In the book of John we are told right out of the chute what Jesus would bring into the world at His coming. Though John explains the origin and mission of Jesus, he lists the eight gifts that God presented to the world that first Christmas. The coming and birth of Christ brought forth the culmination of thousands of years of promises.
The first gift was full knowledge. John says of Jesus that He was the Word. The translation here is logos which was the Greek word of the time for knowledge. This knowledge was considered all knowledge. It didn’t simply mean to know something intellectually. Rather, it encompassed all the being, using all our faculties to experience it; to know it intimately. Jesus knew the Father intimately and now He was here to share that knowledge.
The world was full of death. God had created the world. Adam and Eve introduced sin into it and now it was suffering from that sin. The creation and all that was in it was dying. Jesus brought life. Creation was His. He created it, now He was here to re-created it and give it new life. Though He was here to redeem man, that redemption didn’t stop with man. It was for all creation. The birth of Christ set all this in motion.
Mankind was spiritually dark. Jesus brought and is the Light. Man left unto himself will self-destruct. The entire world had come to a place of a spiritual Dark Age. The light in the darkness was now here and man had a way to see through that darkness. The darkness could not extinguish or even diminish the light. The Bethlehem star was representative of the light that now shines if men will only see by it.
What hope did man have of saving himself? Paul puts it plainly: there is no hope aside from God. Man is a spiritually dead creature without the saving power of Christ. I have often said, “Jesus did not come to earth to make bad people good. No, He came to earth to make dead people alive.” We are dead in our sins without Christ. He gives us new life and a new hope in Him.
Jesus brought us adoption into the family of God. Many say that we are all in the family of God. He created us after all. Jesus said quite the opposite. He stated in John 8:44 of those who do evil that they are of their father the devil. All throughout the New Testament people are divided into two categories: children of light, the Father, God, etc. and children of darkness, the devil, dark kingdom, etc. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, since being dead we cannot save ourselves, we are adopted into the Family of God. That adoption can never be revoked. See John 10:28.
Jesus brought a relationship with God. No man has seen God and lived the bible states; however we can see Him in Jesus. He is His Father’s Son. Jesus explained to His disciples toward the last days He was on earth that they had seen the Father, because they had seen Jesus. They had known Jesus intimately. What they had experienced with Jesus they had experienced with God for He was (and is) God now in flesh. This gift we can now experience with the Holy Spirit within us: that relationship with God. Jesus opened up that door through His sacrifice on the cross. See Romans 5:1-5.
Mercy and Grace; Jesus brought us both. One cannot exist without the other. Romans 5:1-5 tells us that we were enemies of the God of the universe. As enemies we deserved to not only be punished, we deserved to be destroyed. However, God is a God of love and He extended that love toward us through His Son (John 3:16). We stood condemned before God (John 3:17-18), but God demonstrated His love for us through Christ. The Christ baby in the manager was the full embodiment of that love. God extended to us mercy by not bringing the full justified punishment for our wrongdoing upon us. That was his mercy. He went further by not only forgiving us, but blessing us even more, by giving us more than we deserve. Jesus opened the door for those blessings of God to be given to us.
The lies of Satan through men had reached a climax. It enslaved mankind. Now Truth was on the scene and the lies could not stand it. Satan must have thought things were rocking along pretty good, then Jesus shows up to expose the deception for what it was. I can just see the light bulb come on as one by one people experienced the “ah ha” moment of their spiritual condition and how they could correct it. Indeed the Truth was given and it had set them free.
All these gifts given to the world that blessed Christmas day were given also to us. The basis of all these gifts is God’s love; the greatest gift. Like any other gift we must receive them. Could you imagine someone giving a gift to someone who didn’t want it? Would you force a gift on someone? “Here! I bought this for you. You must take it! Take it!” No, God does not operate that way. He sent His Son to offer these gifts. They are there for the receiving anytime, not just at Christmas. The choice to receive is up to you. Merry Christmas from God and His Son Jesus.