Consider the gap between Jesus and us

by Kyle
published January 18, 2015


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When you think of the Christmas story, what do you think of?

Maybe you think of a baby in a manger. Maybe you think of wise men and shepherds. Maybe you think of angels bringing good news of the Savior to be born.

Maybe the picture in your head is not really accurate. For instance, the wise men and shepherds did not come at the same time. Jesus was already about two years old, and Mary and Joseph for living in a house by then.

Maybe the picture in your head completely misses the point.

There are several passages of which inform these pictures. Luke 1 and 2 tells about the angel’s visit to Mary and the shepherds. Matthew 1 and 2 tells of the angel’s visit to Joseph and the visit of the Magi.

But have you ever considered Philippians 2:5-11?

I know you’ve never read it for Christmas at church before, but think about it. It’s probably the best Scripture for Christmas. Instead of telling the story, it shows the whole point of Christmas. Allow me to paraphrase:

Think like Jesus. He is God. And yet, he let go of his equality with God, emptied himself and became a human servant. As a man, he was obedient to God even to death, even the most shameful death possible. That is why God gave him a name more glorious than any other name so that all people, both Jesus’ friends and enemies — both dead and alive — would bow to worship Jesus and proclaim that Jesus is the King, which will in turn give glory to God the Father.

Have you considered the gap Jesus must have traversed to get to us? Jesus went from the most powerful position in all the universe to perhaps the least powerful. He didn’t become even a powerful human. He didn’t come as a king or as a prince, or even moderately successful, middle-class merchant.

Instead, Jesus came as a baby born to peasants who not only could not find a place more suitable than a small barn for him to be born in, but could not afford a lamb for the prescribed sacrifice for a firstborn son. Instead, they had to offer a pair of pigeons, as allowed by the book of Leviticus.

So much of Christmas is spent on quaint, watered-down narratives. So little of it is spent on letting those narratives inform the way we live. What did Paul say first?

“Have this attitude in yourselves which is also in Christ Jesus.”

There is supposed to be a response on your part to the what happened that night. Jesus’ incarnation should inspire and inform your own humility.

Compared to the gap Jesus had to cross to serve us, how big is the gap between you and that co-worker you know will be alone on Christmas? How about the gap between you and that family member you’ve been mad at for years? Or the one that’s been mad at you?

How much will you empty yourself of this Christmas? Your example is Jesus, and on the first Christmas, he emptied himself of every- thing.

What do you think?

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