If you’ve heard anything about the true Christmas story, then you probably discovered some commonly shared themes. The storytellers most likely highlighted the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night and the grand appearance of angels in the sky. Maybe they told you about the infamous inn, or they focused on the wisemen and their expensive gifts. But here’s what they didn’t tell you about Jesus’ birth.
He was born into a crazy family.
Like many of us, Jesus was born into a crazy family. We come across a list of His family members in Matthew 1. And let’s just say…they were a mess! When reading this passage, we see each person had an interesting reputation.
Abraham refused to wait on God’s promise and had a son with Hagar the bondservant. Jacob lied to his father to receive a blessing. Rahab was a prostitute. King David committed murder…and that was after the affair with “Uriah’s wife” (whose name isn’t even mentioned here!) Mary was a teenage virgin, who became pregnant by atypical means. And her husband, Joseph, wasn’t even the father.
So, how did Jesus respond to them?
He stepped into the mess to redeem them.
Jesus intentionally stepped down from His heavenly throne to be born into “one of those” families. His plan was to do the Father’s will and redeem the ruins of our stories. His message of redemption is displayed this way:
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:16-17
God not only uses crazy families, but He planned for His Son to be born into one for humanity’s salvation. Jesus came to earth to take away the sins of the world. And His life redeems the mess—past, present, and future.
He defined the meaning of “home.”
The Father sent His Son to be the epitome of reconciliation. Jesus made a way for people to have oneness with God and each other. Jews and Gentiles are listed side-by-side in His family ancestry, and both have the right to be called children of God. He welcomes the marginalized and the socially acceptable. He cares for those who are already healed and those who are still broken. And He desires for the faithful son and the prodigal to be at home in His love.
Jesus made a way for all people to find their place of belonging, acceptance, and community in the family tree. It doesn’t matter where you came from, what has happened, or who you are, all are welcomed into the family of God through the blood of Christ. And the same ministry of reconciliation has been given to us who believe.
As you take time to reflect this Christmas, you can trust that Jesus understands you. He knows your needs, joys, and pains. He cares about your every success and failure, along with each gain and loss. So, take heart. No matter what your situation currently looks like, Christ came to redeem both the meaning and purpose of “family” for you. And His birth represents hope for us all.
So, what are you hoping for this Christmas? Is it to be freed from fear, insecurity, or depression from your past? Is it to experience love and belonging? Whatever your response may be, the answer always has and always will be found in our Emmanuel—the God who is always with us.
Remember this, the things they didn’t tell you about Jesus’ birth make all the difference.