In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and f is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. – 1 John 1:1-18

This is not your typical Christmas sermon. It is not meant to be creative. It is not meant to try and be fresh with the Christmas story. Instead, it is meant to bring our hearts and our minds to focus on the purpose of Jesus birth.

His birth was unprecedented in many ways, and the purpose of His birth was a mystery (Romans 16:25-27; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:26). So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.” – Matthew 13:35 Even Jesus disciples were confused when Jesus predicted His death and the fulfilling of the prophets: The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about. – Luke 18:34

The messiah was to come and save them, but how He would save them was as mysterious to them as how He came and lived among them.

Even as we read the Gospel of John we see that John the Baptist, not John the disciple who wrote the book, questioned whether Jesus was the messiah as he was about to die. John the Baptist had declared the way and testified that Jesus was the messiah, even to his own disciples, but was confused about his own impending death while the messiah was present. Was not the messiah to come and save us? Wouldn’t you be confused when you had come to prepare the way, and had been an invaluable and foretold instrument?

Similarly, in our culture Christmas the celebration of the messiah, the Christ, being born has become a confusing moment. Families gather for parties to celebrate, often requiring no one to talk about Jesus, it’s a religion that may offend. Jesus came to offend. He came to reveal truth. He came to be the light, and the darkness can never blot out the light out it only can hate the light because of what the Light reveals.

When we think of Jesus birth, John’s Gospel’s opening prologue often can be overlooked, but it defines so much more than the act of His birth. Jesus was born of a virgin, through the tribe of Judah, both from Mary (Luke’s Genealogy) and Joseph (Matthew’s Genealogy), He was born of the Spirit of God, and these fulfill God’s promises. And John’s Gospel only emphasizes that He was sent to be God with us, the Light of the world.

Jesus was born to reveal truth.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John declares that we have seen His glory. I just want us to rest here as we prepare for the perpetual craziness of the holiday before us. There are trips and parties, there are presents and people, there are exciting moments to come and those that you dread because they are awkward. Oh the joy of the holiday where we remember the glory of God present on earth in the incarnate Lord lying in a manger.

Yet, before we go to deep into the glory of the Lord whom we praise being present on earth, we cannot move to far away from the opening line of John’s Gospel. The Word. This God born into earth was not just present when the world that He later entered was created. It was created through Him and by Him.

In Him all the treasures and the marvels of the World were made and without Him nothing that exists would be. He is the Lord. He is the Word, and the world was made by His speaking.

More than that, we see in the time of creation not only God speaking existence, creation, into being we see Him bring life to it. The God of the universe not content with simply a marvelous landscape of stars and planets with elements and natures marvels produced and then breathed life especially into His image bearers whom He formed from dust and gave spirit and life to.

This is the God born into creation. This is God who came to reveal truth in His glory and display grace to His people. His people who though they saw the God of the universe discarded and maliciously rejected Him. The God whom the Apostle, disciple, John writes later,

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. – Revelation 1:17-18

Jesus is the God of the universe everlasting and He showed how much more than a creator He is, was, and always will be. He did not simply make His creation and let it be. He was and is intricately involved in His creation. He came to transform the landscape of where the people of the world found their place in life and their identity. He came to make those who would believe in their creator children of God embraced and united in Him.

The unmistakable truth that Jesus came into the world to save those in it. He came did not to break their chains now, He did not come to heal everyone today, He did not come to breathe new life and perfection for those who would believe in the moment. Instead, He showed truth and grace of God that there is something more than today and this moment. God is everlasting and invites you and me to enjoy Him for eternity.

Even as He prepared for the end of His incarnate life here on earth Jesus spoke of the eternal truth and purpose of His time on earth.

 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” – John 18:36-s37

God is known through the incarnate revealed Truth.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and f is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. – 1 John 1:1-18

Again, we must come back to how John declares that we have seen His glory. Let us rest here again for a moment as we prepare for the perpetual craziness of the holiday before us. Even amidst the excitement of Jesus purpose for revealing truth we can lose sight of the glory of God incarnate. The reason for the celebrations coming this week. God became man.

A passage that always gives such a complementary perspective to this passage in John is found in the opening letter to the Hebrews.  When we realize the repeated statements that are made by Jesus are grandiose. No one has seen the father unless they have seen Jesus. When Jesus later says that if you know Him you know the Father it makes the birth of Jesus even more grandiose than a simple birth.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. – Hebrews 1:1-3

In Jesus Christ we have the incarnate Lord of all. That silent night that Jesus was born on was the one where the glory of the Creator King dwelt in this first moment where air filled His lungs amidst His creation in with all fulness and glory.

Why?

This was no simple joy ride into His creation. This was not an act of self-promotion or even one where He was coming to be praised more and more worshipped among those He made. Instead, we have the God of the universe who came into the world knowing He would be rejected because He was bringing the truth, because He was going to be Himself.

In John 8 we see Jesus disputing why He was present and doing the ministries He was doing. His grandiose claim both that He is the light and that “before Abraham was, I Am” caused a huge problem for His adversaries.  I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.” – John 8:50-51 Jesus came to reveal the glory of the Father.

He came to reveal the power of God and His intentional involvement in His creation. He cares for every person even to the point where God knows every hair on your head, whether there are a lot or not. But, He is God, and we are not, and the question must always come back to whether or not we are worshipping Him or expecting Him to do everything for us with little to acknowledgement of who He is from us.

When Jesus spoke of the greatness of eternity, of the place where the glory of God dwells eternally, His disciple wanted to know how they could follow Him there. He wanted to know the way to be with God for eternity.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” – John 14:6-7

There is an important question to ask about heaven. What is heaven about for you? Really, what is it that you are most excited about. When you think about the loved ones who have passed away recently what do you hope they are doing most? One of the most revealing motives for life is revealed in what you want after life is over.

Heaven according to Jesus is an amplified version of what life is meant to be now. Knowing God. The way leads to the truth and the life will enable you to know more about God than you could imagine. Eternity and the joy of Jesus being born on earth is that we can know God. 

The purpose of the Word full of truth and grace being revealed is that this would change those who know Him.

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. John 1:17-18

Now you may know what this line of reasoning has lead to. Or you may be laughing internally, board externally, and or just dreaming of the cookies that are at your house. But, there is a follow up intrinsically built into this great truth we are celebrating today as we prepare for the parties celebrating Christ’s birth.

Jesus came to make God known and provide a way for all people, from every heritage, nation, family, up bringing, personality type, advantage and disadvantaged, broken and whole people, and everyone in between to know God. So, what do you do with your time and energy?

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20

The greatest act in history since the creation of the World was God being born as a baby with the intention of making a path for His image bearers to know Him. He has remained through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in His followers. There is now something greater than even God with, us as great as the name Emanuel is, God dwells in us. And so, If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. – Romans 14:8-9

So, as we continue into this great and glorious season of remembering the savior being born do more than remember. Imitate the purpose of His incarnate birth, imitate the reason for the season, make God known. This is a costly task, it will make you feel rejected, it may even cause you to be on the outside of friendships, family, and future parties. You may even become that awkward family member they regret inviting.

But, I encourage you to read through the Gospel of John this week. As you do pay attention to the times where Jesus, God in human flesh, said that revealing truth would not be welcome. Read and look for how He openly calls people to worship, and those who seek God speak and desire more of Him, and those who don’t, well, don’t know Him.

How can you reveal Jesus more to those who you are with? Others have heard of Jesus, just like the people in Jesus time saw Him, but He needed to be revealed to them to truly change them. Knowing Jesus should lead to being known Jesus who transforms you to worship in spirit and truth. This transformative act does not happen when someone simply knows about Jesus.

How many people in your life, in your family, and that you meet have heard of Jesus but have never known Him. This birth that is so precious to us. God with us, Emanuel, is meant to drive us to tell the world. Like the woman at the well, who upon realizing that there was someone who could offer unending water told all of her neighbors. This woman who went to the well when others did not, who went to be alone away from criticism was willing to go and shameless proclaim about the man at the well. How far are you willing to go this week and weekend to praise God and make Him known, worship Him, and or just generally speak about the God of whom you are celebrating His birth!

 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. – 1 John 5:11-12

The purpose of Jesus Birth is that we might know God and make Him known to others. His holiness, the truth that He is set apart from, other than, creation and greater than it. His righteousness, the truth that God has expectation of man to please Him and not themselves by imitating Him. The truth is we have inherited, inherent, sinfulness which disqualifies us from knowing God. His grace, His birth was accomplished so that He could die a torturous death to take our sins punishment on Himself and rise again to give us new life for eternity with Him.

We can know God because God has made Himself known, so go and imitate God this Christmas season and make Him, His truth and grace, known!