Thursday, December 24, 2015

Too Weird To Make Up

He was born out of wedlock. His adoptive father was of the line of Solomon, but married outside his station. He was born among animals and commoners. He and His family were refugees in a foreign country for most of His childhood. He was raised as the son of a carpenter.
In every way, Jesus did not fit the bill of what the Jews were looking in a messiah. He was not born in a palace among wealth. He was not raised to be a military leader. He was not one to parade His worth around, preferring exactly the opposite -- that those who met Him did not tell others who healed them, but gave that glory to God. Good grief, He wasn't even legitimate by Jewish standards!!!
Enter the story anywhere you wish, Jesus' story is not one that would appeal to the Jews to whom He was first sent. It is not one that they would accept at face value, because it's not one that they would expect. Even today, the Jews by and large reject Jesus ... and yet it's to them that Jesus first revealed Himself.
One might argue that the story of Jesus is a made-up one, but considering who this "made-up" story was marketed to, one needs only consider that this absolute failure to connect with its target audience, coupled by its survival past the first decade of its existence (to say nothing of the two thousand years that followed), is evidence enough that the story was true. Nobody would make up a story like this, because nobody would believe a story like this!
... if there wasn't something about the story that transcends the illegitimate child born in humility and laid in a feed trough.
The story of Christmas is the story of the unexpected, where a sinless God took upon Himself the redemption of a sinful world, paid the price Himself, and asked only that His redeemed love Him above themselves, and love all others as themselves. Nobody would make up a story like that, because nobody would believe a story like that. It's too far fetched that an Almighty, Glorious God would humble Himself so. It's too simple a formula for salvation from sins -- just accept Christ as Savior and submit to Him as Lord. That's it. No coded messages, no secret handshakes, no "favorite sons." Just love -- sacrificial, infinite, unconditional. Who would believe a story like that?!?
Well ... I do.
May the peace of the Lord be with you as you celebrate God's love this Christmas season.

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