The Son of God, by whom “all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities” (Colossians 1:16), was “wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger” (Luke 2:7). Jesus would grow up and learn reading, writing, and arithmetic; to swing a mallet and build; and most of all that humanity was sinfully in need of the salvation provided by the sacrifice of the lamb of God. When it occurred to the baby that he would be that lamb is left untold, but the experience of Passover drove twelve-year old Jesus to the temple. The blood and death of thousands of Passover lambs must have made an impression, and he asked questions and listened and answered the teachers, “and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding” (Luke 2:47). They had no idea how personal this was to the young man in front of them.
Christmas is when God’s Son “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7). It was not his deity that set Jesus apart from you and me. It was his perfect obedience. Jesus grew “in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). He grew like we grow, or like we should. The same Heavenly Father who guided Jesus, and the same Holy Spirit who gave him power, will lead and strengthen us, as well. If we let him.
Heavenly Father, may I walk in obedience to Your commandments and Your will. I will work hard at listening to You and doing what You ask. It’s not a burden, Your ways are the best for life; but I get in the way. I like to be in charge, and then I become my own burden.
Strengthen me, God, as I work out my salvation; as I turn over my life to You and learn to follow. I want Your favor; I want to hear You say that my life brings You pleasure. May I desire it enough to die to myself and find life in You.