Baby Jesus grew up to be Lord

Leonard Lauriault

At Christmastime most people are content to dwell on Jesus’ first coming – the drama surrounding his birth presented in the first few chapters of Matthew and Luke in the Bible. They remember that since there was no room in the inn, Mary and Joseph stayed in the stable and when Jesus was born, a manger was used for his crib. The Gospel of Mark begins with Jesus’ baptism, which is a portrayal of each Christian’s rebirth through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6: 3-8; Colossians 2: 9-15, 20; 3: 1-4; Galatians 2: 20, 21). Every celebration of Jesus’ birth should include the reason for the season – his sacrifice to atone for the sins of humankind – and a reminder that he’s coming again (Romans 6: 23; Matthew 1: 21; 20: 28; Hebrews 9: 15; 1 Timothy 2: 6; 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26; Hebrews 9: 27, 28).

John’s Gospel also omits the details of Jesus’ birth beginning with what seems to me to be a brief overview of Jesus’ life (John 1: 14, 10-13; notice that belief in Jesus leads only to the right to become God’s child – there’s more to salvation than faith alone. We must exercise our right and act on our belief in order to become God’s child – James 2: 24; Galatians 3: 26-4: 7; 5: 24, 25; Romans 8: 12-17; Acts 2: 38, 39; 1 Peter 3: 21 – Yep, you really do throw out the baby with the bath water when you omit baptism from salvation). Anyway, people omit Jesus thinking that if they can keep the baby away in the manger, they can keep him from convicting them of their sins and teaching them the necessity of righteous living that first requires that Jesus be Lord of their lives (John 3: 19-21; 13: 15-17; Luke 6: 46-49).

But Jesus didn’t stay in the manger. He grew up to accomplish his purpose on Earth – to die for our sins (Luke 2: 51, 52; John 1: 1-4; Isaiah 55: 10, 11). Consequently, everyone will acknowledge his Lordship, although most will still have to pay for their own sins (Hebrews 5: 7-9; Philippians 2: 5-11; Matthew 25: 31-46). If anyone will crucify their sinful nature now, God will give them eternal life just as he raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8: 9-11; 10: 8-13; Acts 22: 16).

But merely becoming a Christian isn’t all there is to it. We must continue to follow Jesus’ teaching and example, meeting other people’s needs just as Jesus has met our needs as one of the least of these, never forgetting to seek forgiveness when we don’t follow him (1 Peter 2: 11, 12, 3: 15, 16; Acts 20: 26, 27; 1 John 1: 5-2: 6).

Will you let the baby out of the manger allowing him to become Lord of your life? That’s God’s purpose for everyone so they won’t have to pay for their own sins when Jesus comes back (2 Peter 3: 9).

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at: lmlaur@plateutel.net.