A Baby That Changed Everything

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, December 24, 2014 0 comments

by Logan Ames

I have not personally had children, but those of you who have been blessed in that way likely learned that a baby changes everything in your life. You go from having a lot of free time, adequate rest, and the privilege of focusing mostly on your own needs to putting someone else’s needs before yours 100% of the time. Whether your baby was planned or not, life as you know it is changed forever.

There was one baby in history that not only changed the lives of his parents, but actually changed the whole world forever. Matthew 1:22-23 indicates that this particular baby was the fulfillment of the prophecy originally recorded in Isaiah 7:14, which declared, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel”. An angel of the Lord would later appear to Joseph and tell him to give this baby the name “Jesus”, which is the Greek form of the Hebrew “Joshua”, which means “the Lord saves” (Matthew 1:20-21). But in fulfilling the prophecy associated with “Immanuel”, the arrival of Jesus meant that God is now with us. God had stepped out of heaven and into our fallen world as a human being. As John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us”. This was big news! There was no problem facing individuals, nations, or the entire world that didn’t pale compared to the knowledge that God was in the flesh dwelling among us. As you approach the day we celebrate this miracle tomorrow, does the presence of Immanuel (aka “God with us”) really put things into the proper perspective for you?

It’s not just our problems that pale in comparison to the presence of God in the flesh, but our worldly pleasures as well. No matter what you do or do not get in the form of presents this year, do you realize that the greatest gift you could ever receive, and the only one that literally changes your life for all eternity, is the gift of the baby Jesus? Other material things and even experiences will fade away, but the hope that we have in Jesus never goes away and only gets stronger the more we put our faith in him. The question for many is, how do we know we can put our hope in him?

I believe the answer to that question gets to the heart of why Jesus came to the earth as a baby and not a grown man. As Ricky Bobby (aka Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights) learned, Jesus did not always stay as a baby and eventually did grow up. Ricky may have liked the “Christmas Jesus” the best, but our Savior lived a human life with all its trials and temptations and became an adult like anyone else. However, there are several reasons based on Jewish Law why it was necessary for our Savior to be born as a baby and grow into a man. First of all, Jewish Law stated that boys are to be circumcised on the eighth day (Leviticus 12:3). Had Jesus not been born a baby, this would not have happened. Secondly, the Old Testament stipulates that a man must grow to be thirty years old before he can enter the priesthood (Numbers 4:23). That’s important because Jesus is said to be “a great high priest...who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:14-15). God could have just come as a full-grown man, but then that man would not have actually gone through thirty years on this earth but only had the appearance of a thirty-year-old. In order for us to trust Jesus as one who has walked through and defeated anything we might face, we need to know that he actually lived life here and didn’t just supernaturally bypass everything.

You may be asking why these laws are so important in regards to Jesus. The point isn’t that everyone out there has to circumcise their male babies on the eighth day, or that we all have to wait until age thirty to enter vocational ministry. Rather, Jesus himself said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). How could he have fulfilled the Law if he had not been born under it?

From the very start of Jesus’ life as a newborn baby in a manger, things were ordered so that the message of his presence here with us would provide truth, hope, and grace for the whole world. Imagine being Mary and Joseph, who did not choose to have this child but still in faith accepted the responsibility of raising and caring for the Savior of the world. Imagine being those who watched Jesus grow up, those who did business with him as a carpenter, and those who taught him in the synagogues. The Bible doesn’t tell us anything about Jesus’ years between age twelve and age thirty, but we can be certain that he did live a full thirty years before entering the ministry because that was the requirement under Jewish Law.

Jesus, and the others that God placed in his life, changed everything forever. Christmas might be the “end” of our holiday season in our culture, but it is just the beginning of the new, hope-filled life that Jesus offers to you and me. It all started with a baby. Since you know that baby became a man and defeated sin and death, have you allowed him to reign in YOUR life? If the answer is “no”, may this Christmas be the beginning of your changed life and the hope that will never let you down.