“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
Last week I encouraged you to take in this teaching from my brother Jon from Romans 5:1-5 “Perfect Peace”. The teaching following that up from this past Wednesday is his study thru-the-Bible study from Romans 6— again, I urge you to give that a listen at some point this week— particularly the last third of the teaching.
I appreciate much his perspective and insight from his commentary on the above verses.
“Swaddling clothes were strips of cloth similar to those used in the embalming process. In other words, swaddling clothes were essentially grave clothes. This was fitting because Jesus came to die. Although death interrupted the ministry and teaching of Socrates, Plato, Buddha, and every philosopher and thinker throughout history, it did not interrupt the ministry of Jesus Christ. Rather, death fulfilled Jesus’ ministry because Jesus alone came to die.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men!
Linguistically, the meaning of the first Christmas carol is, “Peace on earth towards men of good will,” toward men who are in God’s will.
“This is the will of God, “Jesus said, “that you believe on Him whom the Father hath sent” (John 6:29). If you believe on Him whom the Father hath sent you will indeed be one who, regardless of what’s happening around you externally, will experience a peace in your heart internally.
Don’t let anyone take that peace from you be implying that you should be doing more or trying harder. Instead say, “Thank You, Lord, for the Good News of great joy that unto me is born a Savior: I embrace this, and I thank You for the peace I experience not because of what I’ve done, but because of what You did in coming to earth to die for me.”
I never tire of talking about the simplicity of the gospel because I have discovered that it is constantly being challenged. Perhaps even subconsciously, we find ourselves saying, “It can’t be that simple. Surely, I am supposed to do something, to earn something, to prove something.” But such is not the case.
“It is finished.” Jesus declared on the Cross (John 19:30). Therefore, all that remains for us to do is to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength in response to the goodness, grace, and lovingkindness He pours out upon us.
Maranatha! And Merry Christmas!