Love Came Down at Christmas
By Les Thompson
Along with Christmas come funny stories or sayings:
- Did you hear about a kid in Santa Clara, California? The firemen spent several hours pulling him out of the chimney. All he said was: “He can’t make it; there’s no way he can make it!”
- A new version of “Deck The Halls”
Deck the malls this Christmas season, fa la la la la, la la la la
Blow your cash for no good reason, fa la la la la, la la la la
Push your charge card to its limit, fa la la, la la la, la la la
Your check book now has nothing in it, fa la la la la, la la la la.
- Christmas: The time when everyone gets “Santamental.”
- I know. I know. People say “It’s the thought that counts, not the gift,” but couldn’t people think a little bigger?
- Every year, Christmas becomes less a birthday and more a clearance sale.
- Father to three-year old: “No, a reindeer is not a horse with a TV antenna.”
- A Christmas cartoon has a cute little girl saying: “Boy, do I love Christmas, I sure do love Christmas. I don’t know what it’s about, but I sure do love it!” How sad that what that little girl says is true to so many: “I love Christmas, but I don’t know what it’s about.”
So, let’s find out what it’s about …
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace and truth.”
John in 30 words tells us what it took Luke in his gospel 2,813 words to say.
LUKE, of course, gives us the details.
JOHN is satisfied to give us the reason.
Both stories, however, have the exact same package: LOVE!!!
As John explains in the best known verses of the Bible:
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son
That whosoever believes in Him should not perish,
But have everlasting life.”
I. WHO CAME DOWN AT CHRISTMAS
xx“And the WORD became flesh…”
MATTHEW calls him JESUS: (“Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.” (Mt. 1.21)
JOHN calls Him the “WORD” — using the Greek LOGOS
LOGOS: Greek word used in reference to ‘god.’ More of a mystical mystery: Something like “THE FORCE” — powerful, but indefinable
JOHN’S LOGOS is defined, however:
…He was in the beginning
…He was with God
…He was God
Like Paul at Athens: That unknown “god” you have, let me tell you who it is! (Acts 17:22-28)
John ties Him to Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning… GOD!” Have you ever stopped long enough to think of His being?
Omnipresence: —farthest star… & right here! In China and here!
Omniscience: knows everything… Now, what is occurring in world… all past… all future
Omnipotence: power! Nothing can stop Him. (Make a rock so big He can’t lift it?)
Luther: That’s why He made hell, for people like you who ask silly questions. He won’t do something contrary to His nature. He cannot lie!
Eternal: no beginning/no end (always was, always will be)!
It is this God who became a baby!
II. HOW DID HE COME DOWN AT CHRISTMAS?
xxxJohn 1:14 “And the Word ‘became’ flesh, and dwelt among us.“
xxxPhilippians 2:6-7 “Who, being in the form of God… made himself of no reputation… and was made in the likeness of men.”
We just mentioned His Power/His Knowledge/His Presence
Being God He did something you and I cannot do!
HE BECAME FLESH
1. He was a “spirit” being
2. He was only a man (tho a good one) but not God!
He was the GOD-MAN
He proved what to us seems impossible:
xxxHis miracles — only God could do those (walking on water, etc.)
xxxHis death — only a man can die!
HE DWELT AMONG US
The story of the Mexico City Prayer Meeting
A young missionary lady from a wealthy family who went to Chiapas working with Wycliffe Bible Translators. The people would invade her privacy all the time: look in her windows, watch her in her home like theirs. At the prayer meeting, she was in front of me on her knees praying at her chair, “Lord, they won’t stop looking at me. They want to see what I am doing all the time. Lord, they smell. They are dirty. They are not pleasant. They are difficult to live with.” And on and on she went as she poured her heart out to the Lord.
After we were dismissed, I spoke to her, “I couldn’t help but hear your prayer. I suppose you will be going back home to America. You have been suffering a lot.”
She replied, “Why NO! NEVER! I cannot leave them. They don’t know who Jesus is. I have to stay and I will learn to love them with God’s help.”
III. WHAT WAS HE LIKE?
xxxx”And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
Think of the most perfect person you know.
Perhaps great in sports like my grandson, David, who hit two home runs in one game!
Jesus is perfect in every way… not just one thing like sports!
God made Adam perfect, without sin.
If Adam had come to a room like this before he fell, we would all fall before him & worship him
Jesus was perfect, without sin
The Second Adam: “He veiled His glory” so men could stand to be near Him.
QUALITIES: full of grace and truth. Was there ever a man like Him?
- Kindness — to lepers “Bartimeus”
- Gentleness — “who touched me?” woman & the edge of his garment
- Compassion — Woman burying her only son.
- Love —He said, “Let the little children come to me“
- Wouldn’t hit back —when soldiers slapped Him (turned the other cheek)
- His manliness — used a whip when saw abuses of sellers at temple
- His holiness — before the treacherous, hypocritical Pharisees
- Teaching —”look at the lilies,” “look at the sparrows,” “Father had a son”
IV. WHY DID HE COME DOWN AT CHRISTMAS?
xxxJohn 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
Every Christmas eve, at Key Biscayne Church, Steve Brown would tell a story. In fact, it was the very same story every Christmas Eve.
There was a terrible storm and the church bells were ringing. The man in the mansion was irritated because birds were flying against his window, trying to escape the storm. He tried to rescue them but he couldn’t accomplish anything. “If only I could speak your language so you could understand!” he said. And then the church bells pealed again. Suddenly Christmas made sense to him. He got dressed as quickly as possible to get to church to hear what God was saying, since he had never understood. That morning a new person joined that grateful group of Christians.