“Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7 NRSV).
Paul Tripp, in Come Let Us Adore Him, writes that “the Christmas story; rather, the entire redemptive story hinges on one thing—the eternal willingness of Jesus.”
Without his willingness, you and I would be without hope and without God. Without his willingness, we would be left with the power and curse of sin. Without his willingness we would be eternally damned. During this season of celebrating don’t forget to stop and celebrate your Savior’s willingness. His willingness is your hope in life, death, and eternity.
But there is even more to be said. The Advent willingness of Jesus is your guarantee that he continues to be willing today. Right here, right now, he is willing to love you on your very worst day. Right now he is willing to forgive you again and again. Here and now he is willing to be patient as you continue to grow and mature. Right now he is willing to battle on your behalf against evil within and without. Here and now he is willing to teach you through his Word. Now he is willing to supply every one of your spiritual needs. Now he is willing to be faithful even when you’re not. He, right now, is willing to empower you when you’re weak and to restore you when you’ve fallen. He is willing to comfort you when you are discouraged and protect you when you’ve stepped into danger. And he remains willing to do everything necessary to feed, guide, sustain, and protect you until eternity is your final home.
He gives us everything we need; have you given Him your heart?
Following are more thoughts about Jesus’ incarnational significance—the event of two millennia ago that affects us today and forever:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 ESV
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child …behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:18-20 ESV
She looks into the face of the baby. Her son. Her Lord. His Majesty. At this point in history, the human being who best understands who God is and what he is doing is a teenage girl in a smelly stable. She can’t take her eyes off him. Somehow Mary knows she is holding God. So this is he. She remembers the words of the angel. “His kingdom will never end.”
He looks like anything but a king. His face is prunish and red. His cry, though strong and healthy, is still the helpless and piercing cry of a baby. And he is absolutely dependent upon Mary for his well-being.
Majesty in the midst of the mundane. Holiness in the filth of sheep manure and sweat. Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable, through the womb of a teenager and in the presence of a carpenter. –Max Lucado
They all were looking for a king to slay their foes and lift them high. Thou cam’st, a little baby thing that made a woman cry. –George MacDonald
Late on a sleepy, star-spangled night, those angels peeled back the sky just like you would tear open a sparkling Christmas present. Then, with light and joy pouring out of Heaven like water through a broken dam, they began to shout and sing the message that baby Jesus had been born. The world had a Savior! The angel called it “Good News,” and it was. –Larry Libby
The birth of Jesus is the sunrise of the Bible. Towards this point the aspirations of the prophets and the poems of the psalmists were directed as the heads of flowers are turned toward the dawn. –Henry Van Dyke
For millions of people who have lived since, the birth of Jesus made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it. –Frederick Buechner
The coming of Christ by way of Bethlehem manger seems strange and stunning. But when we take him out of the manger and invite him into our hearts, then the meaning unfolds and the strangeness vanishes. –Neil Strait
If Jesus were born one thousand times in Bethlehem and not in me, then I would still be lost. –Corrie ten Boom
What religion ever had a god that wanted such intimacy with us that He came with such vulnerability to us? …So vulnerable that His bare, beating heart could be hurt? Only the One who loves you to death. –Ann Voskamp
Long before silver bells jingled, Christmas lights twinkled, and horse-drawn sleighs went dashing through the snow, God reached down from heaven with the best gift of all. Love, wrapped in swaddling clothes. Hope, nestled in a manger. –Liz Curtis Higgs
Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world. –C.S. Lewis
Come to earth to taste our sadness, he whose glories knew no end; by his life he brings us gladness, our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend. Leaving riches without number, born within a cattle stall; this the everlasting wonder, Christ was born the Lord of all. –Charles Wesley
No other God have I but Thee; born in a manger, died on a tree. –Martin Luther
Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus! –Neal A. Maxwell
Human logic says the King of kings should have been born in a palace, surrounded by luxury. Instead, the only door open to the humble Savior was a dirty stable. Amazingly, and revealingly, this was all by God’s design. Why is this good news for us? Because the Savior offered himself on our behalf, we won’t find “No Vacancy” signs in Heaven. If we’ve made our reservations by receiving God’s gift in Christ, then Heaven is wide open with plenty of room for all of us.Quotes excerpted from It's All About Jesus: A Treasury of Insights on Our Savior, Lord, and Friend.