The Unvarnished Story

December 25, 2013
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The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.  Isaiah 9:2

During his ministry Jesus said, “I have come as a Light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the darkness” (John 12:46, NLT).  Like a falling star that streaks across a dark sky, Christ’s coming into our world brought light and life.  Do you remember that great text found in Isaiah where He proclaimed, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9;2)?

Read the chronologies of the Old Testament. You will find that generation after generation, people were born, lived out their lives, and then died. Generation after generation.  Walk through a cemetery and you are reminded that life at its longest is short.  But then amidst the dark gloom of reality, this babe was born at Bethlehem who changed the whole scene.

John put it in these words:  “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.

“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 Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-5,10-14).

In these final two minutes on today’s edition of Guidelines, stop what you are doing long enough to focus on this great truth: God became flesh.  He lived among us, and we beheld His glory.  We saw both His grace and truth.

The birth of any baby is a marvelous experience, but the birth of this child had been foretold by the prophets for centuries.  First, God told us that the Redeemer would be of the human race (Genesis 3:15), then Moses wrote He was to be of the tribe of Judah (Isaiah 49:10). Samuel, the prophet who anointed David to be King, said the coming child would be of David’s lineage (2 Samuel 7:12-13).  Isaiah revealed He was to be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).  Micah adds “in Bethlehem’ (Micah 5:2), and Daniel gave a time line, taking us down to the very year of His birth.

Yet–and you need to grasp this–with all of the signs and prophecies identifying the event, most people yawned and never grasped the importance of what was happening.  On July 14, 1789, Jean Lenoir, a cobbler living on an obscure side street of Paris, wrote these words in his diary:  “Nothing of importance happened today…”  Yet on that very day, a French mob stoned Palace de la Bastille, massacred the garrison and started the French revolution, yet all of this escaped the cobbler who spent his day mending shoes.

John announced, “The Word became flesh…  We saw His glory.”  What is He describing?  The angels who hovered over the fields of Bethlehem?  The star which led the wise men?  Or was there more?

Is it any wonder that in this marvelous passage John says, “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another” (John 1:16)?

On this Christmas Eve our prayer for you is that Christmas grace will touch your heart and life, giving you one blessing after another.

Resource reading: Luke 1:1-38.

Bible References

  • Genesis 3:15
  • Isaiah 49:10
  • 2 Samuel 7:12 - 13
  • Isaiah 7:14
  • Micah 5:2