In Colossians 3:11, Paul used just 6 words to convey a massive amount of truth: “Christ is all and in all.” When I read this succinct statement about the indescribable Christ, I remembered a brief description of the Bible.
The Bible in 50 Words, uses statements consisting of 2 words to describe the 66 books of the Bible:
Along this same theme of profound brevity, I suggest there is one verse in the New Testament that summarizes the life of Christ better than any other:
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh,vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. ~I Timothy 3:16
I will close with this question: What are the 50 words that define you?
Have you ever taken a moment to consider the momentous thoughts of Mary? I have, and I do, whenever I read Luke 2: “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
When Mary pondered the magnitude of the angelic message, and the adoring words of the shepherds, did she fully comprehend the magnificent meaning of that first Christmas?
When she gazed into the eyes of her innocent son, could she mentally grasp what she would emotionally gasp 30 years later when he took on the sin of the world?
How could she know that the son nurtured in her womb would have such a significant future and manifest awesome and miraculous power over creation? Did Mary have an aha moment when Jesus changed the water into wine at the marriage supper at Cana?
Was she pleasingly puzzled when her son had a leg up on the religious charlatans of the day and healed the legs of a crippled man?
When Mary saw a crowd of hungry faces suddenly satisfied by a sack lunch that was multiplied 5,000 times, did she realize that her son could also satisfy the spiritual hunger of the world?
When her son of a carpenter was dying an excruciating death on a wooden cross, did her anguish confound her comprehension of God’s ultimate plan?
How fast did her heart beat when she heard that her three-days-dead son had removed his grave clothes, rolled away a massive stone, run off a squad of soldiers, and then became the resurrection and life to all who would believe?
There are some things that I ponder in my heart:
• How could Jesus understand everything, but be misunderstood by most everyone?
• Who was his best childhood friend? Could it have been a boy named Barabbas or Judas?
• What did he and his cousin John (later called the Baptist) talk about?
• Did his brothers and sisters see him as unique or annoyingly odd?
I wonder, Mary Did You Know?
Last night I was contemplating the significance of Immanuel and the powerful promise hidden within these 8 letters that form His name.
Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Because He is God with us:
We are in awe and wonder of His wonderful ways.
We are consoled by the counsel of His Word.
We bow in reverence of His majestic might.
We are children to the everlasting Father,
And joint-heirs with the Prince of Peace.
Because He is God with us:
The sins of the world are forgiven.
The gift of salvation is offered.
Names are written in heaven.
The Christ Child has come.
. . . Immanuel—God is with us . . .
When Jesus came to this world, it was not to address the peccadillo needs of a few, but to fill the chasm of sin that separated man from God. He did not come to just please the whims and fancies of the human race, but He came to pacify of the righteous demands of a holy God.
His coming was full of promise; yet, the people to whom He came rejected Him. John said:
He came into the world—the world he had created—and the world failed to recognize him. He came into his own creation, and his own people would not accept him. Yet wherever men did accept him he gave them the power to become sons of God. These were the men who truly believed in him, and their birth depended not on the course of nature nor on any impulse or plan of man, but on God (JB Phillips)
Whenever I read the verses above, I am intrigued by four words: “the power to become.” When people accept Jesus, not an idea nor a philosophy, but the person of Christ, they receive “the power to become” a child of God. This spiritual transformation is the real hope of the Christmas story.
At this time each year I see people go to great expense to decorate their house–to transform it from the ordinary ho hum to an extraordinary display of flashing lights; yet they still miss the meaning of Christmas. While they are willing to pay homage to a diorama of Christmas, they fail to worship the Christ of Christmas.
Longfellow wrote the words to the song I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. In the third stanza of the song, he stated the condition of mankind without Christ:
And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”
As you celebrate Christmas this year, remember peace on earth is only possible because a piece of Heaven was born in a manger.