In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:1, 14a CSB)
Most biographies start with a person’s birth. But according to the Apostle John, the story of Jesus doesn’t start in Bethlehem. It doesn’t start with angels or the Virgin Mary. It starts in the beginning. The very beginning.
This is a bold claim.
It means that understanding Jesus is unlike understanding any other historical figure. To get the full story on Jesus, you can’t just study his birth, his family origin, or the cultural setting of his day. You have to rewind to the very beginning.
The Apostle John is begging us to see that Jesus is unlike anyone we’ve encountered before. He’s not merely a dynamic teacher, leader, miracle-working human rights activist born in a stable in Bethlehem—though he is all of those things—he’s more. He’s far more.
Jesus is Creator God, the Eternal One, the reason all things exist. He is the wisdom of God personified, the highest and greatest, the Lord of all. He is adored by angels and feared by demons. He is supreme in all things.
And do you see what this means? It means that Christmas is more.
If Jesus is more than a man, then Christmas is more than a celebration of a man’s birth. Christmas is more than a story about Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and angels. It’s more than a story about a baby wrapped in swaddling cloth. It’s more than a cute story for kids’ plays and yard decorations —though it is all of those things—it’s more. It’s far more.
The Christmas story is God’s story.
And we are reminded at Christmas that the God who is powerful and majestic is also tender and near. At Christmas, the God who is greater than us became the God who is one of us.
Therefore, a casual glance at baby Jesus in the manger won’t do. A sentimental feeling associated with a familiar Christmas tune is not enough.
This Jesus is demanding and deserving of more— far more.
O, come let us adore Him!