Do you remember the story of Nicodemus? Where he came in the middle of the night to speak with Jesus?
As you read starting in verse one of John chapter three, Nicodemus is basically praising Jesus and acknowledging that God sent him. Then Jesus tells him he must be born again and Nicodemus is confused. I always thought, rightfully so. Being born again and the concept is quite confusing. Then Jesus continues and rebukes him in verses 10-15 questioning how do you not know these things?!
I always felt this was a little harsh especially since he's seeking out Jesus unlike the other religious leaders. But new light was shed on this passage. Nicodemus was a Pharisee. They knew scripture better than anyone else. They knew it like the back of their hand. They knew all the signs of the Messiah's return. They knew God was going to establish a new covenant because of Jeremiah 31:31 where Jeremiah reveals for the first time a New Covenant that God will bring which we know is Jesus Christ. They new God was going to send his Spirit to fill our hearts Ezekiel 11:19-20 who is the Holy Spirit. And these are just two of the many Old Testament scriptures that for tell of Christ's first coming. They knew all the signs, they studied what God would provide, they read about the restoration for their people. They knew a Spirit was coming to bind our hearts to Him.
They knew. Yet they missed.
But you know what... We know, and yet we miss.
We know of his love. We know of his promises. We know there is eternal life. We know he takes away our worries. We know he provides us an incomprehensible peace.
Yet we miss. We miss everyday bc we let this world take over. We let this world and the things it provides be our god.
This time of year challenging for me. This world takes over and clouds out the greatest miracle. God coming down to live with us. I pray we know of the greatness in this miracle. God, leaving his throne, humbling himself, being born as a baby, to a lowly family.
I'll still enjoy the presents and the insane amount of food and tinsel. Because I love all things Christmas. But focus is shifting this year for me. God sent Jesus as the ultimate gift. We know that, but praying we don't miss that in this Season. Praying we remember instead, Christmas is a promise where we can look back and see God fulfilling his promise of the Messiah. It gives us hope when we look to the future that we can be sure that he will keep his promise to restore his believers.