His Name is Jesus

Over 2,000 years ago, on a night the world has been pleased to call “Christmas” a Jewish maiden went to the mysterious depths of motherhood and came back with a Child. This Child was given a name –

 

A Name

that blossoms on the pages of history

like the flowers of a thousand springtimes;

 

A Name

that echoes down the corridors of time

like the music of a thousand choirs in one grand anthem;

 

A Name

that adorns the records of the centuries like the splendor of a thousand

monuments build of the purest and most precious stones;

 

A Name

that after 2,000 years of scrutiny in the galaxy of earth’s great souls

like the glory of a thousand suns;

 

A Name

that is greater, grander, more glorious and more meaningful

than all the names of the world put together.

 

On this day, the birthday of Jesus Christ will be celebrated all over the world. It will be celebrated in various ways, in many languages, by people of all races. For a few hours many will talk of peace on earth and good will toward men. People will exchange their gifts and talk about the Prince of Peace.

  • Decision magazine, December 1987


The Prince of Peace

A tiny secluded manger with its sweet-smelling straw and its lowing cattle comprised the homely stage upon which the most striking and significant drama of the centuries was enacted. It was there that God, in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ, became identified with man. In meekness and humility He came to earth as the Prince of Peace.

During the First World War, on Christmas Eve, the battlefield was strangely quiet. As the soft snow fell, the thoughts of the young men were of home and their families. Softly one lad began to hum “Silent Night:  Wheezy tenors and throaty baritones took up the chorus until the trenches resounded with the Christmas song. When they finished singing, they were astonished to hear the song echoing from the trenches across no-man’s-land: In their own tongue the other soldiers, also sang “Silent Night.” That night they were thinking of the Prince of Peace, the Christ of Christmas.

How different this world would be if we could unite together around that “Holy Infant so tender and mild.” Earth can be as Heaven with Christ. Discord can be as peace when Christ is near. Midnight gloom can be transformed into noonday brightness when He abides with us.

  • Decision Magazine, December 1989


His Name is Wonderful

Five awe-inspiring names of our Lord Jesus encourages us, thrill us, and fill us with hope at this Christmas season.

  1. Jesus is called Wonderful. He was wonderful in His life, He mingled with sinners, yet was sinless. He associated with publicans and sinners but never partook of their sins. His enemies could find not one flaw in His character; He was without reproach.

Jesus was also wonderful in His death, the fitting climax to His selfless living. He lived for others; He died for others.

  1. JESUS IS CALLED COUNSELOR. If ever the world needed the counsel of Christ, it does today. Thousands of people everywhere in this world who have accepted Christ, the Divine Advocate, have found the Solution to their baffling problems.
  2. JESUS IS CALLED THE MIGHTY GOD. When the wrongs of the world needed righting and a fallen race needed redemption, God did not send His heavenly angelic armies to accomplish His majestic purpose; He sent a tiny, tender, helpless Babe In the person of His Son, Jesus is the God-Man.
  3. JESUS IS CALLED THE EVERLASTING FATHER. He had no beginning and He has no end. When Jesus was born of a virgin, that was not His beginning, it was His incarnation. He is the designer of the entire universe. “Before Abraham was, I am”. He said (John 8:58)
  4. JESUS IS CALLED THE PRINCE OF PEACE. We cannot have peace in our hearts apart from our relationship with Jesus Christ. He will give His peace to us this Christmas if we put our trust and our faith in Him.
  • Decision magazine, December 1989


The Hope of the World

It is God’s way to begin small. When He decided to redeem and save a world, it might be expected that He would rend the heavens and astonish the world with the terror of His majesty and the beauty of His love. But He did not. He started with a baby in a cow stable. He could scarcely have made a smaller beginning. Here in the dark cave, as a flickering torch casts light shadows of long-horned oxen on the rough-hewn logs, there is no sound but the munching of hay by the cattle. In the midst lies the young mother, forgetting for the moment her discomfort, for in her arms lies the Babe, her baby boy. About His face still plays the light of heaven from which He came. Its unclouded purity still lingers in His eyes. Who would dream that He is the King of kings and Lord of lords? Who would imagine in Bethlehem that night that He would reach down the ages, overturning kingdoms and empires, changing the world.

Cradled in the manger in Bethlehem were the hopes and dreams of a dying world. Those chubby little hands that clasped the straw in His manger crib were soon to open blinded eyes, unstop dear ears, and still the troubled seas. That cooing voice was soon to be lifted to command demons to depart to reach men of the Way, and to raise the dead. Those tiny feet were to take Him to the sick and needy and were finally to be pierced on Calvary’s Cross.

That manger crib in remote Bethlehem became the link that bound a lost world to a loving God. Christmas is not a myth, not a tradition, not a dream – it is a glorious reality. From that manger came a Man who not only taught us a new way of life, but brought us into a new relationship with our Creator.

  • Decision Magazine, December 1971


A Special Christmas Story

Let’s imagine once again what it might have been like to be living in Bethlehem that night. Wrapped in your cloak on the crowded floor of your house, you could not get to sleep for thinking of the woman on the donkey and her lovely smile. Why was she so happy? And you, why were you so wide-awake and excited tonight?

This was a special night. You didn’t know how you knew it, but you knew that something wonderful was about to happen to you – to you and to everyone. Something so wonderful you were almost afraid to breathe for fear of breaking the stillness.

For tonight Bethlehem was very still. On other nights’ donkeys coughed in their stables and wolves howled from their hill tops. But on this most special of all nights, even the donkeys and the wolves were quiet. The wind stopped blowing. The animals and the sky and a few wide-awake children were quiet. Listening. Waiting for something.

It was a very late in the night when you suddenly jumped up from the floor. There was a commotion out in the street. You could hear men shouting, running, their sandals scuffing on the rough stones of the street. You ran to the door and stared at these men who were talking so loudly in the middle of the night. They looked like country men, sheepherders. What was it they were saying? They had seen an angel!

You looked at them again to make sure they were really shepherds and not lunatics. No, they were tough-looking surely, but not crazy – strong men who lived out of doors and fought wolves from their sheep with nothing but a few sticks and stones. They were not the kind of men who would be imagining things.

They had seen and angel. They repeated. And the angel had told them about   born in Bethlehem and called the Baby “Saviour” and “Lord.” They had just seen the Baby with their own eyes – out in the stable behind the inn – and they wanted everyone else to know about it too.

You didn’t wait to hear any more. You set off down the street as fast as you could run. Past houses where sleepy people were stumbling to the doors. Asking what all the racket was about. To the inn, then around it to the stable, then slowly, softly, in at the door.

There she was. The young woman with radiant smile. She was leaning against one of the stalls, and the eyes in her happy face were closed. The man was at her side. And behind them, in the manger where the cows came for their food, was the Baby.

He was a tiny thing, wrapped tightly in a long linen band of cloth and sleeping soundly as any newborn baby. Sleeping as thought the world had not waited thousands of years for this moment. As soundly as though your life and my life and the life of everyone on earth were not wrapped up in His birth.

Should you speak to His mother resting so quietly there? Should you ask her if you might touch the Baby – not to wake Him, but just to touch His hand?

What a moment that would have been! To have reached out your own hand and touched the Son of God.

  • Our Christmas Story, Billy and Ruth Graham


What a Wonderful Moment

Imagine the scene in Bethlehem. It was a night of nights, and yet it had begun as every other night had before it. Toward the west was the Mediterranean Sea, and the sun was beginning to sink until across the western sky was a great bar of gold.

As the sky turned gray, and after that the night, one could look to the east and make out the mountains of Moab rising out of the shadows like colossal giants. In Bethlehem’s house mothers lay their children down to sleep. In the courtyards of the inn some camels lay down to sleep. Here and there in homes, lamps gleamed for a moment, then went out. In the fields the sheep lay down while the shepherds sat near their fires.

In the heavens above appeared the same stars that had shined throughout the ages, ever since God had made the stars to rule by night.

Yes, it was night. But it was to become the greatest, most significant night of history. This was the night that would conquer darkness and bring in the day when there would be night no more. This was the night when they who sat in darkness would see a great light. This was the night that God brought into the world the One who is “the light of the world” (John 8:12). What a moment! What an hour!

  • Decision magazine, December 1988


Innkeeper

I want to tell you about a man who was so caught up in his own problems that he missed the opportunity to be part of one of the greatest events of all times. This man actually missed Christmas altogether.

The Bible doesn’t tell us the name of this man, but we can read his story in Luke 2:7: [Mary] brought her firstborn son . . . and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

The one brought Christmas, the One who gave us Christmas and who is Christmas could not find a room to be born in.

What was the cause of this tragedy? Why was there no room for Mary and Joseph and their expected Baby, except in a stable? Bethlehem was a small town, and in those days most small towns perhaps had only one inn. The inn in Bethlehem was already filled. No other accommodation was available

I have some sympathy for the innkeeper, except in matter of his preoccupation. He was not hostile; he was not opposed to the couple; but his inn what crowded; his hands were full; his mind was preoccupied.

The innkeeper was probably too taken up with his duties to be bothered with a carpenter from Nazareth and his expectant wife. After all, it was an unusually busy time, with guest arriving from every corner of Israel for the census and taxation. It was a time for renewing of acquaintances, for conviviality, and for bringing in the cash receipts. There was no time for idle sentiments. The innkeeper could not be disturbed by a young expectant mother.

He probably told Joseph, “I wish I could help you, but I must keep my priorities. After all, this is a business, and this coming Christ is no real concern of mine. But I’m not a hardheaded man. Over there is the stable. You are welcome to use it if you care to, but thiat is the best I can do. Now I must get back to my work. My guest need me”

He was too busy to notice a woman about to give birth to a Baby, to a Child who would grow up to become the most famous Man in all of history, and more than a Man, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace.

No room for Jesu? No room for the King of Kings? This is the answer that millions are giving today. It is the answer to preoccupation – not fierce opposition, not furious hatred, but unconcern about spiritual things.

Things have not really changed since that Bethlehem night two thousand years ago. God is still on the fringes of most of our lives. We fit Him in when it is convenient for us, but we become irritated when He makes demand on us. Our lives are so full.  There is so much to be done. But in all our budy activities are we in danger of excluding from our hearts and lives the One who made us?

  • Decision Magazine, December 2000


Joseph

Christ’s birth was like no other in the history of the human race. For one thing, this Child had no human father. As the angel had promised Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you.” (Luke 1:35)

In the Scriptures we are given a little glimpse of Mary and Joseph before Jesus was born. They lived in the hill country of Galilee. Joseph was a religious man, and Mary gives ever evidence of a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, even though she was a teenager.

Joseph was contracted to marry Mary, and in that time, being engaged was about the same as being married. I think we give too little attention to Joseph. He is called a “just man” (Matthew 1:19) which means he obeyed the will of God. It also includes the connotation of sympathy and kindness. It indicated his devotion to God and to Mary. The Greek word translated “husband” actually means “man”.  We are told that they had not come together as man and wife that Mary and Joseph had kept their engagement love pure.

Then Mary was found to be with child. Put yourself in Joseph’s place. Imagine his thoughts, his suspicions, about the girl to whom he was engaged. According  to the ancient law, Mary should have been put to death. But Joseph did not want to have any part of the kind of punishment, so he decided to break the engagement privately.

While he was thinking about these things, God’s angel appeared to him in a dream to give the prospective bridegroom and explanation of the situation. “Joseph, son of David,” said the angel, “do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20 NKJV)

When Joseph found that his wife-to-be was with child, he could have exposed her to the public. She might have been stoned. But he didn’t because the angel had come to him in a dream, telling him, “Fear not! This Child that Mary will have is to be the Son of the Most High” What faith it took on Joseph’s part to believe that message and to trust! He put away his suspicions. He believed god and was married to Mary. Like Mary, he said, “Yes Lord, regardless”

Decision Magazine, December 2001



Mary

One evening in Jerusalem I looked out my hotel window and saw the lights of Bethlehem in the distance. For a long time I stood there and meditated on the events that had taken place over 2000 years ago and which have transformed and changed our world.

I thought about the angel Gabriel. He came to Mary, who was no more than a teenager and said, “Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever: and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:30-33)

At first Mary was fearful and deeply disturbed. She asked the angel, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the son of god” (Luke 1:34-35)

Then Mary showed one of the most remarkable demonstrations of faith found in the Bible. Here she was, a virgin, engaged to a godly man by the name of Joseph, yet she was to be made pregnant supernaturally by the Holy Spirit. People would talk, shame could be attached to it, and joseph might even reject her. But Mary by faith said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38)

I believe that one of the greatest demonstrations of faith in all the Bible was Mary’s answer to the angel in accepting God’s will for her life, no matter what the cost.

-Decision Magazine, December 1986



Room for the Savior

Among the most tragic words ever penned are those found in Luke’s account of the first Christmas. “There was no room for them in the inn.” There was room for merchants, tax collectors, travelers and sightseers, but no room for the gentle Mary and the divine Christ, who was to be born that night.

An event that was destined to stir and shape the universe caused little excitement in a world that was drugged with selfishness and numbered by greed. The roman legions certainly were not interested in the advent of a tiny babe, born in a humble stable. The priests were preoccupied with their legalistic sacrifices and ceremonies to see in him the fulfillment of all that God had promised through the centuries. The mercenary merchant was too busy plying his wares, driving through the centuries. The bargains, to turn aside and se him who was the hope of the world. What a picture of the inhospitality and indifference of the human heart. No room for the son of god.

Mary, the young mother of the Son of God, did not have the loving care provided for most women in such circumstances. She had to be her own maid and midwife. There was no spotless sheet on which to lay her firstborn, only the staw of the manger. There were no nurses in skillful attendance; no doctors coming and going, whispering counsel to each other. There was only the lowing of the cattle and the soft breathing of the child Jesus. There was not even a cot on which to lay Him.

Earthly princes make their entrance into the world amid the comforts of lavish splendor, while their subjects await with bated breath the announcement that a prince has been born. But when Christ the Son of god came into the world only a few humble shepherds and some Magi from the East where aware that a king had been born. He whose name is above every name. he who is the Prince of Peace and the Prince of Heaven, was wrapped in simple rags and laid in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.

Today, after two thousand years of Christianity, there is still danger that we will be too busy this season to make room for Christ. Billions of dollars are being spent by Christmas shoppers. The stores are filled with people rushing here and there, absorbed with the business of buying gifts. People flock to holiday parties, to programs, to bazaars, to special banquets, but now, as then, there is danger that we will be too busy to make room for Him.

The Christ who came as a babe in Bethlehem to die on the cross and to rise from the grave, can transform and change your life, no matter what your circumstances may be – if there is room in your heart for Him.

  • Decision Magazine, December 1962



 

Leave a Reply