‘The birth date of our god has signalled the beginning of good news for the world.’ The above statement is a First Century stone inscription announcing the birth of Caesar Augustus. However, Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, is always first and last. It was probably 4 or 5 BC ”And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for Him in the inn.” Luke 2:7 I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Saviour, yes, the Messiah, the Lord has been born today. Angel to Shepherds A little town birthed a little boy, the Messiah. Little is large if God is in it. There are 184 verses in the birth narratives of the Second Testament. These 184 verses repeat the words of 170 verses from eighteen books of the First Testament. Let’s go to the narrative that no one reads at Christmas. John’s gospel tells the birth of Jesus as story-less in manner as possible. There are no animals, shepherds or special stars. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God……The WORD became flesh and dwelt among us.” The signage of John’s narrative isn't a star or a special little town or even a virgin. John presents Jesus in the sign of seven. Not just seven of anything, but the seven ‘I Am’ metaphors that reveal who this child is. These seven ‘I Am’ metaphors function as a menorah that lights the birth of Jesus just as the seven-branched golden lamp stand called the menorah (tree of life) illuminated the Ark of Covenant, and the original Tree Of Life that lit the garden of Eden. The ‘I am that I am’ that sent Moses to free His people has arrived; a Savior is among us. Let’s look at who John beheld. I am the bread of life. I am the light of the world. I am the door of the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I am the resurrection and the life. I am the way, the truth, and the life. I am the true vine. There is no higher understanding of Jesus’ divinity as the Son Of God than John’s gospel. There is no fuller understanding of Jesus humanity as the Son of Man (or the human being) than John’s gospel. Up until this point you could say that no one has seen God at any time, but no longer can that be said. Why? Because the only begotten has declared him, made God visible. John 1:18. The true light has come into the world, the source of light to enlighten mankind. A lot will happen in the next 33 years of His life, but when He declares the finish, the day of all days will have arrived. John 14:20 “At that day you will know, I am in my Father, and you are in Me, and I in you.” While others stood mesmerized by the spectacular of the event, John stood in awe of who he beheld, “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”.
-Pastor Bill Annis, FCF Canada