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(Used by permission from Forthright Magazine (www.forthright.net). Copyright © 2008 Richard Mansel.)
We love babies. We gather around them in wonder and coo in total bliss. Purity and innocence radiate from their tiny bodies as they remind us of what is best about humanity.
As Christmas time nears, the baby Jesus becomes a very important part of our society. People proclaim that Jesus [specifically, the baby] is the reason for the season and when the packages are unwrapped and the decorations stashed away, the baby fades back into obscurity for another year. /1
Why are we so enamored of the baby and so hostile to the adult Jesus? The answer lies in the fact that the baby grew up and with his growth came responsibility and consequence on the part of mankind.
Accordingly, people love the baby Jesus far more than they do the adult Lord.
Herod wanted to destroy Jesus for political reasons ( Matthew 2:1-9, 16-18). However, the baby Jesus was not a threat to anyone spiritually. He was just a Jewish baby who had issued no commands or forced men to choose spiritual life or death.
The baby Jesus unites, while the man Jesus divides ( Matthew 10:34-36). His doctrines force people to put away sinful practices and relationships ( Romans 5:6-11). Despite his offer of grace and mercy, most will refuse to come to him ( Matthew 7:13-14).
Jesus is Lord and God, whether as a baby or an adult ( John 1:1-5). Yet, people want to divide them up into the dear Jesus and the dangerous Jesus.
In this confusion, we find man’s destruction.
The Colossians fell into a similar trap. They were worshiping angels because they asked nothing of them and appeared to fill a spiritual void ( Colossians 2:18). Likewise, people are enamored of the baby Jesus because he is not speaking against their sinful lifestyles. In the manger, he offers the warm glow without the fear of being burned.
People have greatly misunderstood the baby Jesus. He is the God of love and grace ( John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). We can find no better alternatives, so we better not let this one go by ( John 6:68; Matthew 11:28-30).
In doing so, we humble ourselves before him and have our sins washed away, so we can be transformed ( Acts 2:38; Romans 12:1-2). As a result, we will see the baby and the adult Jesus as the true Savior of the world.
When will we accept our sins, so we can give them up? When we do, we can stop playing mind games designed to rationalize away God’s will. Let us make peace and accept him today ( Acts 22:16).
1/ There isn’t any scriptural authority for a religious holiday focused on the birth of Jesus. But we can honor it as a family holiday. http://www.forthright.net/square_one/the_real_truth_about_jesus_birth_1.html