The angel Gabriel was busy. Six months earlier, he had visited Zachariah with the news that the long-forgotten prayers of he and his wife for a child would be answered in this very late season of their lives. Now this angelic messenger was on another assignment: “sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary” (Luke 1:26b–27, AMP). The subsequent events around this visit are at the heart of the Christmas season, a time most of the world sets aside to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus.
It is not difficult to understand how babies born into royal families become kings. However, never in the history of the world has a king become a baby. Yet that was one of the significant messages in Gabriel’s announcement to Mary. The baby that would be born was making an entrance into the world, but He was doing so from another place. He was promised from as far back as the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15). Through various dispensations, prophets prophesied about Him, and the religious establishment looked for Him. He was expected, but nobody knew exactly where, when, or how. But since He existed before His arrival as a baby, who was He? The apostle John reveals the divine Jesus by stating that in the beginning, there was the Word (Christ), which was with God and was God Himself. He was co-eternally existing with God, and all things came into existence through Him. In Him was life and the power to bestow life, and the Light of men was the Light of men. The darkness did not understand or overpower it, and it was unreceptive to it (John 1:1–5).
This baby Jesus was an extraordinary baby. He was the Word, He was with God, He was God Himself, continuously existing with God. In other words, there was never a time that He never was. Creator and sustainer of all, king of heaven and earth. At the appointed time, John tells us, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (v. 14, ESV). Bible scholar Matthew Henry observes, “By His divine presence, He always was in the world, and by His prophets He came to His own. But now that the fulness of time was come, He was sent forth after another manner, made of a woman (Gal. 4:4); God manifested in the flesh.” God’s gift to the world—to reconcile the world to Himself—was the incarnate Christ.
It is this unique entrance into the world that we celebrate this and every Christmas season. Jesus was born not in a lofty place, but at birth, He was placed in a manger amongst the animals. Luke tells us there was no room in the guest room (Luke 2:7, NIV). Yet Isaac Watts, in 1719, penned the words that start the well-known carol: “Joy to the World, the Lord is come / Let earth receive her king / Let every heart prepare Him room / And heaven and nature sing.” On the night when joy came into the world, there was no room for the King of kings and Lord of lords. Now every heart is charged with the responsibility to make room for Him. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, is there room in your heart and life for Jesus?
To you and yours, a safe, blessed, and Merry Christmas!