‘“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”’ (John 1:46) Nazareth was an insignificant village surrounded by hills and not easily accessible. Most Jews would have little to do with this place as it was largely influenced by Gentiles, who they believed had lower moral and religious principles.
Yet it was the place chosen by God to send His Son into the world, to change the face of history and the destiny of mankind. Someone had to come from heaven to rescue God’s people from eternal separation from God, ‘and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21). The Son of God became man.
Long before Jesus was born, in a feeding trough, in a borrowed, cattle shed, He knew a unique bonding of love with His Father. Before the beginning of the world, He was continually at the Father’s side, witness to the wonder of creation. “I was there when He set the heavens in place, when He marked out the horizon on the face of the deep. I was the craftsman at His side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in His Presence. rejoicing in His whole world and delighting in mankind’ (Proverbs 8:27 & 31).
Even then, before the Garden of Eden, before the fall, He knew He had a mission. Before the stable, and before the cross He knew His purpose. He was the link between death and life, between man and God. “For those who find me find life” (Proverbs 8:35).
Jesus brought the Kingdom of God to earth. In all that He achieved, and in all He accomplished, He demonstrated God the Father. This He did openly, for all to see. Boldly, even at the expense of His own safety, He brought life and hope to many. His light shone in the darkness, exposing sin and degradation. He disarmed the hypocrites and revealed the power of God to all who would believe. He exemplified the love and compassion of the Father.
He was on a rescue mission to save the lost. He was a beacon of light, piercing and exposing the kingdom of darkness, demonstrating the way to hope and salvation. His message was simple, but profound: ‘I am the way’ (John 14:6). And again, He declared, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). His presence made an indelible mark on histor and has transformed the lives of millions of people.
Such is the significance of Christmas. Born into poverty and degradation, taking the identity of despised mankind, Jesus brought hope where there was no hope. He brought joy out of mourning. He showed the way where there was no way, and redeemed life from the clutches of death.
This is the message for our world today. This is the truth of Christmas. For there is no other way to salvation. ‘Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy’ (1 Peter 1:8).