by Rick Ezell
A young mother was standing in her kitchen with a stack of dirty dishes in the sink, two children at her feet, and a pile of dirty diapers in the corner. Tears were streaming down her face. She took off her apron and walked out.
When she called that night her young husband was both worried and angry. “Where are you?” he said, the concern and anger fighting for control of his voice.
“How are the children?” she asked, ignoring his question.
“Well, if you mean have they been fed, they have. I’ve also put them to bed. They’re wondering, just as I am, where you are. What are you doing?”
She called almost every week for the next three months. Her husband, knowing something was seriously wrong, began to plead with her to come home during her phone calls. He would tell her that the children were with their grandparents during the day. He would tell her that he loved her. He would tell her how much they missed her. Then he would try to find out where she was. Whenever the conversation turned to her whereabouts, she hung up.
Finally the young husband took their savings and hired a private detective to find his wife. She was living in a cheap hotel in Des Moines.
The young man borrowed money, bought a plane ticket, and flew to Des Moines. After taking a cab from the airport to the hotel, he climbed the stairs to his wife’s room on the third floor.
If you had been there, you would have seen the doubt in his eyes and noticed the perspiration on his forehead. His hand trembled as he knocked on the door. When his wife opened the door, he forgot his prepared speech and said, “We love you so much. Won’t you come home?”
She fell apart in his arms. They went home together.
One evening, some weeks later, the children were in bed and he and his wife were sitting in the living room. He finally got up enough courage to ask the question that had haunted him for so many months. “Why wouldn’t you come home? Why, when I told you over and over again that I loved you and missed you, didn’t you come home?”
“Because,” she said with profound simplicity, “before they were only words. But then you came.”
When He Came
God came to earth to live among us. No flaming chariots brought God into the world, and no royal entourage greeted him. God entered the world as a helpless baby in a stable with a feeding trough for a bed, a carpenter for a father, and a teenager for a mother.
His was the coming the angels announced, the shepherds heard, the wise men sought, Herod feared, and the world did not notice. Mary held Jesus. Joseph admired him. God was wrapped in cloths.
God’s Son became a man—God in a suit of flesh. He was the visible expression of the invisible deity. God revealed himself in a language we could understand, identifying with the frailties and tragedies of the human race. God was getting up close and personal, announcing to the world, “I’m here!”
God became a man. Think about that statement for a moment. The Omnipotent, in one instant, made himself breakable. He who had been spirit became human flesh and blood. He who was larger than the universe became an embryo. He who sustains the world chose to be dependent upon a young mother’s nourishment.
Why He Came
Jesus’ coming is as though we were looking at God through a snowy, glass-covered globe. Since we couldn’t clearly see God, Jesus stepped out of the encasement and took up residence on this planet so we could better understand him and know the story.
Jesus came on behalf of God. Jesus was not some self-appointed religious leader seeking to make a buck off of helpless and hopeless people. He was God’s Son, his emissary, his flesh and blood coming to this sin-stained planet on behalf of the Father.
Clara Bell Collins had once been a brilliant teacher; even at 87 she retained more wit than most of us ever get. Every time I visited her in the nursing home, her eyes lit up and she seemed eager to see me. She greeted me with a big smile and a cordial “Hello.” Our visits were genuine and stimulating. Curious, one day I asked her, “Why do you always want to see me?”
“Because you come from God.”
This answer helped me understand my role in ministry in a new and profound way. Maybe she liked me as a person, but primarily for her I was a representative of God in a way no one else could be.
In like manner, Jesus came to earth amid the stench of sin. The garbage of humanity was strewn everywhere. The care of people’s souls was left undone. And then Jesus came. He came from God as his representative.
Jesus came to show us God. The apostle John wrote that Jesus “came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Grace is an irresistible compulsion to give men more than they deserve which springs spontaneously from the boundless generosity of God. Truth is “that which is open to view, that which is unconcealed, that which is transparent.” In Moffat’s translation of the Bible, truth is translated “reality.” Jesus was full of grace and reality. He was real—the most real person who had ever lived before that time, who was living then, and who has ever lived since. When Jesus came he was really man and really God.
When Jesus became a man he showed that God was not merely a principle, but a person. Not a myth, but a man who was God at the same time. Not a figment of someone’s imagination, but a living presence. Jesus was not an idea of God, not a picture of God, but God himself in human form.
Jesus shows us God in a way we can understand. In a way that renews us. In a way that gives us hope.
Jesus came to demonstrate God’s love. When Jesus came he didn’t just talk about love. He loved.
Ask Peter. He didn’t just preach on forgiveness; he forgave. Ask the woman caught in adultery. He didn’t just proclaim the necessity of justice and righteousness; he attacked the unrighteous institutions of his day. Ask the Pharisees. He didn’t start a Bible school; he invited people to live with him 24 hours a day. Ask the disciples. He became flesh—hands and feet, heart and mind—showing people how to love. We would do well to follow his example.
Jesus came to save us from our sins. When the angel announced the birth of Jesus to Joseph, he said, “Give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Jesus is the Savior, the Lord, and the Christ—the one sent from God. God loved us enough that he came to us. Think of it this way: He didn’t send a committee. He didn’t write a book. He didn’t send a substitute.
When God got ready to save the world, he sent the best he had—his one and only Son. In sending Jesus, he was sending himself to save us from our sins.
Who He Came For
Luke’s account states, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you” (Luke 2:11). Consider those last two words: “to you.” When the shepherds heard these words from the angel, they must have been flabbergasted. They were near the bottom of the social order of ancient Israel. They were often poor and uneducated. Some were quite young.
Jesus’ birth was announced to the outcasts of society. They were the first ones to hear the good news. Jesus came for the forgotten people of the earth, and most of the time, they are the ones who received him with the greatest joy.
Jesus came for you. Like the young husband who dropped everything to come for his wife, Jesus left everything to come for you. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
Rick Ezell is a freelance writer in Greer, South Carolina.
Pondering His Presence
• Are you truly amazed that Jesus came? Sit and dwell on the fact that the all-powerful God of the universe chose to come to earth as a frail human baby.
• How does Jesus cause you to think about God? What characteristics do you learn about God the more you learn about Jesus? Now consider this: these have always been God’s characteristics, from the beginning of time. Praise him for his unchanging love.
• God is grace—giving us more than we deserve. God is truth—revealing himself to us. Ask him to make his grace and truth known more deeply to you. Then be vigilant to see how he is showing them to you.
• Thank Jesus in some new way today—perhaps simply for coming to save you.