You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. – Philippians 2:5-8 NLT
The Christmas story is throughout the Bible. We tend to Consider Isaiah 9:6, Luke 2 and Matthew Chapters 1-2 as telling the Christmas Story. However, the entire Bible is about the CHRISTMAS STORY. In the 2nd Chapter of Philippians we can get a great understanding of the true GIFT of Christmas, and of Christ.The Christmas story could be called the GREAT CONDESCENSION. The Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by THE WORD of Christ. (Romans 10:17) Knowing what WORDs mean, will help with our FAITH! Properly defined, condescension is a way of interacting with others that implies that you are superior to them. It especially refers to when this is done in an arrogant or patronizing way—meaning when you act as if you are doing someone a favor by supposedly lowering yourself to their level of understanding or intelligence. Yes, God was doing mankind a GREAT FAVOR, by taking on the form of man and walking in our shoes so He could properly do His ministry of reconciliation. However, there is another definition of the word that is even more apropos when we think of our Savior, and our God: voluntary descent from one’s rank or dignity in relations with an inferior. This truly shows us the DEPTH OF LOVE of God and also the GREATNESS OF THE CHRISTMAS GIFT OF JESUS!
Leader, Max Lucado, one of the great storytellers of our time, put it this way: “He looks anything but a king. His face is prunish and red. His cry, though strong and healthy, is still the helpless and piercing cry of a baby. And He is absolutely dependent upon Mary for his well-being. Majesty in the midst of the mundane. Holiness in the filth of sheep manure and sweat. Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable, through the womb of a teenager and in the presence of a carpenter. She touches the face of the infant-God. How long was your journey! This Baby had overlooked the universe. These rags keeping him warm were the robes of eternity. His golden throne room had been abandoned in favor of a dirty sheep pen. And worshiping angels had been replaced with kind but bewildered shepherds.” This is the gift of CHRISTMAS! Consider the great condescension, what JESUS left in the heavenlies and what he was incarnated into. The Larger the GAP, the larger the GIFT: what God walked away from and what HE WALKED INTO. John McArthur in a sermon went into detail about the breadth and the depth of what GOD did for us, as Jesus became, GOD WITH US, EMMANUEL. The smells of a urine soaked stable for lowly animals to rest. God came down, condescended, into a smelly, vile, disgusting, dirty, messy place for Animals. Creatures without Spirits, sacrifices, pack mules…. how low He came, from the highest place in the universe! His disgust for sin, so bad that God Himself turned his back on him on the cross. The putrid odor and filth of the STABLE and of SIN. The greater the thing we give up, the greater the value of the sacrifice! How low God came so that He could raise us up to the highest of the heavens. This is the gift of Christmas!
Conduit, the Bible is full of understanding for the huge gap of what God left, to reach man. Religion is man’s attempt to get to God, however, Christianity is GOD REACHING MAN, bridging the gap of a HOLY GOD and an UNHOLY MAN. But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Hebrews 2:9, Zechariah 9:9, Matthew 11:29) Before His incarnation, Jesus was ”in the form of God”. From the beginning Jesus had the nature of God, He existed as God, and that essential Deity which He once was could never cease to be. If He seems Divine, it is because He is Divine- Jesus is God with us; Emmanuel. This Christmas season when we sit in our living rooms, with a tree of lights surrounded by gifts and loved ones- let us remember God’s GREAT CONDESCENSION! Let us be mindful of the depths of God’s love for us, which is demonstrated in the greatness of the fall that God took for us! This is God’s gift of the BABE IN THE MANGER. We honor that gift, we open that gift in 2 ways as we are told in Romans 10:9. That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved- you will OPEN GOD’S GIFT OF CHRISTMAS.