Summary: (PowerPoint slides freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) Looking at the wonder of the Christ-Child - and asking the most pertinent question we must all face.
What Child is This?
This morning I want to ask one of the most pertinent and profound questions that you will ever ask in your lifetime. Many asked this question before you were born and many, in all likelihood, will ask this question once you have gone. It is a question that is asked in one of our most beautiful and time honored traditional Christmas carols that goes back to 1865 sung to a tune that dates beyond that to the 1500s. And the question is this:- What Child is this?
"What child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?"
I cannot think of a more important question for America to ask this morning. You see, the way you answer this question spells the difference between life and death, success and failure, truth and error, freedom and bondage. The way you answer that question this morning will determine not just where you spend eternity but also what you will do with the rest of your life. It is in the simplicity of this question that the profound reality and meaning of life is rediscovered.
The Shepherds got some revelation on this question but they could not have understood the full impact of what they were seeing.
The Magi knew something profound was happening when they followed the star to Bethlehem - but they did not comprehend the significance of it.
Simon, the old temple prophet, saw something of the profound glory on Jesus but did not know the answer to the question.
Joseph raised the Christ Child and never quit understood it until later. His step brothers and sisters grew up with Him and they could not answer the question for they ridiculed Him.
John the Baptist saw better than most - but although he saw something of the significance of Christ - he too asked, "Are You He or shall we look for another?"
The Disciples lived with Jesus for three years and saw more than most - but even they said, "Who is this that even the winds and the waves obey Him?"
Mary - Perhaps better than anyone, His own mother treasured in her heart the glimpses into the divine purpose of Christ, but even she did not know the significance of this Babe she bore. The Bible says she was perplexed and kept pondering these things in her heart.
Well the Bible does answer the question for us - and the Bible answer is summarized in the chorus of that Christmas Carol . . .
"This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the son of Mary."
What Child is this?
Isaiah 9:6 answers this question for us when it says, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
What Child is this?
Matthew 1:21 answers this question for us when it tells us "You shall give Him the name Jesus because he will save His people from their sins."
What Child is this?
Philippians 2:9-11 "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Somebody say, "Amen," somebody shout, "Hallelujah!"
Many religious people see Jesus as a great teacher, and a political performer, but nothing more. Hindus have come to revere Jesus as a self-realized saint who reached the highest level of "God-consciousness." Buddhists see Him as a perfectly enlightened being, full of compassion who helps other people. Mormons see Him as one who ascended to the highest level of experience as a son of God.
The world may still be asking the question, "What Child is this?" and that should not surprise us because (John 1:10) "He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him." But you precious believer, know what Child this is. You know Him.
John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
Listen to me precious believer . . .
You cannot know God through religion.
You cannot know God through charity.
You cannot know God through philosophy.
You cannot know God through morality.
The only way to know God this Christmas is through the Christmas Child. Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but through me." (John 14:6)