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Larry King was once asked: "If you could select any one person across all of history to interview, who would it be?" Mr. King's answer was that he would like to interview Jesus Christ. When the questioner followed with, "And what would you like to ask him?" King replied, "I would like to ask him if he was indeed virgin-born. The answer to that question would define history for me."

Man’s maker became man so that those who were exhausted by religion could be energized by relationship.

Matthew 11:28–30 ESV
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
1 John 5:3 ESV
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

We keep his commandments because we are loved not to be loved.

Man’s maker became man so that we could live in the world but not be of it.

Listen to the prayer of Jesus in
John 17:15–16 ESV
I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
In other words, we pursue holy lives of obedience and sacrifice even as we engage in our cities, neighborhoods, and families.

The Incarnation reminds us that Jesus did not come to isolate ourselves from the world but the infiltrate it.

Man’s maker became man so that we could deny ourselves without degrading ourselves.

Self-denial is not a popular topic in our culture, but it is the starting point for Christian growth.
Matthew 16:21–28 ESV
From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

The Incarnation of Jesus meant crucifixion. The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit means cross carrying.

The Incarnation frees the Christian from dying for their sins. Cross carrying is the means by which we put to death the sin that remains in us.

When Jesus became incarnate, he voluntarily denied himself the privileges of being God in order to be mocked and killed. He did this because he longed to redeem us and knew that, in order to accomplish our salvation, the demands of his holiness had to be met. We could not meet them, so he met them for us. We, in turn, are to have the same mind, “do[ing] nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count[ing] others more significant than [our]selves” (Philippians 3:3). We deny ourselves to love others.
True humility is not thinking less of yourself it is thinking of yourself less.
Philippians 2:5–8 The Message
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Man’s maker became man so that we would not love our money.

God is the richest being in the universe.
Colossians 1:16 ESV
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
Yet as he looked upon the world and decided into what family he would come, he chose the poorest of the poor.
2 Corinthians 8:9 ESV
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
When Mary and Joseph went to the temple after the birth of Jesus, Luke recalled,
Luke 2:24 ESV
and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
Under the law, the regular sacrifice was a lamb, but there was a provision for poor mothers:
Leviticus 12:8 ESV
And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.”
Jesus, who had all the riches of the world at his disposal, chose to be incarnated into a family that could not even afford a regular sacrifice. Let us not love riches.

Jesus incarnates himself so that we can freed from greed and filled with generosity.

Greed is when when we love money more than God and do not love God with our money.

Generosity is not a means of purchasing our justification it is a means of storing up joy in heaven.

Matthew 6:19–21 ESV
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
We are given these eternal rewards for doing good works (Ephesians 6:8Romans 2:610), persevering under persecution (Luke 6:22-23), showing compassion to the needy (Luke 14:13-14), and treating our enemies kindly (Luke 6:35).
God also grants us rewards for generous giving:
Matthew 19:21 ESV
Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
It can’t be wrong to do that or He wouldn't have commanded it! Our job is to follow Christ and leave the rewarding to Him. But our job is also not to disbelieve or minimize what He said about rewards.
We are to want rewards because it pleases Him to give them to us...and what pleases our Father should give us delight.

No one has ever become poor by giving.

The world asks, “What does a man own?” Christ asks, “How does he use it?”

Man’s maker became man so that we would not overvalue physical beauty.

Our culture loves external appearances, but the incarnate Christ chose to come as someone who had no physical beauty or majesty.
Isaiah 53:2–3 ESV
For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
He is the most glorious person who has ever lived, but we did not recognize his glory. Thousands saw him with their eyes, but they saw nothing with their hearts. We, in turn, must look for beauty in our world with the eyes of our heart. What will we see when we look at the world this way? We will see that, today, the Lord lives in the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the prisoner. As Jesus taught, when we care for such people, we do this unto him.
Matthew 25:31–46 ESV
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Man’s maker became man so that we would know that God is for us.

Finally, the incarnation means that God is for us. Paul was not merely referring to the crucifixion when he wrote,
Romans 8:31–32 ESV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
He was also referring to the incarnation, when Jesus left the side of the Father to become man and accomplish our salvation. The incarnation means that God is for us. Jesus left the godhead and all the privileges thereof to die. He lived a humiliating and self-denying life to bring us to God, where there are pleasures forevermore. He veiled his awful and fearful holiness so that we could touch him, see him, know him and love him. No longer does he say, “No man can see my face and live.” Today, he says, “See my face and be satisfied”
Hebrews 2:17–18 ESV
Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Hebrews 4:15–16 ESV
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
When we live in light of the incarnation of Christ, our lives will be shocking to others. Although we are sons and daughters of the King, we will humiliate ourselves by serving others. All things may be permissible, but we will deny ourselves certain things or activities so that we can grow in our love for God and others. We will earn money, but we will strategize how to give it away for the sake of the kingdom. Living in a physical world, we will spend more effort on cultivating our inner beauty than our outer beauty. We will trust in the promises of God more than our circumstances because we know he is for us.
When we live this way, people will think we are ludicrous. They will find our choices shocking. Yet we will point to the miracle of the incarnation of Christ. Our lives will testify to the great news of Advent: Christ has come, God is with us.
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