Summary: As the living Word, Jesus was with God in the beginning. He created all things and is the light of the world, and yet was not received warmly by those who should have welcomed Him with open arms. During this Christmas season, why don’t you receive the gre
When the Infinite Became an Infant
I thought it would be a good idea for us to take a “Christmas Quiz” this morning to see how well we know the facts about the first Christmas.
1. When Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem, how did they get there?
a. They walked
b. Joseph walked; Mary rode a donkey
c. They took a chariot
d. We don’t really know
The correct answer is “D.” The Bible gives no record of their means of travel.
2. How many angels spoke to the shepherds?
a. A multitude
b. Two Gabriel and Michael
d. Not sure
The right response is “C.” Luke 2:10: “The angel said to them…”
3. What song did the angels sing?
a. “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
b. “Joy to the World”
c. “Glory to God in the Highest”
d. None of the above
This is a trick question. The correct choice is “D.” According to Luke 2:13, they were: “…praising God and saying…” There’s no mention of them singing anything.
4. What animals were present at Jesus’ birth?
a. Cows, sheep and camels
b. Horses, sheep and donkeys
c. Lions and tigers and bears
d. None of the above
There is no mention in the Bible about any animals being present. The answer is “D.”
5. In what books of the Bible can you find the Christmas story?
a. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
b. Matthew and Luke
c. Mark and Matthew
d. Matthew, Mark and Luke
The right choice is “B” -- Matthew and Luke. These two gospels give us insight into the birth of Jesus and provide much of what we know about the first Christmas. Let me read from Luke 2:4-7. While the Gospel of Mark picks up the life of Jesus when He is a grown man, the Gospel of John actually begins much earlier than even the accounts of Matthew and Luke. John tells us what Jesus did before He ended up in the manger as He takes us back to the beginning, to show us that He had no beginning. John’s report goes behind creation to show that the baby in the feeding trough was the Creator of the world.
My goal this morning is to help answer the question to the song we just heard, “What Child Is This?” John’s gospel begins with a prologue that will give us some clues about the identity of the baby in the manger. We’ll focus on the first part this morning and pick up the final section tomorrow night at our Christmas Eve service.
Please turn in your Bible to John 1 and follow along as I read: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
The reality of Jesus is found in verses 1-9:
The Infant is Infinite (1-2)
Christ is the Creator (3)
The Lord is Life and Light (4-9)
The reaction to Jesus is described in verses 10-13
Immanuel is Ignored (10)
The Revealer is Rejected (11)
The Redeemer must be Received (12-13)
The Reality of Jesus
1. The Infant is Infinite. For many years I thought that Jesus got his start when He was born. The fact of the matter is that Jesus Christ has always existed according to verses 1-2: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” Jesus is before the beginning of time as He said in John 8:58: “Before Abraham was born, I am.” He is eternal, or infinite because He has always existed. This passage immediately reminds us of the opening words of Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God…”