By Tope Banso
WHY WAS JESUS BORN?
“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9 New King James Version).
Only two of the four books of the Gospels in the Bible, Matthew and Luke, record the birth of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 1:21, the angel told Joseph in a dream the reason for the birth of Jesus: “And she [Mary] will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (New King James Version).
God did this because of His love for man. He didn’t want human beings to perish in their sins. Ezekiel 18:4 says the soul who sins shall die. But the will of God is that no one should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
The salvation of sinners is the main reason for the birth of Jesus and Christmas should be celebrated with this understanding. If you’re not born again, you should respond to the love of God now. Your Christmas celebration this year shouldn’t be without Jesus in your life.
You need to come into a personal relationship with Jesus rather than concentrate on the social aspect of the season. Jesus, born over 2000 years ago, must now be born in your heart. This is possible right now if you’re ready to surrender your life to Jesus.
God loves you and sent Jesus to be born to save you from your sins. If He had not been born, He wouldn’t have died for your sins. It all started with God’s love to save humanity. “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9 New King James Version).
You should respond to God’s love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17 New King James Version).
If you’re already born again, you need to share God’s love with others, especially those who’re yet to give their lives to Jesus. Christmas should be a time for sinners to be reconciled with their Maker through Jesus Christ. No religion can save anyone from the power of sin. Matthew 1:21 unequivocally states that Jesus will save His people “from their sins.” That includes everyone who has not yet accepted Jesus Christ into his heart as his Lord and Saviour.
In Luke 1:31, the angel told Mary “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.” Jesus is the English rendering of Iesous, the Greek form of the Hebrew name Yehoshua (Yeshua) and it means “Jehovah is salvation”, “God saves” or “The Lord saves.” Save is another word for deliver. The name Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua in the Old Testament.
Christ is not the surname of Jesus Christ! “Christ” (Christos in Greek ) means “the anointed one.” So “Jesus Christ” means “the anointed Saviour.” The Greek word Christos (from which the English word Christ is derived) is the equivalence of the Hebrew word mashiyach (from which the English word Messiah is derived), which also means “anointed one.” So Jesus Christ also means Jesus the Messiah.
In Luke 2:10-11, an angel announced to the shepherds the birth of Jesus Christ, saying, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (New King James Version). Jesus Christ; Jesus the Messiah.
The purpose of the birth of Jesus Christ is clear. Jesus was born to save us. He was born to deliver us from our enemies. Zacharias prophesied, saying, “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us” (Luke 1:68-71 New King James Version).
To the Jews at that time, their enemies were the functionaries of the Roman Government. So, the Jews were looking for a political saviour. But that wasn’t who Jesus was. Herod (Herod the Great) had no rightful claim to the throne of David being an Idumean, an Edomite. Edomites were descendants of Esau.
Therefore, Herod was disturbed, because he thought that Jesus was after his throne. He saw Jesus as a threat to his kingship when the magi made enquiries about the king born whose star they had seen in the east (Matthew 2:3-4, 16).
Even the disciples of Jesus, who were with Him, for over three years, failed to realize that Jesus didn’t come for political deliverance or salvation. Hear them before his ascension : “So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, ‘Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?’” (Acts 1:6 New Living Translation). Their concern was the restoration of the kingdom to Israel.
Christmas is more than Santa Claus. It is more than a holiday. It’s more than all the social events that take place during the season. It’s more than all the feasting or commercial activities of the season. It is a celebration of God’s love for humanity – it’s salvation from sin.
If you’re not born again, repent of your sins today and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Whoever comes to Him, He will by no means cast out.
PRAYER POINT: Father, the harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. I pray to You, the Lord of the harvest, to send more workers to gather Your harvest.
This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please share.
(For over 250 in-depth and insightful messages by T.O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
▪ Banso heads Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria
Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523; WhatsApp No: +2349081295947