90 God as a Baby
Jesus could have come to this earth in any form He might choose, so why would He come as a baby? As we track the reaction of people when God showed up we discover that they are all afraid and so how can God get close to His children once again? How can we come to love Him to the point of trusting Him? This is what He longs for. So He comes and is born as a baby, because no one is afraid of a baby. For 33 years He makes His home with us and we fall in love with Him and then he dies and is resurrected and we realize we have come to love God and need not be afraid of Him ever again. Blessings as you celebrate His coming this Christmas.
God Born a Baby
"Mary, Did You Know?" Credit: Mark Lowry
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm the storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God.
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?..
The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb!
Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you're holding is the great I am.
Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?..
The punch line of this podcast is that by nature we are afraid of God because we know we are guilty before God of
1. Wanting to be more than what God had given us in the Garden—rebellion.
2. Unfaithfulness—worshipping gods which we have made out of people and things.
3. Treating Messiah in the worst possible way and fearing revenge after the resurrection.
God responded by becoming a baby human (Luke 2:8-12) so that he could reach us behind our wall of fear. As a human he demonstrated that:
1. We are, in his eyes, more than we ever imagined we could be. Luke 3:21-22
2. He is, and always has been faithful to us Jn 1:14
3. He personally gave us his peace for our fear after the resurrection.
“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” NLT
Luke 2:8-12 NLT
“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Saviour – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Second half of the inclusio is found in
Luke 24:50-53 NLT
“Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hand to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. So they worshipped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.”
“Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Mosesand the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
Why did God come as a Baby?
He could have come as a full grown carpenter, brick layer, farmer, shepherd that just wondered into town and set up his business.
Once sin was introduced to this earth - something changed within us. Adam and Eve were afraid of God.
I hid because I was afraid. Spiritually they had died
God had said - you will surely die. Our internal operating system no longer resonated with God - but was afraid of him.
Watch what happens when God tries to come and meet with mankind
Adam and Eve - are afraid and hide
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” Gen. 3:8-10 NLT
Moses Ex. 3:1- 6
One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.
Hebrew people - Ex. 20:18-19 NLT
When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear. And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”
Gideon - Judges 6:20-23 NLT
The angel of God said to him, “Place the meat and the unleavened bread on this rock, and pour the broth over it.” And Gideon did as he was told. Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and bread with the tip of the staff in his hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and consumed all he had brought. And the angel of the Lorddisappeared. When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he cried out, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, I’m doomed! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!” “It is all right,” the Lord replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die.”
Manoah and his wife - Samson’s parents - Judges 13:19 – 24 NLT
Then Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered it on a rock as a sacrifice to the Lord. And as Manoah and his wife watched, the Lord did an amazing thing. As the flames from the altar shot up toward the sky, the angel of the Lord ascended in the fire. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell with their faces to the ground. The angel did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. Manoah finally realized it was the angel of the Lord, and he said to his wife, “We will certainly die, for we have seen God!” But his wife said, “If the Lordwere going to kill us, he wouldn’t have accepted our burnt offering and grain offering. He wouldn’t have appeared to us and told us this wonderful thing and done these miracles.” When her son was born, she named him Samson. And the Lord blessed him as he grew up.
Zechariah Luke 1:11-14 NLT
While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth.
Mary - Luke 1:26-33 NLT
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
Shepherds - Luke 2:8-12 NLT
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
For some of us fear is the core we live from but Jesus says we have nothing to fear from Him: (who is the one we need to fear?)
Matthew 10:29 NLT Don’t be afraid 3x
“But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear! “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only him (God), who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
He does say to watch out for the devil: 1 Peter 5:8, 9 NLT
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.
Challenge to come and for us not to be afraid - you don’t trust what you are afraid of.
God wants us to trust him again, that spiritual core that once died needs to be reborn in us again.
Decided he would come as a baby because no one is afraid of a baby. unless it needs to be changed.
Luke 2:16-20 NLT
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.
Jesus (God) comes as a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes And as he grows, Jesus works his way into their hearts
They had no idea that he was God (Really)
The disciples followed him, walked with him, and ate with him - saw Him as a teacher - Rabbi - miracle worker - the Messiah. He was so human they had a hard time seeing him as also God in the flesh.
I submit they didn’t really believe He was God not until after His resurrection
Matthew 28:5 Don’t be afraid
Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.” (afraid for their future, afraid they would lose Jesus again, )
John 20:19-21 Peace be with you
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”
John 20:26 Peace be with you
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” (doors locked=fear)
Notice that He reveals himself only to his followers
Never to Pilate, Herod, the High Priest even the soldiers that nailed him to the cross or beat him before they took him to be crucified. (Respect and kindness for his enemies. Jesus did not want a repeat of Judas)
The mental pain and anguish would have been too much for them to bare. Like Judas - when he realized he had condemned an innocent man to die on the cross He went out and took his life - the mental anguish was just too much to bare.
God is not in the business of making us feel worse. He is in the business of helping us to know him so we can genuinely trust him.
Let’s go back to Jesus’ statement to Thomas:
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
What does it mean to believe in Jesus? John 6:28-29 “believe in the One he has sent!”
Jesus loves me. Jesus has great affection for me. He knows me by name. I am precious to him. He has forgiven all my faults and failures. He has written my name in his book of life. He has my picture on his fridge. God, in Jesus Christ, will not, cannot stop loving me, cannot imagine not loving me.
Gethsemane and Calvary demonstrated God’s amazing attitude.
It implies that I can sleep while he is dying of depression, I can betray him, deny him, abandon him, torture him, reject him, abuse him, mock him, execute him but none of these wicked actions diminish his love for me in the slightest!
When he rose, there was no thought of revenge in him. His first words to his guilt laden disciples were, “Peace be unto you!”
His words to you today have not changed. To you he says,
John 14:27 NLT “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
The baby of Bethlehem is your Saviour and Lover. All is well!
A meaningful Christmas to you in 2021!