When the Big Becomes Little
~by Pastor Mike Middaugh
This post is the last in a series on the miracles of Jesus. Each week I will look at one miracle performed by Jesus to explore its meaning and significance. I’ll be using several resources to help me out, including an excellent new book by Pastor Jared C. Wilson titled “The Wonder Working God,” published by Crossway.
On December 6th, 2014 NASA reported that the New Horizons space craft had come out of hibernation. After a voyage of nearly nine years and over 3 billion miles – the farthest any space mission had traveled to reach its primary target – the space craft was awake and ready for its 2015 encounter with the Pluto system. Its primary mission will be to explore Pluto and its many moons, the very frontier of our solar system.
The fact that we, as a human civilization, are capable of building and programming an instrument able to travel billions of miles over many years to reach Pluto is astonishing. The realization that our solar system which we are only now able to study the furthest reaches of, is just one of billions of solar systems in the Milky Way Galaxy is even more astounding. But the promise of Christmas that the God who created and orders all of this vast distance would send his own Son, his very essence, to be born into our world as a savior is nearly beyond belief.
Sally Lloyd Jones in “The Jesus Storybook Bible” says it like this:
The God who flung planets into space and kept them whirling around and around, the God who made the universe with just a word, the one who could do anything at all – was making himself small. And coming down … as a baby.
But why would God send a baby to rescue the world?
This is the mystery and wonder of the Christmas story. And its not just a story, but a reality. God chose a young couple, a humble carpenter and his virgin betrothed, to travel to a small town. Because of their low standing, and the high occupancy of Bethlehem, they were forced to reside in a stable and that is where the baby that would change the world was born.
Mary and Joseph named him Jesus, “Emmanuel” – which means “God has come to live with us.”
Because, of course, he had.
The mathematics of the incarnation are inscrutable. We aren’t supposed to wrap our finite minds around how the infinite God could also be a manifested, localized, killable man. It is surely a miracle. As such, it is meant to send us not into logic but into worship.
The incarnation, God’s “coming into flesh” is a miracle beyond compare. For if this miracle had never happened, none of the others we have studied would have either. Surely this child is the greatest gift. Surely this is the Son of God come to take away the sins of the world.