The Christmas story is full of miracles. For many people, the Virgin Birth of Jesus (Luke 1:26-38) is the first Christmas miracle that comes to mind. With God as His Father and Mary as His mother, Jesus came into this world as the God-Man, fully God and fully man.
Though the Virgin Birth may be the best-known miracle of Christmas, it is by no means the only miracle associated with Jesus’ birth. The angel’s visit to Joseph and Joseph’s willingness to keep Mary as his wife are miraculous (Matthew 1:18-25). Jesus was born in Bethlehem as predicted in Micah 5:2 hundreds of years earlier. The magi (wise men) followed a star for many weeks so they could find and worship Jesus (Matthew 2:1-2). John the Baptist leapt in his mother Elizabeth’s womb when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, greeted her (Luke 1:39-45). We could go on and on listing the many miracles associated with Christmas.
One miracle we seldom consider in relation to Christmas took place before the foundation of the world. That miracle is the decision the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit made that Jesus would come to Earth as a man and later suffer and die for our sins. At first we may not think of this decision as a miracle; but when we really think about what it meant for Jesus to become human, for the Creator to become like the creation, we can’t help but be humbled by this glorious miracle.
The Apostle Paul describes the humility and selfless attitude Jesus demonstrated in His incarnation.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV)
Although He was God, Jesus was willing to lay aside His rights as God and live as a man. He voluntarily gave up His divine privileges and submitted Himself totally to the will of His Father. How many of us are willing to lay aside our rights and privileges to follow someone else’s will and serve other people? How would we respond to the knowledge that those whom we are serving will ultimately kill us? We can only begin to imagine what it took for Jesus to decide to become a man.
Think about the importance of this miracle for a moment. If God had not decided to send His Son, none of the other miracles of Christmas would have occurred. If the Father had not been willing to send His Son, if Jesus had not been willing to become a man, we would have no Savior; and without a Savior, we would have no hope.
As Christmas draws near, let’s contemplate the miracles of Christmas. Take some time this Advent season to think about the Virgin Birth, the angel’s visit to Joseph, and the other miracles we normally associate with Jesus’ birth. But let’s also stop and ponder the miracle without which we would have none of the others—God’s miraculous decision to send His only Son to be the Savior of the world.
Reflection and Discussion
- Which Christmas miracle is most meaningful to you? Why?
- What challenges do you think Jesus faced when He became a man?
As we think about Your decision to become a man, we are amazed! You left everything in order to come here. We can hardly imagine what that must have been like. Thank You for loving us enough to do that for us. Please help us to grow in our appreciation for Your sacrifice, and give us hearts of love, humility, and service like Yours. May others look at us and see You. We thank You and praise You for who You are and for all that You have done for us.