“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13 ESV)
As of an hour ago, I completed my last major paper for the semester on the priority of corporate sanctification over personal sanctification in the book of Romans. One of the major aspects of the paper is a discussion on the gospel of inclusion, which means that part of the good news of Christ is that Gentiles can now be included into the promise to God’s people. This got me thinking about Christmas.
The birth of Christ meant a number of things. It meant the coming of the long awaited Jewish Messiah, it meant the salvation of souls from Hell, it meant the conquering of God over sin, it meant the fulfillment of the law, the commencement of the dispensation of grace, and it meant that Gentiles were now able to be a part of God’s people. It always strikes me who God chose to be witnesses to his birth. His first witnesses were a bunch of poor Jewish migrant workers and his next witnesses were three Gentile magicians. Why not the High priest or a chief scribe? At least a rabbi of some sorts who would fully understand the Scriptural significance of His coming.
But he doesn’t bring any of them there. Instead he makes a statement with His birth that He is coming for a different purpose than was originally expected. He didn’t come as the political king or as the high ranking religious leader who would reform the Jewish kingdom from the top down. The people were expecting a David or an Ezra. Instead God gives them neither.
Jesus came for the poor and disenfranchised of Israel and he came for the Gentiles. And the witnesses of his birth attest to this purpose. Many of us who are believers are Gentiles, and because Christianity spread so significantly to Gentiles, we often times forget what a privilege it is to be included. This Christmas season, let’s praise God that he chose to come for the wise men from afar, the sheep who were not of his fold, and that the baby in a manger was not only the Messiah of the Jews, but the Savior of all nations.