Jesus is the greatest gift we could receive from the Lord. Mary said yes, and Christ’s followers can help the world say yes to Him.
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:30-33)
Have you ever wondered why God sent Jesus, when He did, and not sooner?
I have heard that perhaps it happened when it did, only because that is when God found someone who said yes to Him. Mary said yes.
Her obedience was risky because she was betrothed to Joseph, and she was a virgin. A betrothal at that time was basically a marriage although it had not been consummated.
So for Mary, being with baby and it not being Joseph’s baby, it would have been seen as adultery, which came with the risk of the death penalty. Because of Jewish law, people could have stoned her for that, so Mary’s obedience is amazing; she was willing to risk her life to do what God was calling her to do.
Mary was humble enough to say yes, and we all have received the greatest gift of all time. Jesus is the greatest gift we could ever hope to receive. He is the gift of grace; providing a means for the world to enter into the presence of God.
God coming down in human form as Jesus has changed everything for the better for those who say yes to Him.
Jesus is the greatest gift, paving the way for the kingdom of heaven to be ushered into our presence (Matthew 4:17). Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable and indescribable gift! Let all within us praise His holy name!
That is truly what we all need to be doing this Christmas; praising the name of Jesus, who was and is and forever will be the Savior of all the people of the world.
But too many people do not accept Jesus is the greatest gift. A free gift of grace, turned down by so many people. Why is that the case?
A friend once shared on social media (I’m paraphrasing) that to keep Christ in Christmas we need to be about the work of being a Christian. Caring for those in need, forgiving and loving others, even our enemies. It was almost an indictment that Christians don’t seem to do these things.
But authentic Christians are doing these things. True followers of Christ do what He taught (John 14:15). And that is exactly what we all should be doing at Christmas and all year long. Being obedient to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
To do unto the least, as if we are doing it all for Jesus Christ would be heaven on earth! Being obedient to Christ is an extension of the gift that Jesus gave us when He humbly entered our world (Matthew 25:31-40).
But do we understand what Jesus being the greatest gift really means?
Fully Loving God & Neighbor = Treasure in Heaven
In the euphoria of the Christmas season, it can be easy to barely reflect on why Jesus actually came to earth. As it relates to our celebration of Christ, we need to understand that the gift God sent in Christ Jesus is not simply a pass to allow someone into heaven.
Rather, it is one of grace to allow everyone to be living as if you are in God’s presence now and in eternity. And just like Mary, we need to say yes in obedience to Christ’s arrival.
It may be strange to think about this at Christmastime, but we need to remember that for those of us who seek to follow Christ, there is a judgement coming. Not a judgement of our salvation, but of what we have done with the heavenly gift during our time here on earth. This judgement will determine our treasure in Heaven (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
The things my friend mentioned – these are not suggestions. Jesus Christ came to earth so that the world may know He is the way, the truth and the life. He left behind commands for us – chiefly the two greatest commands, and His final instructions to evangelize the world.
As followers of Christ, we need to live now as if we were already in the kingdom of Heaven, because we are. Jesus brought in the kingdom with His birth, and we are under Jesus when we choose to follow Him.
An Unopened Gift
Unfortunately, many people are turning away from the grace that God has given through Jesus Christ. They question Jesus’ divinity; they question the reason He came. Therefore, they don’t understand why it is meaningful to keep Christ in Christmas.
For some, they feel hurt by something Christian, or by the actions of those who claim to follow Christ. It causes them to be distrusting.
Because of this lack of trust, people don’t bother to consider the gift God has given. Not at the fault of God, but rather because of someone misrepresenting Him.
If you are one of those people, I want to say that whoever has caused you to lose trust, they do not represent God. The truth is, God is so much in love with you – enough that He sent Jesus as the greatest gift. Not just the baby at Christmastime, but to willingly lay down His life for you (Romans 5:8).
When we fully view ourselves as heavenly citizens, what happens in this world is only important when it is something that can impact our eternal life. We who claim Christ need to consider how we are impacting eternity with our day-to-day actions.
A self-centered life impacts what we have in this world. To live as Jesus taught us to live impacts eternity. So, chose today to live an eternal life, by saying yes to Christ every day.
Caring for those in need, forgiving and loving others, even our enemies. These are the things that will impact eternity! Jesus is the greatest gift. And He intends for us to take that gift and share it with the world (Ephesians 2:8-10).
More Bible verses about Jesus being the greatest gift:
Isaiah 9:6-7; Matthew 2:1-2; John 14:1-4; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 10:1-14; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 4:1-11