‘That signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child, Jesus.’ Acts 4:30
Suggested Further Reading: Luke 2:1–20
Let us marvel at his condescension. It is the greatest miracle that was ever heard or read of, that ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.’ That God should make a creature out of nothing is certainly a marvellous manifestation of power, but that God should enter into that creature, and should take it into intimate union with his own nature—this is the strangest of all acts of condescending love. Indeed, so marvellous is it, that in all the heathen mythologies—strange freaks though imagination has there played—though we do find instances of ‘gods’ appearing in the likeness of men, yet never do we find anything like the mystical union of the two natures in the person of Christ. Human wisdom in its most happy moments has never risen to anything like the thought of deity espousing manhood, that man might be redeemed. To you and to me the marvel lies in the motive which prompted the incarnation. What unrivalled, indescribable, unutterable love was this that made Christ leave his Father’s glory, that he might be made a man like ourselves, to suffer, to bleed, to die? He was ‘seen of angels,’ says the apostle, and this was a great wonder, for the angels had worshipped at his throne, but their created eyes could not bear to look upon the brightness of his person. They veiled their faces with their wings when they cried ‘Holy! Holy! Holy!’ But angels saw the Son of God lying in a manger! The Lord of all wrestling with a fallen spirit in the wilderness! The Prince of Peace hanging upon the tree on Calvary!
For meditation: Consider the wonder of Jesus Christ ‘in carne’ (in the flesh):—‘Incomprehensibly made man’ (Wesley). In his flesh deity was seen (John 1:14), death was suffered (Romans 8:3; 1 Peter 2:24; 4:1) and deliverance was secured for believing sinners (Colossians 1:21–22; Hebrews 2:14–15; 1 Peter 3:18).
Sermon no. 545
20 December (1863)