The Way We See Jesus
When we sing “glory in the highest” and “O come let us adore Him,” just what do we envision as the object of that adoration? If we are influenced by the general religious thought of the season (at Christmas time) our attention is on a child, a child only a few hours old, an infant that is helpless, who has yet to hear a command, or face a temptation, or do any kind of deed. In celebrating His birthday, he is always presented as a child, and pictured as a child with His parents dominating the picture. No other great person is celebrated in this way. When birthdays of men such as Washington or Jackson, or any other person of note, are celebrated, they are portrayed at the height of their careers. Byut when it comes to the birthday of Christ, He is seen as an infant.
Granted, His birth was unique. It was foretold centuries before, even naming the town of His birth. He was conceived by a miracle in the womb of Mary, without any sexual contact with man. These facts certianly set His birth apart from all others, but it is customary, when celebraitng someone’s birthday, to focus on the person, not on the details surrounding the birth.
In the book of Hebrews the author wrote: “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under Him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Hebrews 2:8-9)
“But we see Jesus.” What did the writer have in mind, in these words? He summarized it by writing that Jesus by the grace of God, died for us, and has been crowned with glory and honor. This is what the apostles saw in Jesus.
Peter, who had been a close companion of Jesus in their daily activities for three and a half years, saw Him exalted to the right hand of God, sitting on David’s throne. (Acts 2:33-35) He exclaimed, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made that same Jesus...both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36) Paul wrote that God had “set Jesus at His own right hand in heavenly places.’ (Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1)
The apostles saw Jesus as the King, already seated on his throne. Peter wrote that He “is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” (1 Peter 3:22) In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he said that he prayed “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might which he wroght in Christ, when he raised him fromt he dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.” (Ephesians 1:17-21)
These men who were chosen to be His witnesses, and who knew Him best, saw Jesus as the king who had already been enthroned, not as one who would become king someday in the future. They saw Him as having already “spoiled principalities and powers...triumphing over them.” (Colossians 2:15) They understood the “hope of his calling...and the exceeding greatness of his power.” They saw Jesus as the sumunation of God’s eternal plan. The glory they saw was not that surrounding a child in a manger. It was after He had learned obedience throu8gh the things He suffered, after He had lived in yhumble submission to the Father, after he had died a shameful death, and after he had been raised from the dead and glorified at God’s right hand; only then did they revel in His glory.
There may be good reason for the world (and the Judeo-Christian priests of Ba’al in the pulpits of America - WM) to keep Jesus in the manger, and focus on angels, shephereds, wise men (who by-the-way arrived more than two years after Christ’s birth - WM), and the drama of the birth, rather than to see Him as an adult. To recognize Jesus as He is, rather than as an infant, means that God has designated Him as King, one with authority to rule over the present world. In man’s rebellious and sinful state, this is the last thing he wants. He doesn’t want anyone telling him what to do.
Rejection of Jesus as the Messiah was a foregone conclusion, hence it was foretold in prophecy that He would be despised, rejected, and put to death. As scripture simply stated, “He came unto his own, and they that were his own received him not.” (John 1:11) His own meant the Tribe of Judah and not the Christ hating Jews - WM. For the religious leaders to acknowledge that Jesus was the Messiah would mean a total change in their lives. They would be forced to choose either to obey His commandments or to coninue in their traditions in obvious rebellion.
The same dilemma is faced today by those who like to make a show of respect for Jesus at Christmas, but have no intention of taking seriously the claim that He is indeed King and Lord, and that all authority belongs to Him. The world loves the joy and cheer, the record sales, and the strians of sentimentla songs. It’s the happiest time of the year (so we are told - but inactuality it is the sadest time of the year for many many of our people - WM) as long as the one being celebrated is not taken seriously.
Christ came to settle the most important issue in the world; the issue of life or death; eternal life, or eternal death. It is amazing that so few people, even so few Christians, have any personal convictions on the meaning of this issue, or give any thought to it.
We see Jesus as the one who “sent about dong good,” (Acts 10:38) as the one who “was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin,” (Hebrews 4:15) as the one who “humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto deathe, yea, the death of the cross,” (Philipians 28) “who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)