Published December 8, 2005
Matthew 1:18-25; 2:1-2,11
Related Sunday School Lesson, Family Bible Series, Dec. 25
“Tolerance” seems to be the buzzword of our contemporary culture. But it seems odd that while many would invoke tolerance when it comes to matters of religion they remain quite intolerant to what Christ said and what the Bible teaches. The world says that all religions are the same.
Why try to force Jesus on people who have their own religion? Isn’t one religion as good as another? This is the thinking that pervades culture today; we may travel different roads but ultimately they will lead us to the same place. Yet according to Scripture, Jesus is the one and only Savior that all people everywhere need to personally know.
What distinguishes Jesus Christ from other gods? What distinguishes Christianity from other religions? What is so special about Jesus? Jesus is the Savior sent from God for all people everywhere. Through this passage of Scripture we can identify why Jesus is the Savior that all people everywhere need to know and we can determine what it means to consistently demonstrate commitment in following Christ.
Jesus: God-Man (Matthew 1:18-20)
These few verses present a foundational theological principle upon which Christianity firmly rests. Verse 18 indicates that Jesus was born of woman, which indicates that He was a human being – fully man. And verse 20 indicates that “the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”
As the Son of Man, Christ was born of Mary as a human being, but as the Son of God, He was born without any trace of human sin. Jesus was both fully human and fully divine.
The birth of Jesus was a supernatural event that had never occurred in history and has not been repeated. These unique circumstances support the fact that Jesus Christ is both God and human. The circumstances and events surrounding Jesus’ birth point to the fact there is no one else like Him and set Christianity apart from all other world religions.
Jesus: Savior (Matthew 1:21)
“You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” The name Jesus was a very common name that means, “Yahweh is salvation.” This is the name that was chosen by God for His one and only Son.
What strength and significance is held in that name! Christ spoke often of His desire to do the will of the Father and point to Him.
His entire life was spent showing the world that “Yahweh is salvation.” He lived up to His name by honoring God with His life and offering His life for us.
Jesus came to earth to save people from their sins because we can’t save ourselves.
Mankind could never meet the perfect standard of God. At our very best we are more than inept and incapable of living righteous lives.
So Christ was born, in an event that split time, to be the Savior of mankind. “He will save His people from their sins.”
Jesus: God With Us (Matthew 1:22-25)
The birth of Jesus was predicted and prophesied many times in the Old Testament. Here in this passage we see the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14: “A virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, ‘God with us.’” Jesus Christ was God in flesh.
Through His death, Christ built a bridge that provided an avenue for mankind to have a relationship with God. Every other religion is man’s attempt to get to God, but the Christian faith is the story of God coming to man.
That fact points to the uniqueness of Christ as Immanuel. God is now “with us” through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. This points to the intimate, personal relationship with God that we are able to have through Christ Jesus.
He has made this offer available to all. Everyone is able to see and to know God personally through Jesus.
Jesus: Worthy of Worship (Matthew 2:1-2,11)
Because Jesus Christ is unique in the fact that He is the only One born of a virgin who is fully God and fully man. Because He is the only One who lived a perfect and sinless life. Because He is the only One who died on a cross to rescue mankind, He is the only One worthy of worship and praise.
The Bible says here in chapter 2, verse 11 that the Magi or wise men “fell to the ground and worshiped Him.” The only proper response when we encounter Christ is to worship Him, for He is the only One worthy of our worship.
The wise men responded with worship and they gave Him gifts. “They presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense , and myrrh.” The essence of true worship is honoring Jesus for who He is and voluntarily giving Him what is valuable to us.
One day the need for missions will cease but worship will continue for eternity (Rev. 5:9; 7:9). We were created by God to be worshippers. God created us to exist in fellowship with Him and to live a life of worship.
The Bible states in John 4:23 that “an hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.”
God seeks people who are willing to worship Him in spirit and in truth. For only Jesus Christ is worthy of all glory, honor and praise. Only He is worthy of our worship.
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