Summary: Jesus’ birth is not just supernatural, it’s educational. Along with educational, it’s also transformational. What Jesus thought before he was born influenced the way he lived.
I’m sure most of us are familiar with the famous poem by Clement Clark Moore that begins this way:
’Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
In many homes this poem has become a Christmas tradition – usually read on Christmas Eve right before bedtime. I remember hearing it read at school when I was a little boy, and I’ve heard it read many times since then on various Christmas TV specials. I’ve never tried to memorize it, but I’m sure I know most of it by heart anyway.
For those of us who have had at least some experience with a church service around
Christmas time, I’m sure we’re also quite familiar with the biblical Christmas story. We know the main characters: Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, the angels, and the shepherds. We’re familiar with the setting of the story: the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem because of the census decree, the stable, and the star. But a lot of us don’ know what was going on in the heavenly realm that first night before Christmas. It might surprise you to find that the Bible reveals what was on Jesus’ mind before he was born in human flesh.
Did you ever consider that Jesus would still exist even if he’d never been born? Think about that. Jesus didn’t need to be born in order to exist. Christmas marks the human birth of the Lord Jesus, but it does not mark the beginning of his existence. As the Son of God, he existed with the Father long before he was conceived in Mary’s womb
Jn. 1:1-2 makes that clear. John begins his Gospel by saying, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. Jesus always was…always is…and always will be. He didn’t need to be born in order to exist. He would still exist. But here’s the thing: you and I wouldn’t know him as Jesus.
But John assures us that God came in the flesh. Jn. 1:14 – The Word [who we just heard was God] became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
We know Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus. We know Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus. Today, I want to share with you what is basically Christmas according to Jesus. In Heb. 10:5-7, we hear what he was thinking on the “night before Christmas” a little over 2,000 years ago.
Heb.10:5-7 – Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God.’”
In these three short verses, we learn some very important implications regarding the birth of the Christ. Jesus’ birth is not just supernatural, it’s educational. Along with educational, it’s also transformational. What Jesus thought before he was born influenced the way he lived. What we learn about his thoughts before he was born should change how we live our lives today
Jesus Came Knowingly
Jesus was not just human. As we learned earlier, he was also God. God has no beginning. He existed before anything in Creation. He exists outside of Creation. It was in this realm that Jesus had the thoughts described in our scripture passage this morning
One of the attributes of God as described in the Bible is that he is omniscient. God knows everything. Jesus knew how he would be born, how he would live, and how he would die. He didn’t live his life like many of us. We often set out haphazardly and then are surprised by what happens because of how we live. Jesus was never surprised by anything that happened to him during the time of his earthly existence. His birth and death – and everything in between – was known to him before he was born in the flesh.
Here’s what that means. Even though Jesus knew that he would have to leave the perfect environment where he was in perfect relationship with the Father to come into physical existence where he would be taunted and despised and later killed by the most horrible method of execution ever devised, he still came. That demonstrates the capacity of his love for us.
Jesus Came Scripturally
David Greenglass was a traitor. During the period of World War II, he gave atomic secrets to the Soviets and then fled to Mexico after the war. His conspirators arranged to help him by planning a meeting with the secretary of the Russian ambassador in Mexico City. The most important thing in this meeting was proper identification for both parties.