Sunday, December 06, 2015

The Significance of Jesus' Birth

What is the significance of Jesus' Birth? Or, to ask it a different way, what is the significance of the gospel in general? For most people, the answer is simple. Jesus died for me. The gospel is the wonderful story of how Jesus died to save us from our sins. While that is true, I don't think we should stop there.

Take, for instance, Matthew 1:21. The angel of the Lord told Joseph that Mary would "bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Obviously, the good news of Jesus' birth affects each one who believes. He is the Savior who was born to save His people from their sins. We sinful people, who were actively opposed to God's ways before our conversion, were on His mind when He sent His Son to be born. And because of what He accomplished on the cross, every believer is saved from his sinful life and the eternal consequences of it. That is significant and something we should never forget. But look a little deeper. Notice what the next two verses say.

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us."
Matthew 1:22-23

In these verses, Matthew reveals two more reasons why Jesus' birth was significant. First, his birth was significant because it fulfilled prophecy. God spoke through Isaiah when prophesying that a virgin would give birth to a son (Isaiah 7:14). This prophecy was made hundreds of years before it was fulfilled. This is important because it shows how God always keeps his promises. What he said in the prophecy of Isaiah came true. So, we can expect that every other promise he made will also come true. We can trust that what God says will be accomplished. That is significant.

Second, his birth was significant because it revealed God to man. When Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be called Immanuel, it was more of an announcement of his identity than what name would be written on his birth certificate. Immanuel means "God with us." Jesus was not merely another prophet doing the will of God. He was and currently is God who became man (John 1:14; 2 Pet. 1:1). While we cannot fully comprehend this, it is a wonderful thing. Despite our sinfulness, God chose to become a man, to dwell among us, and to reveal Himself to the world. God wants to be known by people! That is significant.

As you consider the significance of Jesus' birth this December, look a little deeper than before. Notice all that God revealed when Jesus was born and you will grow in your understanding and appreciation of who He is and what He has done.


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

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