I asked the question before Christmas as it was what the Lord lead me to for Christmas service through Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth. Why did Jesus come as a baby?
He could have come as a full grown man and jumped right into ministry at 30 years of age.
He could have sent His angels, the ones that praised His birth to the Shepherds that evening to clear all the sinners out – which sounds good until you realize that would include us.
God could have simply appeared and “boom” like Emeril instantly brought His reign onto the Earth – again sounds good until you consider where we stood that evening 2000 years ago.
Instead, Jesus was sent as a defenseless, helpless little baby. He could not feed Himself, keep Himself warm or otherwise do anything for Himself and He arrives into the arms of a poor teenage girl and her husband in a manger of all places. Why?
Jesus then waits 30 years before beginning His earthly ministry, teaching and healing on the way to the Cross. A lifetime spent where we don’t have much of a record of what went on other than knowing that His family was still likely poor and based upon the conditions of the world at the time, His life would have been hard. An agrarian society in the ancient world involved tons of hard work, sweat and toil were involved in the most simple tasks and Jesus as the eldest son would have been involved in much of it.
He would have also experienced all of the dirt and grime and difficulties of life during that time period. As fully man, He would have experienced all of the hunger, exhaustion, pain, sweat and temptation that make living life as a person on this earth so different from the Eden that God intended for His people. We know specifically that He was tempted. exactly like we are, but did not sin. He lived the hardest things in life and yet stayed without sin following His Father’s will. Again why?
Simple answer: So that Jesus would be our perfect Savior.
It says in the Book of Hebrews that Jesus was made perfect through suffering and learned obedience through suffering. This does not mean that Jesus did not know obedience before His incarnation or that He was not perfect. He is eternally perfect and always united in will with the Father. Rather. when Jesus left the throne of heaven and put on humanity, He experienced the frailty and sinful nature of man in a way that He had never done so before, as a man. Fully God, fully man and therefore God was exposed to and experienced the horrible pull of His flesh tempting Him to turn away from the will of God – when Satan tempts Jesus, likely when He was exhausted and worn out from a hard days work, in the Garden of Gethsemane – but did not ever sin.
When Jesus sweats blood in the Garden of Gethsemane and pleads with God over the Cross and on the Cross itself, we see Jesus making His flesh be obedient to God and the high cost of doing so.
Do you think that God made flesh whose very flesh sweated blood knows what we go through when we struggle with our own flesh? Hebrews speaks of this:
We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect was tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Tempted in every way. God knows that left on our own we trend towards the figure of Him as the unapproachable scary bearded guy in the sky perpetually angry with us – a lie of our own creation. So He sends His Son to become one of us and live just like us, 2000 years ago version, so that we have a Savior that knows exactly what it is like to be us and that we can relate to. Who is afraid of a baby or a toddler or the local carpenter? Who does not want to approach a Savior who sits by a well alone, exhausted and thirsty or weeps with us over His friend’s death or who likely mourned His earthly father Joseph’s death?
One of my favorite moments from the life of Jesus is when He is in the synagogue at Nazareth, His hometown and reads from the scroll of Isaiah then does the mic drop sit down – Today this has been fulfilled in your presence. Bam! That is just awesome. Sorry, I digress. He reads from Isaiah 61:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
It is a great proclamation of the Messiah but look at the bolded text and it gets even better. Jesus came as Messiah to preach good tidings to the poor. Jesus lived a life of poverty – do you think that this makes Him the perfect One to give good news to His people?
Jesus lived a life that involved being brokenhearted – weeping for Jerusalem comes to mind. Do you think this makes Him the perfect Healer for those who are brokenhearted.
Jesus mourned, He was a prisoner, He dealt with a spirit of heaviness – He lived as one of us starting as a little baby so He could be the perfect Savior for us. One that can know how bad it is for us and in us and yet still say Come to Me, Come boldly to the throne of grace.
We do not have a Savior that is far off, but one who walked with us, grew with us, played with us, was tempted like us and experienced life and death like us so that we can live like Him. It is a wonderful deal from a perfect Savior.