It’s the seasons of lists, so I thought I’d put together a short list of why I’m glad Jesus was born.
1. Jesus was a great teacher. Even if you don’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God, it’s hard to deny the beauty and wisdom of his teaching. Not only that, Jesus used so many different methods to communicate. His Sermon on the Mount offers some the most powerful words ever spoken. His parables are some of the most well-loved stories. His ability to turn a chance encounter into a spiritual conversation is remarkable. Jesus knew how to communicate to a wide range of people long before educational theory was even thought about. Not only did he communicate well, but his message is life transforming. Imagine if everyone lived by his teachings. What kind of wonderful world would that be? I’m glad Jesus was born because he teaches me so much.
2. Jesus made people think. If you think Jesus was the kind of teacher who just bellowed out rules and truths, you’re wrong. Jesus invited people to discover truth that was already in us but had just been covered up by years of tradition and assumption. While he valued tradition, he despised its tendency to blind us to God’s clearly spoken word. Some of his strongest opponents were religious leaders who were so steeped in tradition they had lost sight of truth. He challenged them and their followers to see beyond tradition and seek truth above comfort and the status quo. One of Jesus’ often-used teaching methods was asking people open-ended questions. Other times, he would just tell a story and allow the hearers to come to the obvious conclusion. Sometimes, he did simply declare truth, but often he challenged us to think, trusting that any honest-thinking person would realize the validity of his teachings. I’m glad Jesus was born because he challenges me to think.
3. Jesus showed us what a real human looks like. From Adam until Jesus and from Jesus to today no human has fully lived out the will of God in their lives. Jesus stands alone as THE model of what God had in mind when he made us. His complete trust in God, his unconditional love for all kinds of people, his resistance to sinful compromise all make him unique among the human race. In observing Jesus, we can see what we all should aspire to be. I’m glad Jesus was born because he is the perfect example of how I should live.
4. Jesus’ coming reminds me that God cares. Jesus’ birth is a vivid reminder that God both knows and cares about what is happening here on the planet he created. Jesus’ coming reminds me that God has taken full responsibility for us and, while we were the ones who left him, he is one who will never desert us. His love is unconditional, unending and undeterred. Even though we all have left God, he still came to be with us. In fact, one of the names used for Jesus is Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” God saw our need and responded. I’m glad Jesus was born because it reminds me that God really does care about me.
5. Jesus’ coming ushered in forgiveness. The very reason Jesus came was to be a sacrifice for us. He came to pay the price for sin that none of us could afford. His perfection was more than enough to undo what Adam had done in the Garden of Eden. His sinlessness made up for our sinfulness. His obedience broke the curse of sin, set us free, and paved the road back to the Father. I’m glad Jesus was born because in Him I can find forgiveness.
I’m glad Jesus was born. Where would I be without Him?
Todd Catteau is the preaching minister for the Park Avenue Church of Christ in Denison. He is married with four children. More of his writing can be found at http://toddcatteau.blogspot.com.