Christ Came For Hurting People
2020 has been called a "dumpster fire" by some people. What began as an attempt to "flatten the curve" of the Coronavirus has ended up being much more than that.
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs; thousands more may be working, but still struggling financially.
We see the numbers of Coronavirus-related deaths increase on a daily basis.
There is political unrest...to say the least.
There are social concerns between various people groups.
We have a fear of the future, based on the political, economic, social, and medical situation.
And then there is the spiritual side of things. Many churches have returned to "in house" services, but many within those churches have not joined in. Some will never return.
More Christians are too busy complaining about the situation than they are submitting to God's Spirit to sanctify them through the situation.
Right now, we are living in very needy times. People are hurting financially, politically, socially, medically, and most of all spiritually.
Many people may not be in the mood to sing "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" or "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." They are struggling because of a loss of a loved one this past year. Or they are hurting because of the Coronavirus restrictions. Or they are struggling to make ends meet.
But Jesus was born into a situation where people were hurting and going through difficulties.
Judah was under the control of the Roman Empire. The reason why Joseph took Mary to Bethlehem was because Augustus ordered a census of all people within the Empire. With Mary being near her due date, Joseph had to take her on a multi-day journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, perhaps as much as 90 miles, walking the whole way. That was probably a trip they were not looking forward to.
Herod the Great was the "King" over the Jewish land, underneath Rome's rule. He was a brutal and immoral man, killing off many in his own family. He is the one who would order the murder of infants in Matthew 2, just before he died himself.
God's chosen nation of Israel had not received new revelation from God for over 400 years. They were living in a period of darkness, politically, as well as spiritually. The Sanhedrin, led by the High Priest, was a pompous religious group, but void of spirituality and godliness. The people lived in great fear of their manmade rules.
The people themselves lived simple lives, making enough income to care for their families, but they were not "wealthy" by any means.
Into this situation Jesus came. His earthly parents were simple, humble people, devoted to God. Joseph was a simple carpenter who was betrothed to a godly young Jewish girl, named Mary.
The angels appeared to simple shepherds in the nearby fields of Bethlehem. They were on the low end of the social totem pole, just trying to do their jobs. They received the first birth announcement and saw the Christ child.
Jesus's birth was "good news" consisting of a message of "great joy" which would impact "all people." The good news is that he is the Savior; He is the Messiah; He is the Lord. And now he was a Man. God entered humanity, into the difficult world of the Roman Empire, underneath oppressive governments and difficult circumstances economically, politically, socially, and religiously.
But he came to and for hurting people. To give spiritual sight to those who were blind. To give spiritual life to those who were dead. To provide spiritual hope for those who were living without hope. To free those who were shackled as slaves to their sin. To give himself as a ransom for many, and die on the cross for our greatest need of all - our salvation.
Jesus the Messiah came into a world of hurting people, lived amongst them, and died for them, rising from the dead the third day. He is the greatest gift of Christmas.
This Christmas may be difficult for you. But the good news that supersedes all the chaos of our world right now is that Jesus, the Savior, the Messiah, the Lord, has come. And through him there is forgiveness of sins, there is reconciliation to God our Creator, there is the promise of eternal life.
I say to all near the end of 2020, Merry Christmas. Amidst the difficulties, let Christ work in you what He desires in order to make this a Christmas worth remembering.