Who is the Babe? 这婴孩是谁？
WHO IS THE BABE IN THE MANGER?
Christmas is celebrated all over the world by people of many different beliefs. Many who celebrate Christmas do so without giving much thought to what it is really all about. They do not give much thought to who the babe in the manger really was. There are many different beliefs about who Jesus was. There are those who do not even believe that Jesus truly existed at all, although most people who take history seriously acknowledge that there was an historical figure named Jesus. Many who do believe that there was a man named Jesus, think that most of the stories about him were myths. Many of those who make an attempt at identifying Jesus apart from the biblical stories think that he merely was a good man who lived a life as an example to his followers. They certainly do not believe that he was the Son of God.
As we celebrate this Christmas season, I believe it is more important than ever that we solidify in our minds and in our witness just who it is that we believe to have been the babe in the manger. I believe that Christmas time is a valuable opportunity for us to present Jesus to the world as who he really is. During this season we must make a firm stand on the biblical teachings about Jesus. We cannot simply brush aside the ever-growing idea that it really doesn’t matter whether you believe what the Bible teaches about Jesus. So, who then is the babe in the manger?
He Is God Incarnate (Matt. 1:23)
He was born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23).
As C. S. Lewis said, Jesus never left open the possibility for people to accept him as merely a good man or a good teacher. Jesus claimed to be deity. He claimed to be God in the flesh. He claimed to be the Lord of all. So, either Jesus was who he claimed to be, the Lord, or he was either a liar or a lunatic.
The entire teaching of the Bible about Jesus rests on the fact that he was born of a virgin. His very incarnation, God becoming a man, necessitates being born of a virgin.
There have been those who have tried to deny the virgin birth for many reasons. Of course, one of the most common reasons people deny the virgin birth is because it is humanly impossible. Although with the current technologies of artificial insemination and advancements in the cloning process, I wonder how that argument holds up.
Others have tried to deny that the Bible even teaches a virgin birth. They do so by noting that the Hebrew word almah and Greek word parthenos, translated “virgin”, more literally referred to a single young woman of marriageable age. However, the word often is used to refer to a virgin. In addition, the Bible states that Mary had not known a man. So, either we believe that she was a virgin or we cannot accept the validity of the Bible.
He is the Word made flesh (John 1:1, 14).
This truth also escapes many who claim a belief in a Jesus of sorts. Many have difficulty accepting the fact that not only was Jesus the Son of God, he was God in the flesh.
As John 1:1 says, the Word - meaning Jesus - “was God.” Jesus himself said in John 10:30, “I and my Father are one.”
He Is the Savior of the World (Luke 2:11)
He was born to die (Acts 2:23; 2 Tim. 1:9; Rev. 13:8).
Although we enjoy thinking of the cute little baby lying in the manger as depicted during the Christmas season, we must remember that he did not stay a baby.
He came to this earth with a mission, and that mission was to die on the cross to pay for our sins.
He is the Savior, not a Savior (John 14:6).
Our society today is willing to accept that Jesus can be a way to salvation; but they violently reject the idea that he is the only way.
As you well know, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find Christian symbols displayed on public property during Christmas. People want to believe that they can choose their own path to salvation. They want to believe that they will not have to be accountable to God for their sins and for failing to commit their lives to Jesus.
Again, either we believe the Bible completely, or we cannot trust it at all. What Jesus taught is diametrically opposed to what we hear about religion today. Although we hear from many the familiar statement, “We all are heading for the same place; we are just going there in different ways.” Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
He Is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14)
If he is not your Lord, then he is not your Savior (Rom. 10:9-13).
What this means is at least twofold. First, as already stated, we must acknowledge Jesus for who he is, God in the flesh. He is The Lord. That is what the verse means that says we must confess him as Lord.
Secondly, we cannot come to Jesus with the idea that we can receive eternal life without making a commitment to him. Although salvation is by God’s grace through our faith and not by any works we could do, that does not mean that we can trample on God’s grace. We cannot presume upon God’s mercy by expecting Him to give us eternal life while never intending to allow Him into our lives.
This is why so many find him offensive (Matt. 11:6; 2:2; 27:29-30).
From the time Jesus was born, there have been many who have been offended by him. They have been offended by his claims to deity. They have been offended by his claims to be the only way to salvation. They have been offended by his demand for control of their lives.
In our society especially, there is an aversion to any kind of authority. People do not want to be subservient to anyone, even to God. Therefore, few really give themselves over to Jesus as their Lord. You cannot have one without the other. Either he is Lord and Savior, or he is neither.
All of this is who the babe in the manger is. May we think about all of this during this Christmas season.