What’s The Big Deal About The Birth of Jesus? Advent 4
God could have fulfilled his promise in any way He wanted. But, He chose to do it through the baby Jesus. He did it through a BABY. And that’s particularly surprising.
So in this final Advent post, I want to look at why God’s choice to fulfill his promise through a baby is particularly unusual.
Infants and the Modern Family
Consider for a moment, what babies face today.
In our technically sophisticated society. Children are increasingly looked upon as liabilities (burdens) not just blessings.
Family planning, contraception, and even abortion are all means by which we limit the cost of children. Even Christian couples use some of these ways to control the timing of new infants arriving.
That’s not supposed to be a moral judgment of right or wrong. I’m merely pointing out that unlike the time of Jesus birth. When babies are born today, generally speaking, they are met with far more preparation.
Just consider the cost alone of giving birth to a baby. Couples with poor insurance can face fees into the thousands of dollars. If they are blessed enough with a healthy child, the cost can be minor. However, when babies enter into the world with genetic deficiencies or maladies, those hospital fees climb to backbreaking heights.
As a result, I can see where young couples may opt out of the “parenting” obligations choosing instead to take care of dogs or cats.
The Extraordinary Choice
When we look through our secular lens at the birth of Jesus, the surprising fact of the story is God’s method of entering the world. He chose to bring the promised Messiah through the ordinary process of giving birth. And what makes the story more scandalous, he opted to do this through a young teenage girl.
Because of our society’s disdain for teenage pregnancy, accepting the birth narrative is a little more difficult for us. But we need to grasp the significance of this choice.
Not only did the God of the universe decide to usher in his redemptive plan through a vulnerable and helpless infant. He also decided to do it through a teenage girl who had yet to be married.
These two factors alone defy our societies common norms.
If a 19-year-old boy weds a 14-year-old girl, we call this statutory — yet the biblical narrative brushes up against this standard. To remind you, I’m only trying to point out the distance between the virgin birth story of Jesus and our typical western minds.
If we are honest, it ‘s hard to comprehend the details of the Christian story.
The Humility of God
And that’s just the point. When we examine the story of Jesus and his role fulfilling the promise God made to bring a Messiah, there are simply parts that are beyond us.
As sophisticated Westerners, we pride ourselves on being able to explain a phenomenon by many different means. Science is our tool of choice. And we prefer to describe and categorize an event to make better sense of the world that surrounds us.
But the God of Christianity will not yield to our scientific inquiries, preferring instead, to turn right when we think He should go left. Appear small, when we think He should be magnificent.
And that is the remarkable aspect of the birth of Jesus? At the moment of conception in the womb of a young teenage girl, the infinite God and the finite world were brought together in a mass of tissue that would eventually grow to rule the world. That’s remarkable to me.
At any point in the development process, the infant Jesus could have been lost to the abortive processes that plague all of humanity. And yet, by the gracious hand of the sovereign God, the baby Jesus would appear in Bethlehem in a borrowed room during tax season.
The Big Deal of Jesus
When we step back and consider the circumstances surrounding our Savior’s birth, there is nothing in scripture to indicate that the actual birth was any different than all of the rest of humanity. Genesis 3:16 records the curse placed upon the woman and the effect on childbirth:
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.”
For me, it’s easy to believe that Mary’s birth of Jesus may have been supernaturally pain-free. But the story in the bible gives us no indication of this. So we are left to conclude that Jesus came into the world like the rest of us.
And there is the point to be made. Sure his birth was accompanied by angels appearing to shepherds, stars guiding wise men and prophecies being fulfilled. But for a brief moment in the history of the world, the God of the universe was contained in an innocent, helpless infant named Jesus.
There is no greater demonstration to me of God’s humility and love for us than to be willing to enter into the world in the same manner that you and I do. With the goal, to save you and me from the evil of this world. That is a very big deal.