TITLE: Just Who
DATE: December 18, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: Matthew 16: 15-16 – ESV - He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
The decorations are up, the presents are wrapped. The rushing is drawing to a close. Now I would like you to take a few moments out of your busy Christmas preparations and relax. Think about the Reason for this festive season. Think about Jesus. Think about Him in your mind’s eye and meet the most unusual Man Who ever lived. See Him as He was. And as you think about Him, realize He never celebrated a Christmas, but if He had not come to earth, there never would have been a Christmas for anyone of us.
Although He was an apprentice, He never owned His own business, yet the best business, in all of our stores comes at this time of the year in remembrance of Him.
He may never have had a toy, He certainly never had a toy like so many children do today, but He has caused more toys to be made, and they have given more joy to more children, and more employment to more people than any other man who ever lived.
He rarely received any gifts, never any wrapped with bows and brightly colored paper - but every year, for more than 1,000 years He has inspired the giving of more gifts than any other person in history.
He never hung up His stocking at Christmas...indeed He probably never owned a stocking or a mantle over a fireplace to hang a stocking - yet he has caused more stockings to be hung up at Christmas than all the other men who have ever lived.
When He was only a small Child, His parents were forced to escape a mad ruler and flee to a foreign country to save His life ... but He has given more joy to millions of children, and a more stable family life to men and women alike than any other man in all the world.
He was often hungry and He never had food in great supply ... but at Christmas and Easter, He brings more sweets into more homes and puts more bounty on more tables, brings more laughter and song everywhere than any other man at any time.
As far as we know He never participated in any kind of higher education, but in His Name thousands of schools, colleges and universities have been founded all over the world. That Name has been responsible for more acts of charity than any other.
He never personally penned a single written line. All that is known of what He said could be put on two pages of a newspaper. But He has shed more light on things human and Divine than all the educators and philosophers of ancient and modern times. He has given more good news than all the newspapers, Television and radio broadcasts that have ever been made.
He never heard an oratorio or a grand opera...but His life has prompted the writing of the greatest hymns, songs of joy and oratorios that have ever been heard. The Hallelujahs sung to praise Him are beyond number.
He never traveled more than 100 miles from His birthplace after His infancy, but His fame for nearly 20 centuries has spread into every part of the world. That Name has sent men and women into jungles, frozen tundra and discovered continents.
He was once offered all the kingdoms of the world, a prize every other Ruler in this world desires...but He declined, preferring the humble life and a spiritual kingdom and doing the will of His Father.
He was the perfect Love and by His use of this weapon, His one and only weapon: love, He has overthrown some of the greatest empires the world has ever known. His love has brought emperors to their knees and sinners to their feet in thanksgiving.
He was born in a manger and put to death as a malefactor...yet, after more than 1,900 years He lives in men's hearts with respect like no other man.
His life on this earth spanned only 33 years...from Bethlehem to Calvary, but the story of that life has been translated into thousands of languages and is acknowledged as the greatest story that has ever been told. It is He Who has transformed our lives, so that they, too, are salvation stories worth telling.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are all things to all men… if they can see You with eyes of faith. Give me a vision which sees You better each day. In Your holy Name I pray it. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html