The 'Non-Threatening' Jesus

Time of Year

This is the time of year when the largest number of people considers the person of Jesus Christ. While Easter is also a common time of such reflection, the Christmas season is still the time when many in the world, who normally give little thought to God or “religious” things, choose to return to the account of the birth of Jesus Christ.

People will remember the appearance of the angel, the crowded inns, the birth in a manger, the magi traveling to worship the child, and many other details in the birth account. While this can be seen in somewhat of a positive light, (at least people are thinking about Jesus for a time), I believe it is no accident that most people choose to reflect upon this particular portion of Jesus’ life more than any other.

A ‘Non-Threatening’ Figure

The reason for such reflection on a large scale is because the baby Jesus is a non-threatening figure. The baby Jesus is not yet doing the work of His Father (Luke 2:49). The baby Jesus is not yet proclaiming truth concerning sin, moral behavior, the failure of man, and the need for a redeemer. The baby Jesus is not yet pointing out the hypocrisy of man and encouraging service of others before self (Mat. 20:26-28; Mark 10:43-45). The baby Jesus is not yet facing the spectre of scourging and crucifixion for the foolish choices every man and woman make in their lives. In short, the baby Jesus does not threaten the moral and spiritual part of man in the same manner that the adult Jesus must.

What is real

When many consider the scene of the baby Jesus sitting in the manger, they do not consider what that scene truly represents. When the magi bowed before the baby Jesus in worship, they were offering something only worthy for Deity (Mat. 2:11). When Herod saw the fulfillment of prophecy as a challenge to his throne, he ordered a murderous purge – understanding someone truly powerful had come to earth (Mat. 2:16). When the reality of the virgin birth is fully considered, coupled with why God in the form of man would even have to come to earth, the horrific stain of sin cannot be avoided.

What many see

Instead, many choose to only see a cute, smiling little baby. An image that cannot threaten anyone’s moral choices in life, nor challenge their sense of security, but instead presents a mistaken understanding of what “peace on earth” is supposed to mean. It is truly a wonder that Jesus Christ was born of a woman so many years ago. However, the greater wonder is what Jesus Christ accomplished as an adult and continues to do on behalf of man each and every day. It is up to Christians to show the peace the adult Jesus brought to earth, and what the world needs to do to experience it.

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