Not Just Any Baby
I would like to introduce you to a Baby. You may wonder why I would want do so. The reason why I want to talk about this particular Baby is because I hope to show you that this Baby was not just an ordinary baby, but was a very special Baby. It is true, of course, that every parent will say that their baby is very special, and not like any other baby. And I am sure every parent is right, for no babies are alike. However, the Baby I want to talk about was really unlike any other baby ever born on this earth, since His birth was actually foretold in the Bible long before it happened. You can read of Him, for instance, in Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. And the government will be on his shoulders.
And in Isaiah 7:14, where you can read
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.
The day finally came when what had been foretold happened. The young woman who was to give birth to this child was visited by an angel who told her the following in Luke 1:30-31
But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus."
When this Baby was eventually born, His birth was announced by an angel, accompanied by a whole group of angels. I don't think that happened when any of your babies were born. You can read of this event in Luke 2:8-14
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today, in the town of David, a Saviour has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a Baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of heavenly hosts appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favour rests.”
Having heard this, I think you'll agree with me that Jesus was a special baby, am I right? Now, we all know that babies don't remain babies; they all grow up. That is what happened to the baby Jesus, for he too became a boy and eventually became a man. But just as Jesus was a special baby, so He became a special man. While growing up, He lived at home with his parents and He, very likely, helped his father in his carpenter’s business.
However, when He turned thirty, that all changed, for He left home and began to travel throughout his nation, which was the nation of Israel. As he travelled, He began to teach the people about God. One day, while He was teaching a great crowd of people, they became hungry, and He fed all of them, as you can read in John 6:1-13.
Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed Him because they saw the miraculous signs He had performed on the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with His disciples. The Jewish Passover Feast was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming towards Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do. Philip answered Him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite.” Another of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, He said to His disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
Feeding all these people was very kind of Him, but the amazing thing is that He did not feed these people with food He had prepared beforehand. That would have been impossible, for there were at least five thousand people present. No, He only used the lunch of a little boy, of five small loaves and two fish. And that little bit of food was
multiplied as He asked God to bless it,so that there was enough food for everyone.
That was not all that He did for when He walked from town to town and village to village He encountered people who were sick and He healed them. It did not matter to Him, what age anyone was, or what status or gender. He healed all of them because He was concerned for each one of them. I will give you a number of examples to show you how much Jesus cared about people.
1. Jesus healed a man who suffered with leprosy, as you can read in Matthew 8:1-4
When He (Jesus) came down from the mountainside, a large crowd followed Him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said, “Be clean.” Immediately, he was cured of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
2. He healed a woman who had suffered a physical problem for twelve years. She had tried to quietly touch Him so she could be healed. However, Jesus noticed that power had gone out from Him, for she had been made well. You can read that story in Luke 8:43-48
And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no-one could heal her. She came up behind Him (Jesus) and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. “Who touched Me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against You.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched Me, I know that power has gone out from Me.” Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at His feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
3. He healed a woman who had been crippled for eighteen years, as you can read in Luke 13:10-17
On a Sabbath Day Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then He put His hands on her, and immediately, she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
When He said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things He was doing.You would expect everybody to have been delighted with the healing of this woman, but some of the religious leaders were, in fact, very angry with Jesus because He had healed this woman on a Sabbath day.
4. He healed a little girl who was dying and, in fact, had died by the time He arrived at her home. Nevertheless, He took her by the hand and told her to get up and she did, as you can read in Luke 8:41-42
Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with Him to come to his house, because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on His way, the crowds almost crushed Him……….
And Luke 8:49-55
While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” he said, “Don’t bother the Teacher anymore.” Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” When He arrived at the house of Jairus, He did not let anyone go in with Him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. Meanwhile all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said, “She is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at Him, knowing that she was dead. But He took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up.” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but He ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
5. He healed a blind beggar who was sitting at the road side near Jericho, as you can read in Luke 18:35-43.
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
Interestingly, Jesus did not just presume that this blind beggar wanted to be healed but asked him what he would like Jesus to do for him. And Jesus healed him only after he had responded to His question.
Not only did Jesus heal people, He delivered people from evil spirits. Once again. I will give you a number of examples, so you will know that Jesus cared so much about people that He was even willing to set them free from demonic oppression.
1. He delivered a man from many demons who controlled him to the point that he could not live with other people, as you can read in Luke 8:26-39
They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, He was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at His feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do You want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and He gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So He got into the boat and left. The man from whom the demons had gone out, begged to go with Him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over the town how much Jesus had done for him.
This man, while under the control of demons, did not wear clothes and did not live in the town but in a tomb outside the town. As soon as he was set free from the demons, he got dressed and went back home to tell others what Jesus had done for him.
2. He delivered a boy from a demon that threw the boy into convulsions, as you can read in Luke 9:37-43
The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him (Jesus). A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only child. A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. I begged Your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.” “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “How long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
3. He delivered a young girl from demonic oppression, as you can read in Matthew 15:21-28
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from the vicinity came to Him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So His disciples came to Him and urged Him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before Him, “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
This little girl was not even Jewish, but her mother believed that Jesus could and would set free even her daughter. And He did. It seems Jesus insulted this mother very much by comparing her to a dog because she was not Jewish. However, this mother understood that even dogs could and did eat the crumbs from under their masters’ table, meaning even she could receive a measure of His healing for her daughter. Jesus was very pleased with her answer and, consequently, her daughter was healed.
Jesus did not only teach people about God, nor did He only heal people, nor only deliver people from demonic oppression; He even raised some people from the dead. Let me give you some examples to show the great compassion Jesus had for people.
1. One time, Jesus met a widow whose only son had died. She was, in fact, on her way to bury him. Jesus walked up to her and told her not to cry. How could He say such a cruel thing? Did He not understand that there was now no one to take care of her? But perhaps she did stop crying because she may have sensed He would do something for her. And He did, for He then went to the coffin and raised her son back to life, as you can read in Luke 7:11-17
Soon afterwards, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and His disciples and a large crowd went along with Him. As He approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out – the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, His heart went out to her and He said, “Don’t cry.” Then He went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man set up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great Prophet has appeared among us,” they said, “God has come to help His people.”
2. Jesus even raised someone from the dead who had been in the tomb for four days already. His name was Lazarus and Jesus knew him and his sisters very well. These two sisters had expected Him to come to their home when their brother Lazarus had fallen ill, but He had not done so. Consequently, their brother had died and they had had to bury him. When Jesus finally turned up at their village, four days after the funeral of their brother, both sisters told Him that His visit was too late, but Jesus knew He had come at exactly the right time, for He had come to do an even greater miracle; He had come to bring their brother Lazarus back to life, and that is what He did, as you can read in John 11:1-44
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same person who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped His feet with her hair. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When He heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s Glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days. Then He said to His disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone You, and yet You are going back there?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.” After He had said this, He went on to tell them, “Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up.” His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but His disciples thought He meant natural sleep. So then He told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” On His arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him, but Mary stayed at home. “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give You whatever You ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she told Him, “I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to Him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met Him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” Where have you laid him?” He asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him.” But some of them said, “Could not He who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” He said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the Glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that You sent Me.” When He had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
So Jesus was not just an ordinary person, like you and I; He was a very special person, you'll agree. And He had been born for a very special reason. He had not just been born to teach people about God, even though that was very important. Neither had He just been born to heal and deliver people, even though these things were very
important too. He had, in fact, been born to die for people. Not just for the people in His nation, Israel, but for all people everywhere, and at all times. That is what He did, for after having travelled through His nation for three years, He allowed himself to be put on a cross, and that is when He died for all people, including you, as you can read in Luke 23:33
When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him (Jesus), along with the criminals – one on His right, the other on His left.
Why did He allow himself to be crucified? Because of His love for people, including you. For three years He had shown people His love for them by teaching them about God, by healing them, delivering them and even raising some of them from the dead. But He showed his greatest love for them and for you when He died on the cross. You see, Jesus knew that all people everywhere, including you, are separated from God because of sin for God is not only a God of love but God is a holy God too. And that no matter what good works you have done and might be doing to become acceptable to Him it is impossible for you to do enough good works to become as good as God. That is why Jesus came into the world as a Baby.
It is true that Jesus has always been in existence as part of the Godhead, as God the Son. And as God the Son, He, together with God the Father, created the Universe, including the first two human beings, as you can read in Genesis 1:27
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
This first couple had a wonderful relationship with God until they disobeyed. Then everything changed, for their sinful actions caused them to become separated from God. Their sinful actions affected not just them, but everyone born after them, including you, as you can read in Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.
That is why God the Son left heaven and entered the world as a Baby, so He could identify with human beings. And since He lived a perfect life as a human being, He could die on your behalf and take your sins upon Him, so that once again you can have a close relationship with God, just as the first couple had originally. You could say, Jesus became the Bridge for you to God. His death paid the price for your sins, so you do not have to pay the price, which is separation from God, not just now, but even after you die.
Perhaps you do not have this close relationship with God, and you may never have heard how you can have that close relationship with God, as your heavenly Father. That is why I have shared with you about Jesus being the Bridge to the Father, for no one can come to the Father except through Jesus, as you can read in John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Even though you may know about God, you may not know Him intimately. But God knows you, and He desires for you to learn how you can become His child, and how He can become your heavenly Father. So what are the steps you need to take to have that close relationship with God?
First of all, you need to recognise that you are a sinner, and that nothing you do can bring you into a proper relationship with God, including taking care of your family, other relatives, or even your neighbours, good as these things are. These things cannot make you right with God.
Secondly, you need to realise that Jesus has, in fact, already paid the price for all your sins when He died on the cross two thousand years ago.
Thirdly, you need to recognise your need to confess your sins, including specific sins that you may be are aware of, and to ask God to forgive you of all your sins, because Jesus has already paid the price for them on the cross, in His role as your Saviour.
Fourthly, you need to realise your need for Jesus to help you live in a way that is pleasing to God by asking Him to be the Lord of your life.If you are not yet God’s child, then God wants to invite you to become His child.
Therefore,I would like to lead you in a prayer so you can acknowledge that you are a sinner, and that you accept God’s forgiveness based on Jesus’ death on the cross, so you can become a child of God. He will then become your heavenly Father, and you can know that you will be with God in heaven after you die. I would now like to invite you to pray the following prayer:
I know that I am a sinner and I cannot make myself right with You.
But I know too that You sent Your Son Jesus to earth to die for me on a cross 2000 years ago so I can be forgiven of all my sins.
I confess my sins and repent of them…. (if you are aware of anything specific you can just mention them to God) and I receive Your forgiveness of them.
By faith I accept that I have now become Your Child and You have now become my heavenly Father and I will be with You in heaven when I die.
I ask Jesus to be the Lord of my life and to help me live in a way that is pleasing to You with the help of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Having prayed this prayer, you can now know that you have become a child of God and that is wonderful. You can now ask the Lord to guide you each day. If possible, spend time with other believers, so you can learn from them how to live in a way that is pleasing to God. Over time, you may be able to share with others what you have learned about God.