One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Mary Did You Know.”  Mark Lowery sings it in the video below.  I wonder how much she did know.  As the events of that first Christmas unfolded before her Scripture records that “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart,” (Luke 2:19, ESV).

Her faith is remarkable.  Here she was an unwed teenager told by an angel that she was to carry God’s son, and she responds by saying, “Behold I am a servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word,” (Luke 1:38, ESV).

As remarkable as that is… Mary’s faith and even the virgin birth shouldn’t have the focus.  What should is that God came to us as a man.  John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The apostle Paul describes this event even further… Jesus “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross,” (Philippians 2:6-8, ESV).

God become man – Jesus Christ the God-man, 100% divinity and 100% humanity rolled into one.  Theologians call this the hypostatic union of Christ.  Jesus, the eternal Word, the Son of God, co-creator with God the Father, (John 1:1-2), made himself nothing.  The Greek word for this is kenosis, literally – he emptied Himself.  His glory was veiled.  He left His position by His Father’s side and humbled Himself.

Think about this –  God – unlimited, omnipresent, all-powerful willfully choosing to visit us as the infant son of an unwed teenager and a confused, but faithful carpenter.  He could have, at the very least, come in adult form or even by noble birth, but no.  He was a servant, for he “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” (Matthew 20:28, ESV).  His ultimate act of service, and purpose for coming was to give his life and humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

So we wouldn’t have to experience that.  This Baby whom we celebrate was fashioned for a Roman cross.  He was born to die – that is why He came.  Christmas is really the beginning of Easter.  My favorite Christmas Carol is “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”  I love the theology present in the lyrics as they encapsulate the purpose of the Incarnation.

Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!

Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the Virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell;
Jesus, our Emmanuel!

Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Risen with healing in his wings,
Light and life to all he brings,
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace
Hail the Son of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lay His glory by
Born that man no more may die

Come Desire of Nations come,
Fix in us thy humble home.
Rise, the woman’s conquering Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Adam’s likeness now efface
Stamp thine image in its place

Have a very Merry Christmas!

21 comments
  1. I got to tell you that this story is very hard to swallow. A god that becomes man by birth to a virgin is most propostorous. To believe in god in itself is hard to conceive, let alone believe that this god would walk among the very people that hated that god. We start with a woman that is a betrothed to another. She is told in a dream that she will concieve a child with out intercourse. We are then told to believe that the man she was betothed to believes a dream tellling him that the spirit of god has impregnanted his to be bride. Of course he believes this dream, or should I say dupped by this dream.
    To be honest I considered this tale to be like the story by mothergoose. You can not pove this story. You can not even prove Jesus truly existed. Yet I know it is true because of my personnal expirience with this maker of heaven and earth. I know him because he first knew me. praise God in the Highest

  2. I got to tell you that this story is very hard to swallow. A god that becomes man by birth to a virgin is most propostorous. To believe in god in itself is hard to conceive, let alone believe that this god would walk among the very people that hated that god. We start with a woman that is a betrothed to another. She is told in a dream that she will concieve a child with out intercourse. We are then told to believe that the man she was betothed to believes a dream tellling him that the spirit of god has impregnanted his to be bride. Of course he believes this dream, or should I say dupped by this dream.
    To be honest I considered this tale to be like the story by mothergoose. You can not pove this story. You can not even prove Jesus truly existed. Yet I know it is true because of my personnal expirience with this maker of heaven and earth. I know him because he first knew me. praise God in the Highest

  3. I got to tell you that this story is very hard to swallow. A god that becomes man by birth to a virgin is most propostorous. To believe in god in itself is hard to conceive, let alone believe that this god would walk among the very people that hated that god. We start with a woman that is a betrothed to another. She is told in a dream that she will concieve a child with out intercourse. We are then told to believe that the man she was betothed to believes a dream tellling him that the spirit of god has impregnanted his to be bride. Of course he believes this dream, or should I say dupped by this dream.
    To be honest I considered this tale to be like the story by mothergoose. You can not pove this story. You can not even prove Jesus truly existed. Yet I know it is true because of my personnal expirience with this maker of heaven and earth. I know him because he first knew me. praise God in the Highest

  4. I got to tell you that this story is very hard to swallow. A god that becomes man by birth to a virgin is most propostorous. To believe in god in itself is hard to conceive, let alone believe that this god would walk among the very people that hated that god. We start with a woman that is a betrothed to another. She is told in a dream that she will concieve a child with out intercourse. We are then told to believe that the man she was betothed to believes a dream tellling him that the spirit of god has impregnanted his to be bride. Of course he believes this dream, or should I say dupped by this dream.
    To be honest I considered this tale to be like the story by mothergoose. You can not pove this story. You can not even prove Jesus truly existed. Yet I know it is true because of my personnal expirience with this maker of heaven and earth. I know him because he first knew me. praise God in the Highest

  5. @Kansas Bob – I agree – I think that is the thrust of the Philippians 2 passage. Thanks for the link.

    @Vanessa – I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    @Randall – Very few people – including nonbelievers doubt the existence of the historical Jesus. There is a lot of evidence that points to His existence. We do have a reasonable faith, but it does take faith.

  6. @Kansas Bob – I agree – I think that is the thrust of the Philippians 2 passage. Thanks for the link.

    @Vanessa – I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    @Randall – Very few people – including nonbelievers doubt the existence of the historical Jesus. There is a lot of evidence that points to His existence. We do have a reasonable faith, but it does take faith.

  7. @Kansas Bob – I agree – I think that is the thrust of the Philippians 2 passage. Thanks for the link.

    @Vanessa – I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    @Randall – Very few people – including nonbelievers doubt the existence of the historical Jesus. There is a lot of evidence that points to His existence. We do have a reasonable faith, but it does take faith.

  8. @ RANDALL:
    What makes it more believable than Mother Goose is the centuries of prediction of that very “tale” before it came to be. The Jews had knownof His birth, and many Jewish women likely longed to give birth to the Messiah. They predicted and believed in its Truth, then it came to be….and as a Gentile, I am more grateful than ever that He came to seek and to save that which was lost. the Jewish nation was already headed for Glory-their sacrifices and belief in God saved them. It wasn’t until Christ came and died that Gentiles were reached and presented with salvation.

  9. @ RANDALL:
    What makes it more believable than Mother Goose is the centuries of prediction of that very “tale” before it came to be. The Jews had knownof His birth, and many Jewish women likely longed to give birth to the Messiah. They predicted and believed in its Truth, then it came to be….and as a Gentile, I am more grateful than ever that He came to seek and to save that which was lost. the Jewish nation was already headed for Glory-their sacrifices and belief in God saved them. It wasn’t until Christ came and died that Gentiles were reached and presented with salvation.

Comments are closed.

Get CT In Your Inbox!

Don't miss a single update.

You May Also Like

In the Person of Christ Jesus

Some timeless words from Charles Haddon Spurgeon: Our faith is a person;…

Here I Stand: The Scriptures

Going through my files I found a theological thesis that I had…

How to Kill a Church According to The New York Times

Ross Douthat, a columnist for The New York Times, asked on Sunday…

One Struggle

Luke 10:41,42 “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many…