Today’s Monday Motivation continues with a Christmas theme:
The word Immanuel means, as we learn in Matthew 1:23, “God with us.” The coming of the Christ child fulfilled what Isaiah wrote in chapter 7, verse 14: “the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
In his book Hidden Christmas, Pastor Timothy Keller shares that for centuries, the Jewish religious leaders and scholars had known that prophecy, but did not think that it should be taken literally. They thought it was simply predicting the coming or arrival of some great leader through whose work, God would be present with his people.
However, Matthew writes that this promise is greater than anyone imagined! It did not come true figuratively, but literally. Jesus Christ is “God with us,” because the human life in Mary’s womb was a miracle performed by God himself. Then Jesus, with his life, his claims and his resurrection, convinced his closest followers that he was not just a prophet telling them how to find God, but God himself coming to find us.
Keller writes that this claim, that Jesus is God, gives us the greatest possible hope. Why? Because it means this world is not all that there is…it means that there is life and love after death and it means that evil and suffering will one day end.
And it is not just hope for the world, but hope for you and me personally. A God who was only holy would have not come to us in Jesus. He would have just demanded that we pull ourselves together and be moral and holy enough to be worthy of relationship with him. But our God is fully holy and fully human – so he doesn’t send someone else – he comes himself! Jesus is one of us – and that should give us all hope!
Christmas Gift Exchange winners today:
Becky from Howard and Krista from Howard! Remember the grand prize drawing is Thursday morning on The Morning Thing!
Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Todd