I am blown away by Charles Wesley’s description of the person of Jesus Christ. How different from the way the philosophers and writers refer to him. To them he is no more than just another man, a great teacher, a good person but just a man. The bible resents him as God incarnate.
The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
Jesus Christ is nothing less that God Almighty, Eternal, Holy, and all-wise. Isaiah refers to him as Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of peace. No one else has carried these names. No one else is worthy of these names.
Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God, the Brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of his Person. He is the Icon of God.
To think of Jesus Christ as anything less than God is to dishonour him and to demonstrate ignorance of his person and worth. He himself regarded his person as divine. He declared to the skeptical Jews, “Before Abraham was I AM.” He used the term I AM several times in John’s Gospel. It was first used by God himself to refer to his person when speaking to a questioning Moses in the desert.
Jesus Christ is the Great I AM. His intent in the use of that name was so clear to the Jews that they took up stones to stone him for blasphemy by claiming to be God.
Jesus expressed his deity in other ways. He referred to himself as: The Light of the World; the Bread of life; the Way, the Truth and the Life; the True Vine; the Resurrection and the Life. No mere man can be these things.
Only God qualifies as the person best able to fulfill these roles. In fact, John uses these terms intentionally in fulfilling the purpose of his Gospel – to show that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in order that men might believe.
Since men believe that Jesus is a good and wise man then obviously if he claims to be God by his declarations he must be believed or else he would be neither good nor wise.
Fools and mad men make extravagant claims, not wise men. Evil men pretend to be what they are not but not good men. C.S. Lewis’s classical quotation best summarizes these ideas:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
At Christmas-time we celebrate the greatest miracle ever. God Almighty in the person of Jesus Christ packaged himself in the form of a baby to bring redemption and reconciliation to mankind. He was born into the human family in order that we might be born again into his family. “Veiled in Flesh the Godhead see, hail the Incarnate Deity.” We must believe that Jesus Christ is God manifest in human form and accept his sacrifice on the cross as the only way of salvation, only then can we be saved.
The best Christmas you can ever have will only be experienced as you receive God himself in the person of Jesus Christ into the manger of your heart.
A BLESSED CHRIST-CENTERED CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL.