The Christ

 

KATIE GROGAN

 

Scripture Readings: 

Matthew 1:1-16

An account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers, Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Aram, Aram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth, Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered King David. David fathered Solomon by Uriah’s wife, Solomon fathered Rehoboam, Rehoboam fathered Abijah, Abijah fathered Asa, Asa fathered Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat fathered Joram, Joram fathered Uzziah, Uzziah fathered Jotham, Jotham fathered Ahaz, Ahaz fathered Hezekiah, 10 Hezekiah fathered Manasseh, Manasseh fathered Amon, Amon fathered Josiah, 11 and Josiah fathered Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. 12 After the exile to Babylon Jeconiah fathered Shealtiel, Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel, 13 Zerubbabel fathered Abiud, Abiud fathered Eliakim, Eliakim fathered Azor, 14 Azor fathered Zadok, Zadok fathered Achim, Achim fathered Eliud, 15 Eliud fathered Eleazar, Eleazar fathered Matthan, Matthan fathered Jacob, 16 and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Christ.

John 17:3

This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent—Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 2:8-13

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead and descended from David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer to the point of being bound like a criminal. But the word of God is not bound. 10 This is why I endure all things for the elect: so that they also may obtain salvation, which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11 This saying is trustworthy: For if we died with him, we will also live with him; 12  if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; 13  if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

1 John 2:8-13

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of him.


Commentary: 

Life In Christ

In our Bible-Belt culture, it's astonishing how many people would say that they believe in God or know about God, yet their lives bear no fruit. There’s no desire for His Word, they’ve never accepted His gift of salvation, and therefore do not have eternal life in Him. John 17:3 makes clear what it means to have eternal life: to know Him, the only true God - Jesus Christ. This means having a relationship with Him that bears fruit. It often fleshes itself out through the studying of His word as the guide to follow His commands and will for our lives. He came to earth “to seek and save the lost” and ultimately, died for our sins so that we may have freedom in Christ. What a beautiful picture of unconditional love and grace that only Jesus Christ provides!

The Christian life isn't an easy one. As believers, you and I still go through trials and sufferings. However, if we know Christ and have relationship with Him, we have hope: that what we’re going through He can mend, heal, and restore. This is why we see in our reading in 2 Timothy 2:9-12, Paul suffered for the sake of Christ, "to the point of being bound like a criminal" because he wanted people to know Christ and receive salvation and eternal life in Him. He rejoiced in the fact that even though he was bound in prison, God's word is not bound. Sometimes, we may have to endure hardships, but we can celebrate in the fact that His glory and His word will shine through us to those who need him. If we tell others how the Lord used our suffering for our good and His glory in our lives, that may become an encouragement to someone else that may not know Him to find hope in Jesus!  God's promises are trustworthy and He is faithful to complete the good work He has begun in us.

This is a season to not only celebrate Christ’s birth, but to remember the importance of why He came to earth: so that we may know Him and have restored relationship with our Father by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The most important thing in our life is knowing Christ in a personal way. Just like the old song says, “the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” Meaning all material possessions and earthly things do not last or satisfy, but Jesus remains the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  Do you know Christ in this way? Do you believe that He died on the cross and suffered for your sins and mine so that we could have life and freedom in Him?


Prayer & Reflection: 

Lord thank you for sending your son Jesus, to come into this world so that I can know Him in a personal way, and that He desires a deep and intimate relationship with me daily. May I be challenged to trust Him more so that when I go through trials and suffering, I can count it all joy that Jesus will guide me and walk with me every step of the way. Amen.

Dallas White