uniqueness that Jesus has. It is a uniqueness tied to His position
The firstborn over all creation.
As a place of position we might start thinking that he is first in existence … or first in line.
That is true. But the biblical concept of “firstborn” has more to it. Two Scripture examples:-
This is what the Lord says: “Israel is my firstborn son.” (Exodus 4:22)
I will appoint him (David) to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. (Psalm 89:27).
So first-born is not “he didn’t exist and now he does and others will be born later.”
But first-born is an appointment of status, or privilege, or position.
Positionally Jesus stands in authority over creation, making every aspect of creation under his power and rule and authority and control.
As Jesus exercises his rule and authority an power over all creation he uses it in a very specific way.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
Paul is outlining the extend of comprehensive authority.
In heaven and on earth. Visible and invisible.
Supernatural and natural.
Beyond imagination and unseen to us … as well as that which we touch, see, smell, taste, hear.
Distances so far we can’t even get beyond our own solar system … that which is so close it is only a breathe away.
The seats of power in the angelic world and the seats of power in our world. Whether they are good or evil.
The institutions and mechanisms which seek to persuade us. Materialism. Technology. Me-ism. Generational ideology. Undercurrents of philosophy. Whether for good or evil.
These are individuals who have power. Dictators. Company directors. Charismatic entrepreneurs. Political leaders. People with indescribable amounts of money. Whether for good or evil.