Brought Near By Christmas
A friend presented a beautiful depiction of the gospel recently, and I want to attempt it in my words.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)
The Wise Men were far away and were brought near by the star.
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.'” (Matthew 2:3-6)
The religious men were near (in proximity) but their hearts were far away.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13). Read Ephesians 2 in its entirety here.
THIS is what should cause us to fall on our faces during this season. That God came in flesh to bring us near. We were far away in our sin and filth, not desiring him, not wanting anything to do with goodness, standing at a distance from peace on earth, wrapped in dissension, mocking righteousness, turning our backs on good will toward men, laughing at the thought of joy in the world.
The ruler humbled himself to bring sinners near.
Wise men still seek him? Certainly. But, for myself it seems to be more the other way around. He still seeks me. I am prone to forget my name, and he gently reminds. I am capable of turning my back, standing at a distance, mocking. And, he is faithful to continue the work he started the first Christmas.
He came to bring men near.
He has brought us near.
He will continue his work in bringing us near.