WHAT CHILD IS THIS?

(December 8, 2017) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, shares some biblical Christmas truths…

As we near Christmas once again I am thinking of missionaries who will not be home for Christmas.

The primary reason is because they are away from home, serving God in mission to the nations. Their primary task is to make Jesus Christ known as the Saviour of the world.

Yes, they will of course celebrate Christmas, away from home, and their loved ones. Perhaps they will sing the lovely carol, What Child Is This?

Ever popular, this carol was written in 1865 by William Chatterton Dix (an insurance company manager who had been struck by a severe illness. While recovering, he underwent a spiritual renewal that led him to write several hymns, including lyrics to this carol).

An important question
This precious old carol raises a very important question: What Child is This?

Some people called Jesus the son of David. Others called him the son of Joseph. The Bible calls him the son of David, the son of Mary, the son of Man, the Son of God.

 

 

 

 

Let us look at those four titles in scripture noting four different aspects of the Christ-child.

1) As the son of David, Jesus was the Sovereign Child

  • The reigning king!
    Destined to rule forever, Luke 1:31-33 tells us: ‘You [Mary] will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’
  • The rightful king!
    ‘Jesus answered [Pilate], “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth”’ (John 18:37).
  • The rejected king!
    ‘The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day’ (Luke 9:22).
  • The returning king!
    ‘This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven’ (Acts 1:11).

2) As the son of Mary, Jesus was the Supernatural Child
Isaiah 7:14, ‘Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.’  

  • This birth was seemingly impossible!
    ‘A virgin shall conceive.’ Matthew 1:18 relates, ‘This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.’
  • This birth was seriously considered b..
    Joseph, by the shepherds, by the wise men and by Herod.
  • This birth was supremely important to…
    All Israel, to all peoples, to you and your love ones, to every human being.

3) As the Son of man, Jesus was the Servant Child
Matthew 12:18 quotes the prophet Isaiah 42:1: ‘Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.’

Paul records in Philippians 2:5-8, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’

As the servant child, the Lord Jesus Christ shared the limitations of human experience. Physical weariness and pain.  He submitted to the purpose of the Father, showed a pattern for us to follow of obedience, patience and ministry to others.

4) As the Son of God, Jesus was the Saviour Child

  • In 1Thessalonians 4:14, Paul emphasised: ‘For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.’
  • John 3:16-18 promises, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.’
  • Matthew 27:54 says, ‘Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God.”’
  • As the Son of God, Jesus became the only sinless man who ever lived. He was the only sacrifice that could take away the sin of all humankind. He is the only Saviour who can take you to heaven.  In John 14:6 Jesus said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’

What child is this?

He was the sovereign child, he was the supernatural child, he was the servant child, he was the Saviour child.’

He is now the reigning Lord and Saviour of the world, ‘the King of kings and the Lord of lords.’ He alone has the power and right to forgive sin.

That is still the message of missions to all nations. Share it this Christmas!

Dr George Forbes is internationally recognised as a missionary spokesperson with a heart for the lost of the nations. With a wealth of missionary knowledge and a unique ability to communicate the global picture, he is widely known as the ‘story-teller.’ Link: georgeforbes2@gmail.com

 

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