It’s almost Christmas. Children are eying presents under the tree. Adults are perhaps both tired and expectant. Church volunteers are looking forward to a break after the flurry of Christmas services. And in the middle of it all it’s easy to forget what started all this – the Baby who changed everything.
Sure, we know Jesus wasn’t born on December 25, but that’s not the point. The point is, He came. In the flesh. As a human being. Mary’s birth-pains were real. Jesus’ blood was real; the first time he bled was most likely when he was circumcised. He cried, he slept, he ate. He didn’t come knowing how to walk and talk and pray, so he had to learn those things.
Jesus coming into our world as a physical human Baby has some very important meanings, more than we often think of.
The Pagan Distortion
For centuries, at least ever since Plato, there has been a concept in human philosophy that goes something like this; what is spiritual (immaterial) is what’s most real, most good, and most important. The material world, including our physical bodies, are bad. The goal of human life is to escape our physical bodies into a “spiritual” existence.
That sounds too much like some Christian thinking as well. And most don’t realize how pagan that concept is.
Woah! You’ve probably heard the idea promoted that your spirit is the most real part of you, and your body is just a shell. Isn’t the goal of the Christian life to be saved and go to heaven when you die, and escape the limits of our physical earthly bodies?
Well, sort of. But really no.
As with everything God originated, evil has twisted truth to distort, harm, steal, kill, and destroy. The old pagan philosophies are alive and well, too often even in Christian circles. We forget that God cared enough about our human bodies to kneel in the mud, form the first human with His hands, and lean down and breathe His own breath into this God-formed earthly body. Our forever future is not a “spiritual” existence in heaven, but a very bodily glorified life right here on earth when God makes everything New. (See Revelation 20 and 21)
And nothing speaks more to this truth than Jesus coming to earth – in a human body.
Yes, a baby changed everything!
And remember that when Jesus was resurrected, He was not a spirit; He had a physical body, a body the disciples could touch with their hands, that could eat (Luke 24:36-43).
We’ve often spiritualized things too much, forgetting that God created humans as integrated whole human beings. You can’t separate the different parts of you from each other any more than you can separate the divine and human aspects of Jesus Christ.
Oh, we’re getting deep. And human words are so limited and partial in expressing these things.
Let’s get back to the Baby.
This Christmas, let the reality of Jesus coming as a human being minister deeply to your soul. As you fill your senses with the food, the music, the lights and candles and fragrances, allow your whole self, including your body, to take in the goodness of the life of Jesus.
Welcome the Baby that changed everything, and invite Him to be born anew in you this Christmas.
Your Turn: How does the reality that Jesus came as a human baby, in the flesh, impact your own sense of reality, of wholeness? Can you allow your body, as well as your soul, to be renewed by that truth? Leave a comment below.
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- There was a Baby that changed everything. The reality that Jesus came as a flesh-and-blood human baby truly changes everything, including our hope for the future. Tweet that.
Hear A Bit More
I share more about this in this short video.