Monday, December 24, 2007

Intrigued About Jesus...But Why?

As Christmas is upon us, many people who may never frequent churches at all through the year are showing up at Christmas Eve services, in many cases out of tradition.

The fact that many of these people are grazing the door of a church, even if it is once or twice a year, is a good thing. No doubt the thought of Jesus is nearer to many people during the Christmas season. Even though our society is doing its best to eliminate Jesus Christ from the holidays. God will separate his elect regardless of what culture tries to do to stop Him.

I have been thinking lately about what reasons and purposes people may have for considering Jesus of Nazareth. People are interested in him but my question is "why?" Is he another philosophy or another belief system or another faith? A lot of people seem to like Jesus. Why do they like him? What is it they like about him? I believe many of us could answer these questions with some degree of accuracy right off the top of our head. He was good. He was compassionate. He fed the hungry, He healed the sick, and He spoke out against injustice. These seem to be the things many people are interested in today as well, so why not like Jesus? He did a lot of good things to help those in need around Him. Nobody would have an issue with a Jesus such of this.

The wise men as described in Matthew chapter 2 came seeking the king of the Jews by following a star. Apparently they were also aware of the prophesy from Micah 5 as mentioned in verse 6. They may have been aware of other prophesies as well. It does not say they came to seek someone who would feed the hungry, or heal the sick, or oppose social injustices. It is not recorded that they came to find a new religion or a belief system to facilitate life as it was, but rather, they came to seek Jesus in order that they may worship him. Matthew 2:2 makes this clear. When they are before King Herod they tell him of their motive. They were looking for the king of the Jews so they may worship him. Verse 11 of the same chapter says they "fell down and worshipped him" when they saw the child.

I am compelled to believe that many people in our society are truly intrigued by Jesus but not for the purpose of worshipping him. If that assessment is true, my question is "are they really seeking the true Jesus as revealed in scripture?" Are we truly seeking the real Jesus if we are seeking him for a purpose other than worship? When we are drawn to Jesus, I believe we may want Him for many reasons but as we encounter the real Jesus it will at some point, be for the purpose of obtaining mercy and grace from Him as we look to Him with remorse and brokeness over our sin against Him.

When we crawl to the cross in destitution and utter helplessness, by our actions we are leaving no other option but a magnifying of God's glory by pointing to his grace, mercy, and redemption as demonstrated in our restoration. This brings Him glory (Isaiah 60:21). When the Israelites were stricken with deadly snake bites while in the wilderness, they were instructed to look upon the serpent of brass placed on a pole and they would live (Numbers 21:7-9). This is the first step in true worship of God. Our falling down in humility before Him. This is the posture He receives. Anything else is not acceptable by Him because it does not bring Him total and complete glory. Bringing Him total and complete glory IS worshipping Him. He truly deserves it. After all, who else would come to earth incarnated as a human to save people from the justified wrath of God except God Himself? (Isaiah 43:10-13) Who else is qualified to appease God but God Himself? Who else could be the perfect sacrificial lamb(Isaiah 53:4-7)? Who else is worthy (Rev. 5:9 & 12)? He will not nor cannot share His glory with another (Isaiah 42:8), therefore He must be the savior. And He is.

Like the wise men, I hope that as people consider Jesus during this Christmas season, they will seek Him for the same reason the wise men did, to worship Him. In doing this we will be seeking the real Jesus not a a jesus of our own imaginations which desire to share some of the glory.

Merry Christmas!


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