Dear People Who Keep Company With God,
We love Christmas because we celebrate the Person and entire life of Christ. For us Christmas is a celebration of the incarnation of Christ. Incarnation is the Word, God Himself becoming flesh, and living among us (John 1:14). It is love coming down from heaven and rescuing us.
I believe the 30 years of the life of Jesus on earth before His public ministry began can teach us much about Him and the more we know about Him the more we will want to know Him. There are only four stories recorded in the Bible from those 30 almost silent years of Jesus. They are:
1. When He was a baby in a manger and visited by shepherds (Luke 2: 8-20).
2. When He was presented at the Temple for circumcision and visited by Simeon and Anna (Luke 2: 21-40).
3. When He was at home between one to two years old and visited by the wise men (Matt. 2:1-12).
4. When He was 12 years old at the Temple with the teachers of the Law. (Luke 2: 39-50)
I have discovered the people present in each of those stories are like a prophetic picture of what love looked like when it came down. Here are some thoughts toward that end.
The shepherds. Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep”(John 10:11). In Mark 6:30-39 is the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. When Jesus first saw the multitude He was immediately moved with compassion because they were like sheep with no shepherd (Mark 6:34). Only a shepherd can see people as sheep. Our Shepherd sees each of us and is full of love and compassion toward us.
Simeon and Anna. The Holy Spirit was prominent in the life of Simeon and Anna. Jesus’s entire life and ministry was completely dependent on the Holy Spirit. His birth happened because the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and the virgin conceived Him. He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power and healed all those oppressed of the devil. He did not do any of the miracles without the Holy Spirit. He did not even suffer, die and rise from the dead without the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was everything to Jesus and so He is to us.
The wise men from the east. Jesus Christ is God’s secret wisdom that was hidden until He came as a man walking upon the earth. This wisdom, the person of Christ, is for our glory that we might be restored to the family and household of God. (1 Cor. 2:7). The “Wisdom Literature” in the Old Testament—the Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes urges us to pursue wisdom; above all things to get wisdom as it is more precious than gold and sweeter than honey. It turns out that Jesus Christ Himself is this wisdom.
The teachers at the temple court. Jesus Christ is the Teacher. “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am” (John 13:13). The first recorded Words out of Jesus’ mouth as a 12-year-old boy is a profound teaching. Eighteen years later He began His ministry and taught everywhere He went over the next 3 years. He taught in the garden before He was arrested, taught when He was arrested, on the cross and for 40 days after His resurrection. He continues to do so up to this very day through His people. The greatest moment ever will be when we all are sitting at the table about to partake of the marriage feast of the Lamb and He stands up and opens His mouth to speak to His family.
Many Blessings, BW