He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. John 1:10
The infinite and awesome creator of the cosmos took the form of his own creation and subjected himself to the laws of time and death, to save those who rebelled against him. God’s voluntary subjection to the rebellious brutality of His creation demonstrates the degree to which God hates original sin – pride and conceit. He did not take the form of an invincible champion to subdue this treacherous and wicked world. He did not condescend in regal majesty to awe mankind. Although a tiny nation of chosen people anticipated his arrival, he did not arrive as a heralded conqueror.
Jesus came in the middle of the night as a helpless child. To the world, God was born a poor child, not in a palace, but in a feeding trough, among livestock, on dirt and straw. Instead of conceived by God, they saw a shameful pregnancy. Instead of the Son of God, the World saw him as illegitimate. Only Joseph, a poor carpenter, helped Mary through the pain of Jesus’ birth. She did not lie on a clean bed. No servants or doctors attended young Mary. Her water and blood mixed with the manger dirt. Instead of gold and trumpet blasts, he arrived in poverty, surrounded by manure. Heaven sang, but beyond a very few peasants, no one heard. His first visitors were shepherds, who were of the lowest social cast of the time, men who were not deemed fit for entry into the Temple. Mary and Joseph raised Jesus in Galilee, a remote backwater of Judea, which itself was a remote conquered territory of the Roman Empire. He was the adopted son of a carpenter. To the world, God incarnate was a nobody from nowhere.
When this apparent nobody left to fulfill his purpose on Earth, he surrounded himself with uneducated fishermen. At the height of his ministry, he shared wine in fellowship with prostitutes, tax collectors and fishermen. His acquaintances cannot be understated – tax collectors were vermin. They were corrupt traitors who squeezed the wealth from their fellow countrymen on behalf of a pagan conqueror. Jesus quickly made enemies of the important Jewish religious and legal leaders – the Pharisees and Sadducees. He spent his time in the countryside and villages teaching commoners, healing the sick, and washing the feet of the fishermen and tax collectors who followed him. He talked with prostitutes and gentiles.
Jesus Christ demonstrated that he did not come to conquer the rebellious heart of man, but rather he came as a humble servant to lay down his life for the rebellious sons of Adam and fallen daughters of Eve. Along the way, he taught the heart of God’s law, cared for the poor and sick, displayed God’s wrath against the proud, changed the face of mankind, and performed countless miracles for those who placed their faith in him.
In the end, he was arrested, beaten, stripped, scourged, mocked, spat upon, abandoned by his closest friends, nailed to a cross and killed with common criminals on a barren hill outside the gates of Jerusalem. They killed him outside the walls of Jerusalem because he was “unclean” for being crucified and therefore unfit to be within the walls of the holy city. (Heb. 13:12-13.)
After being humiliated and savagely slaughtered, he proved his divine authority by defeating death. He rose from the dead, demonstrating also that he paid the price of sin for all who would accept his sacrifice – all while being a servant of his Father’s will. God came into His creation to serve and to die for those who rebelled against Him, to satisfy His law, so that we could live in the eternal presence of our creator and escape the penalty of our fallen nature.
Jesus completely and humbly poured himself out for those who did not deserve it. Jesus changed the face of humanity and defeated death and sin, all as a nobody from nowhere. Christ’s time on Earth was a miraculous demonstration of love, compassion, grace, and justice intertwined. (Eph. 5:1; Phil. 2:1-3.) Jesus changed the course of history and changes our eternal destination. God’s ways are not the ways of the world, yet God calls us to his table, to be his family, and to act like Him through the strength of his Holy Spirit.
The birth of Christ will always be the foremost and greatest miracle for mankind.