I can still remember my ninth Christmas Eve. It was a cold evening and our whole family gathered around our multi-colored Christmas tree. My Dad held a special gift for each one of my sisters and I, but before he would give it to us, he wanted to say a few words. We sat, barely able to think about anything else. What was this special gift? We could hardly wait! My Dad began by thanking us for being a part of a special ministry that he had been called to that year. Because he just “could not have done it without us”, he handed each wide-eyed one of us a crisp $20 bill. It was more than our little hands had ever held at one time! What a gift!
I imagine that our anticipation paled in comparison to how the Israelites felt when they heard the news that a baby was going to be born in Israel; a baby, who would come to earth as God himself. Life as an Israelite had carried severe disappointment. Constant disobedience and discipline had permeated generations of families. Wars were fought. Kingdoms had fallen. Many had died. Why would God give such a wonderful gift to Israel? It was not because they deserved it; but was rather, a gift of divine grace from a Father to His children.
So, who was this child who would be named after the Father God? Isaiah prophesied that he would be called, “Mighty God”, a declaration to the whole world that Jesus was in fact, God. His authority wasn’t to be questioned; his power unparalleled. This Jesus was a personal gift, not only to Israel, but also to the entire world! He would be “God with us”.
He would turn water to wine, heal the lame, calm the sea, and bring the dead back to life. He would speak healing and turn lives upside down. Even demons would recognize him and flee. He was mighty and powerful and deserving of such an important name, but he was also personal. He could look into the hearts and souls of those most in need of him and forgive with Father-like grace. When a woman caught in adultery stood before him, he showed her grace, while instructing her to live in truth. He wept with his friends when they grieved the loss of their brother, and yet moments later, brought that dead man back to life. Mighty God. His words would provide comfort and peace to those searching for him, but stir up anger in those who thought they had no need for him. He would spend his time on earth teaching a rag-tag group of men to carry on his mission, and eventually, he would die a miserable death on the cross of Calvary. Because while he was indeed our “Mighty God”, Jesus was also unwavering in his obedience to his Father, so that you and I might experience the greatest gift: the grace and forgiveness of Almighty God.
Have you received God’s gift, Jesus, as your Savior?