Christmas has arrived. The Savior of the world was born, and now reigns amongst us. But what kind of Savior is He? What kind of Savior do you personally know Him to be? Many suppose that He is nothing but gentle, always overlooking sin and letting His sheep roam as freely as they want to. Others suppose that His fences are confining, and His rod is ready to whack them upside the head when they slip up. In the context of God coming to us in Jesus (the Incarnation), neither image makes sense. So, why would God send His Only Son into the world to be either one of these saviors?
Here’s the Truth, if Jesus had come only to enforce the Law, there would be no point in His coming. There were plenty of religious zealots already enforcing it. They distorted the interpretation of it, and they didn’t lack for discipline. There was no shortage of attempted law-keepers in Jesus’ day. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of legalists among us.
And there also would have been no point in Jesus coming only to declare the Law irrelevant. If it were irrelevant, Israel had it wrong and the rest of the world had it right. Right? Most cultures today would still have it right, in modern civilization, moral lawlessness rules, agree? Many societies right now are aware of no need for salvation, only for “enlightenment.” They are not looking for any kind of savior, much less a shepherd.
“He will stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of The LORD.” (Micah 5:4)
We need a shepherd. Boy, do we need a shepherd. God has known that from the foundation of the world, and many come to that conclusion after seasons of futility. But what kind of shepherd do we need? The harsh, big-stick-carrying kind? Or the passive, anything-goes type? One readies his rod with vigilance; the other plays his flute under the distant tree. Neither knows much about sheep.
We also know little about sheep, but do we know Jesus? How do we know Him to be? Do we know Him as a harsh master? A permissive pushover? It’s important that we know why Jesus, The Good Shepherd, came into this world. He came because there were stray sheep in a land of fierce predators. He came to us to rule and to forgive. But, the so-called shepherd of religious imaginations does one or the other. Such shepherd will do us no good, while The Good Shepherd that God sent to us will do us no wrong. He never, ever will. We Need Him. Yes, we need both His rod and His staff, His guidance and His mercy.
This Christmas, and every day after, let’s get to know The Good Shepherd more and more. As one of my most favor Christmas songs declares: “You came to save us all, to wash our sins away, our eyes were blind we could not see, we didn’t know who You are.” You can listen to the entire message of the song and its rendition here: Sweet Little Jesus Boy – YouTube. So, who do you know Jesus to be? May you allow Him to bring you closer to the Heavenly Father who created you to know Him, and how good and perfect He really is.
Have a pleasant weekend. Make it a priority to worship The LORD with those who know they know they desperately need His guidance every day, all day long, and wouldn’t have it any other way.
All For Jesus – Nothing More, Nothing Less, Nothing Else.
“He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, The King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see, to Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:15b-16)