The Gift of Jesus

December 3, 2018 by Katy Epling

My youngest baby was also my tiniest one—just 4 pounds! I’ve never seen or held a smaller infant, and the feeling was almost indescribable. The tiny little body, tiny little lips, tiny little fingers—I couldn’t get enough! Holding a newborn is a uniquely amazing experience. And the wonder that this miniature person will someday be something, someone. This fragile creature has a whole untold life ahead, and we have no idea what that might be. Sure, we parents like to dream, and sometimes we take their picture with a football or a tutu or a Harvard banner in the background. But the fact is, none of us knows what our children’s futures hold.

Before Jesus was a babe in Mary’s arms, though, she already knew who he would be. While she likely couldn’t have imagined the exact way his days might play out, an angel made it clear to Mary and Joseph that Jesus was coming for a purpose. And contrary to many kings, he did not come to rule, to be admired, or to serve himself. Instead, he came to save his people—his life was lived for the good of others and the glory of God.

As a man, Jesus embraced his purpose on earth: “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). We can see his dedication and outward focus throughout the gospels. His life was centered on showing love—and more specifically, God’s love—to others in tangible ways. He healed sickness, spoke words of truth and forgiveness, and even raised the dead. He spent time with the “tax collectors and sinners,” the outcasts of their day. And when the time came to serve his ultimate purpose—to save his people from their sins—he went willingly to the cross and gave his very life while the people he loved jeered and taunted.

Christmas comes with countless images of the baby Jesus, lying in the manger or snuggled in Mary’s arms. But let us not lose sight of Jesus the Savior as we stare into the eyes of Jesus the baby. His gift to us was not merely his arrival, but his life dedicated to showing us God’s love through giving of himself—especially in his death and resurrection. While most of us will never be called to show love for our fellow man by giving our lives, we can all follow Jesus’s example of giving of ourselves.

This post was an excerpt from Finding Jesus: A Christmas Devotional by Katy Epling. The book is our gift to you with a donation of any amount this month! Contact us at 844-825-1262 or give online.

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