Who Was That Baby Born in a Manger?

Keith Crosby

Let me encourage you to take some time today and ponder the real meaning of Christmas.  Start by asking, “Who was that Baby in the manger and why did He come?”

Who was that baby in the manger?  The shortest answer is found in John 1:1-3, 14:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.  And 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."  John 1:1-3, 14.

The baby in the manger was God in a manger!  It’s a paradox for sure.  It’s hard to understand.  Baby Jesus, Jesus Christ, was fully God and fully human.  No “God-ness” was lost in the transaction, and neither was any humanity.  Can we be sure that Jesus is God?  We can--go back to John 1:1-3 and replace “the Word” with “Jesus.”

In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.  And Jesus 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."  John 1:1-3, 14.

Who was that Baby in the manger?  He was (and is) God and Creator: “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made (John 1:3).  Did you ever notice that Genesis 1 and John 1 begin with “In the beginning?”  Jesus is the Creator and the Savior---He’s the God of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  There is nothing made that He didn’t make.  Colossians 1:18 says, "All things were made through, by, and for Jesus!  Jesus is your Creator and Jesus is God in the flesh:  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross  Colossians 1:19.

And why did He come?  He came to reconcile us to Himself.  Given all we’ve messed up through our own sin as well as the sin of others, no one other than God Himself could be our Savior and come and straighten it all out.  So God became flesh (John 1:14).

And why did He come?  Colossians tells us to reconcile all things to Himself.  We also find a very brief explanation in Galatians 4:4.  It’s the shortest explanation of the Christmas account I can find"

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons."  Galatians 4:4-5.

Jesus came to redeem (save/rescue) us from sin, death, and hell because we were lawbreakers under a death sentence from the law so Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves.  At just the right time, He came to rescue us and make us God’s children.

Now, when God sent His Son, He did not enter with a huge splash.  He was quietly born in a manger (a feed trough) to a woman who was under sentence as a law breaker.  Jesus lived under that same law (without breaking it) so that He would have the right to pay for our sins.  Because He was not indebted to the law He could take our place, as a substitute.  Being sinless, He had not broken the law.  So, He substituted Himself for us so that we could go free.

Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) so that as many who would put their trust, confidence, and lives in His hands, unreservedly, would become God’s children (John 1:12):

"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13.)

Rescue and salvation does not depend upon our ethnicity (“blood”), our abilities or works (“will of the flesh”) or something our parents did for us, to us, or on our behalf (“will of man”).  It all depends on God and His gift of grace.

As a Christian, take time some time today to think about that gift and let your mind dwell with thanksgiving on all that has been done for you by Christ and through His coming at “Christmas.”  Thank Him for this wonderful and priceless gift!  It’s the gift that keeps on giving---forever and ever.

If you haven’t received this gift of forgiveness and redemption, don’t reject it!  It can be yours.  God offers this forgiveness to everyone no matter who they are, what they’ve done, or where they’ve come from.  However, He only grants forgiveness to those who are willing to receive it---and on His terms---through repentance and faith in Jesus (see Romans 10:9-10 and Acts 4:12).  To reject Jesus is to reject God’s forgiveness.  Are you willing to receive His gift?  Don’t wait for the 25th; receive it now!  Tell Him you are sorry for your sins and ask Him to forgive you and save you and make you His child.  You’ll be glad you did.  And if you do, tell someone about it because this is good news and a gift worth sharing.  Merry Christmas!

 

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