The single most important Christmas verse in the Bible is …?
What would your answer be? I’m aware that the backgrounds and settings for the answer to this question are many and varied.
Naturally, we can turn to a few popular verses such as:
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7 KJV)
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:13, 14 KJV)
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1, 2 KJV)
These are powerful and meaningful verses with regard to Christmas. However, allow me to take you beyond the actual night of Jesus’ birth and share a thought from a different perspective.
Let’s change the question: What passages provide the greatest measure of personal accessibility to the Christmas story? My personal conviction is that the most powerful and meaningful Bible Christmas passage are those which indeed grant each of us, right now in 2011, access to the birth of Jesus at a refreshing level of simplicity and personal experience. They are as follows:
“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 1:14 KJV)
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12 KJV)
Jesus was the Word (defined as “communication whereby the mind finds expression”), and the Word became flesh. “Became flesh” carries a meaning which encompasses and defines the word “incarnation.” The text continues by telling us that the Word “dwelt among us.” One translator says, “he became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.”
Only because He became flesh, we now have the amazing and unparalleled opportunity to become the direct decedents of God’s lineage! The “power to become the sons of God” is the gift which actually allows receptive humans to become fathered by God, hence becoming intimately and directly related to God Himself. In a very real sense, Jesus Christ as the incarnate God, was the first to be “fathered” or “begotten” by God, but not the last! Mortal humans can enter into this relationship and become bonded in a family way that defies explanation.
Romans 8:16–17 says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…”
In the same sense that the Word became flesh, mere mortal humans are offered the high and eternal blessing of becoming “enfleshed”
themselves by the indwelling of the Spirit of God. Those who receive the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:38) take on His divine nature, as they enjoy “sonship of God.” Just as Jesus was begotten by God and put on display as the very essence of God, believers receive into their being the very essence of God by His Spirit. By speaking in heavenly tongues, worshiping in spirit and in truth, and producing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, we put God on display to the world around us! We know who Jesus Christ is by becoming His intimate, closest relatives!
This is indeed the most meaningful and personal “reason for the season.”
We at CAC wish you a Merry Christmas, with the very “Christ” of the familiar greeting dwelling in your heart!
Pastor D. E. Haymon II