Christmas Invasion

Although we’re going to have a Christmas celebration next week at church, we started our Christmas series a week early – I wanted to call it “invasion,” but the guys all tell me that the Chinese word for “invasion” can’t really have any positive connotation. It was hard to convince me (I really wanted that name). In English, the word doesn’t convey anything definite about the purposes of the invader; the word merely refers to the means of entry. But in Chinese, even if you invaded to free the oppressed, you still wouldn’t use the literal translation of invade, because their word implies that you came to oppress yourself. So we had to settle for a name that means “came down.”

 

Anyway, though the average person would probably guess that Jesus’ mission in life was to help people, love people, and go around doing good things, (though he certainly did those things) that narrow of a definition of his mission leaves a lot of unanswered questions. A student asked me last week why Jesus said he came to bring a sword, and not peace. If Jesus just wants to help people, He’s got a funny way of saying it. Then you’ve got massive opposition, even from His birth – not two years old, and he’s got a crazed king on his tail, wiping out every male child in his path. Again, if this is just about helping people, things just don’t add all the way up.

 

Jesus definitely came to save the lost, but we have to see what it took to do that. Our world wasn’t just in need, it was under the control of the enemy. We didn’t just need to be helped, we needed to be seized from the enemy’s hold. To bring us peace, he must fight a war. First John explains it well – he says that the Son of God appeared “to destroy the works of the devil.” That makes Christmas the landed invasion – Jesus penetrating enemy lines to bruise the head of His enemy. Props to Ben Stuart for calling attention to Jesus’ parable: there’s a strong man with a house full of stuff. Then a stronger guy comes, beats the dude up, ties him up, and takes his stuff. The devil’s the strong man, Jesus is the stronger man, and we’re the stuff – Merry Christmas.

 

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