Great is the mystery of godliness, for the passage from which the text is taken says, “Unto us a child is born.” A child! What can a child do? It totters in its walk, it trembles in its steps—and it is a child newly born. Born! An infant hanging on its mother’s breast, an infant deriving its nourishment from a woman? That! Can that work wonders? Yea, saith the prophet, “Unto us a child is born.” But then it is added, “Unto us a Son is given.” Christ was not only born, but given. As man he is a child born, as God he is the Son given. He comes down from on high; he is given by God to become our Redeemer. But here behold the wonder! “His name,” this child’s name, “shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God.” Is this child, then, to us the mighty God? If so, O brethren, without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness indeed! And yet, just let us look through the history of the church, and discover whether we have not ample evidence to substantiate it. This child born, this Son given, came into the world to issue a challenge against sin. For thirty years and upwards he had to struggle and wrestle against temptations more numerous and more terrible than man had ever known before. Adam fell when a woman tempted him; Eve fell when a serpent offered fruit to her, but Christ, the second Adam, stood invulnerable against all the shafts of Satan, though tempted he was in all points like as we are. Not one arrow out of the quiver of hell was spared; the whole were shot against him. Every arrow was aimed against him with all the might of Satan’s archers, and that is not little! And yet, without sin or taint of sin, more than conqueror he stood.
For meditation: Here, on the morning of his 25th birthday, Spurgeon gloried in the birthday of his great elder brother, the Lord Jesus Christ—God born of a woman, given in the likeness of sinful flesh so that God could condemn our sin in his flesh (Galatians 4:4; Romans 8:3). What an appropriate birthday meditation, remembering how Christ identified with us so that we could be identified with him!