Having a right view of Jesus this Christmas - Download This Episode
The title of my Christmas message today is “Having the right view of Jesus this Christmas” Today rather than preach the traditional Christmas message, I felt God impress on me the importance seeing Jesus correctly. For all of us it is important to have a right view of Jesus. Our view of Jesus determines the course of our lives. It also determines our eternal destiny. So having a right view of Jesus is vitally important both for this life and the next.
In the front of my mind was the question that Jesus asked to Peter “Whom do you say that I am?”. It was a pivotal question for Peter and a pivotal question for us some 2000 years later.
In this Christmas Day message, I want to look at a number of reactions to Jesus. I want to look at the reaction when He was born. The reaction of the people when He lived amongst us. And the reaction of people as they view Jesus today. Finally, I want to finish with the reality of who the Bible says Jesus is. After all, the Christmas message is all about Jesus.
Reactions to His birth
There were a number of reactions to Jesus’ birth. The religious leaders of the day didn’t even notice. Although they had been waiting for a Saviour to come, they were too busy doing other things. Some were busy with Temple business. Some were busy trying keep the law. Some were busy walking down the street trying to look good to impress people.
King Herod saw the birth of the baby Jesus as a threat. Prophecies has told of the coming King and when the wise men visited asking about the child, Herod did not like this one bit. He ordered all the babies under a certain age killed to wipe out the threat against him and his power (Matthew 2:1-18).
The Three Wise Men had the right reaction. When they saw the star in the sky, they travelled a long distance to give Him gifts and kneel before Him and worship. It was a right response to the promised Saviour. I have heard it said that wise people still kneel before Jesus and offer Him their gifts.
Reactions to His life
There were a number of reactions to His life too. The religious leaders did not pay any attention to Jesus until He grew up and started to have a public ministry. Once He started to have a following they started to take notice. Like Herod they saw Him as a threat and wanted Him killed. He threatened the status quo and their power. They wanted Him gone.
The people of the day generally did not receive Jesus. Some did receive Jesus and followed Him, but others followed Him for His teaching, His miracles or His supply of food. But sadly many who were there at His trial before Pilate cried out “Crucify Him, Crucify Him”.
The disciples had the right reaction to Jesus in Mark 1 when Jesus walked up to the fisherman and said, “Follow Me”. They dropped their nets at once and followed Him. In fact they followed Him for 3 and a half years until He returned to heaven. I would hope that I would have been one of them if I lived 2000 years ago.
The best reaction to His life was found on the lips of the Apostle Peter. Jesus asked the question I am asking today, “Who do you say I am?” In Matthew 16:16 Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Jesus commended him and said that was not revealed my man but God Himself. That was the best reaction of all to His life.
Reactions to Jesus today
There are many and varied responses to Jesus today. If you do an internet search on “who is Jesus” you will find many different opinions. Some are close and fairly accurate, while others are very far off the mark.
If you ask an academic at a university they would probably explain His life away and start talking about evolution. I read one story once about a university professor discounting God’s existence because we couldn’t see Him, touch Him or hear Him speak in the class. So the professor said that God can’t exist. This was countered by one his students who said we couldn’t see the professors brain, we couldn’t touch the professors brain or hear the professors brain so surely it didn’t exist. I am not sure how that went down and if he passed his course!
If you ask someone from another faith they would say things like He was a leader of an ancient religion, or He was a good teacher, or He was a good person. Some religions believe He was a prophet but not the main prophet. Some admit He was a god, but one of many gods.
Some today do believe in Jesus, but rather believing in who He actually is they believe in the baby Jesus and they leave Him in the cradle. I remember a number of years ago watching a movie about a man saying grace before a meal with his family. He prayed to the baby Jesus. His family corrected him, but he refused to listen because the baby Jesus did not demand anything of him. Others believe in Jesus but see Him nailed to the cross. They believe He died for their sins on the cross, but they leave Him there. They forget He died, rose again and returned to heaven.
The biblical view of Jesus
When we look to the Bible we find the right response and reaction to Jesus. This is the view that we should hold as Christ followers.
a. Jesus is a child for us all who was the promised Messiah.
More than 700 years before Jesus was born Isaiah said this about Jesus.
Isaiah 9:6 – For a Child is born to us, a Son is given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders. And He will be called: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Jesus was a child who was long waited for. There were over 300 prophecies about Him coming, what He would be like and what He would do. According to studies fulfilling just 16 of the prophecies about Christ in one person alone would be 1 in 10 with 45 zeros after it. That looks like this
But Jesus fulfilled them all.
b. Jesus came into the world to save us.
John 3:16-18 – “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
Jesus came into the world because of His great love for us. He could not live in eternity without You. He came to save us.
c. Jesus is the one we can follow.
John 14:6 – Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.
Jesus is the way to salvation. Jesus is the truth among many different paths. Jesus is the way to the Father in heaven. Like the disciples by the lake, we can drop everything to follow Him. And we can trust He will lead us the right way.
d. Jesus is the King who is coming back for His own.
John 14:1-3 – “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me. 2 There is more than enough room in My Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am.
A time is coming when the Father will call time of this earth. When He does, Jesus will come back for His own and He will take us to be with Him forever. As regulars here have heard me say many times – when we have been there for 10,000 years, we have only just begun.
Today as I close my message on having a right view of Jesus this Christmas, I want to ask you the question that Jesus asked Peter some 2000 years ago. “Whom do you say that I am?” Who is Jesus to you? Is He a historical figure? The leader of an ancient religion? A good teacher? A miracle worker?
Or is He the Son of God? The One who was born into this world as a baby and grew to be a teacher who showed us what God is like and how to live? The Saviour of all mankind who died on the cross to pay the price for our sin and was raised to life on the third day. The One who ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father praying for us right now.
It is my hope and prayer that you see Jesus for who He really is. The Saviour of the world, who loves you and wants to be in relationship with you. This Christmas I pray You will have a right view of Jesus and you can say with Peter, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.
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