Christmas Reflections on Jesus, The Man From Nazareth
It wasn't until a few years ago that the Lord began to show me what it meant to know Him as Jesus, the man from Nazareth. I knew him as savior, Lord, and friend, but to see Him as the one that became fully human made me fall even more in love with Him. It was one of the few comforts that I found while in seasons of deep suffering and grief.
The Christmas season often gets overshadowed with so many things. It can be a reminder, for so many, of the brokenness of the world. It can be a reminder of loss or simply a reminder of what you do not have. Those who feel outcast or are on the fringe of society may find their loneliness magnified. I have found myself and those I love in these categories many times and the greatest comfort, for me, has been the revelation of Jesus of Nazareth, and continuing to read the gospels from a lens of seeing Jesus as the humble King that He is.
This Christmas I have been reminded over and over again of how confusing the birth and life of Jesus would have actually seemed if we didn't know the ending. God turns our thought-processes and ideas of logic upside down and reminds us, yet again, how much higher his thoughts and ways are than ours. I read of the confusion Mary and Joseph must have felt, the loneliness Jesus must have known when He was misunderstood or betrayed, how it must have felt for Him to know He is the son of God, but to live as a homeless nomad who had to rely on others for provision.
Jesus' birth and life aren't what we would expect, but they can bring us great comfort. To know that Jesus understands everything myself and those I love have experienced and will experience in our lives means that we will never have to explain ourselves to Him. He already understands. We never have to defend ourselves to Him, He already believes us. We never have to sit in our pains and sorrows OR in our joy and celebration alone.
He is the one who came to this earth, lived a humble life, grieved and rejoiced depending on the season, but eventually conquered all. He is the humble one who sits with us, no matter what. I am grateful to celebrate this Christmas from a lens of seeing Jesus of Nazareth in His humility. It reminds me that I am fully known, seen, and understood by the King of Kings.
PS, I would recommend reading through the gospel of Luke and praying for Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to you in his humility and human-ness. It has been helpful for me lately!
Some scriptures I referenced when writing:
Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”
6 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph,[a] Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.