A Christmas Devotional

First published in December 2008

As soon as I finished storing the leftover Thanksgiving turkey in Tupperware, I began putting up the tree and cluttering every surface of our house with nativity scenes, reindeer, poinsettias, and twinkly lights. Every year our family – like many of you – goes to great lengths to celebrate the birth of Jesus. But do we ever slow down to seriously contemplate why He came?

Jesus clearly told us why He came. A few years ago, several statements He made that include the phrase “I came” or “I have come” really grabbed my attention. Of course, I had read them many times before, but had never considered them in the context of Christmas. As I searched the Gospels I found more than a dozen of these “I came…” statements. As I studied them Christmas took on a deeper and richer meaning for me. If you have time, look up the Scripture references and ask God to teach you the deeper meaning of Christmas.

Jesus Came to Show Us the Father

First, Jesus made it very clear that He came as a representative of the Father. He never did or said or initiated anything on His own. He came in complete submission and obedience to the Father. He sought to please the Father and bring Him glory.

John 6:38-40: Jesus came down from heaven to do the will of the Father.

John 12:23-27 (This was just days before Jesus’ crucifixion): Jesus came to die in obedience to the Father.

Jesus Came to Save

Second, Jesus came to carry out the Father’s mission of salvation. Jesus came as the Father’s representative to fulfill the Father’s will. And this was the Father’s will: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him (John 3:16-17).”

Mark 2:13-17: Jesus came to call sinners and heal the sick.

Luke 19:1-10: Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.

John 10:1-18: Jesus came to give to give us full life.

Matthew 20:28: Jesus came to serve and to give His life as a ransom.

Jesus Came to be King

Have you ever noticed how much Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God? He saved us so we could be a part of His Kingdom. Jesus came to reveal the truth of God’s Kingdom to the world.

Luke 4:42-44: Jesus came to preach about the Kingdom of God.

John 18:33-37: Jesus came to be a King and to testify to the truth.

Jesus Got Out of the Manger

If you are like me, when I celebrate Christmas I limit my view of Jesus to a baby in a feed trough filled with hay. Yes, that’s how He arrived, but that is not why He came. As you celebrate Christmas this year, don’t leave Jesus in the manger. Remember, He came as the Father’s representative to provide a way for your salvation and establish God’s Kingdom on earth. Rejoice with exceeding great joy!

Which of these reasons for Jesus’ coming impacts you the most today? Why?

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