Unto Us a Child is Born

By John Thiel, Beholding Christ Series, Part 8, mp3

By beholding Jesus it is written that as we look at Him, we become conscious of our short falls and sinfulness. Sometimes looking at the example of Jesus can have a negative influence on some people. They feel so unworthy and think they’ll never make it. We want to focus on something else about Jesus, the life giving ingredient found in His humiliation.

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Jesus demonstrates a power upon the sinner that the sinner would be affectionately drawn to God. Jesus addressed this very point in John 12. What does it do when we lift Him up?

John 12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will [my] Father honour. 27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. 28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, [saying], I have both glorified [it], and will glorify [it] again. 29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard [it], said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. 30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. 31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.

As Jesus was observing the path that He was moving into, He was troubled as He was beginning to feel the negativity of His death and the thoughts that led up to that. He was pleading with God and then came this expression, if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me. God would be glorified and people would be drawn to Him. To be drawn and be motivated to love is the purpose of seeing Jesus lifted up. The gift of repentance emphasises the fact that if we want to emulate Jesus, we can’t even do it. We are dependent on the drawing power of God to bring repentance into existence. If God would not have come down as a grain of wheat, there would have been no human being saved and no fruit. But if the seed falls into the ground it will produce much grain.

A Grain of Wheat

We are going to behold the path of the cross that was depicted in the grain of wheat that must fall into the ground to produce fruit. Today we commence at the top rung of the ladder that Jesus came down. Behold the sacrifice that was entered into at the very beginning of Jesus condescension, the very top of the ladder.

Unto Us a Child Is Born

He was equal with God but He made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant. Here was the first humiliating experience that we want to behold. The Son of God was on His throne and the angels adore Him. He has everyone in the heavenly realm exonerating him. He is the creator, the one who gives life. What does He do?

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The

Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace

Have you ever pondered upon this and gazed upon it at length? That He, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the prince of peace, a child born in the human race? What a sacrifice, just that on its own. The creator of His own image created in man having been marred by sin. He God becomes a babe among them. It is something to meditate about.

The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden “the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” {DA 48.5}

You want to know God and appreciate Him. The story of Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus is there for you and me to exhaust. If you want something to thrill you in life, lots of things come to a dead end but there is no dead end in the exhaustless theme in beholding Bethlehem’s condescension.

We marvel at the Saviour’s sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. {DA 48.5}

The God of the universe became a little speck. A little speck that you can’t even see with a magnifying glass, you need an electron microscope.

Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man’s nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. {DA 48.5}

If He would have been a baby of that nature, it would have been an amazing thing.

But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life. {DA 48.5}

The genetic welding of character defects placed into the genome. Ponder it. We are to gaze, to explore, to behold, marvel and worship. Contemplate the actual path of God becoming a baby. Did He become a baby or did He become what first?

Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name [was] Mary.

She who was espoused was of the house of David and so was Joseph.

That Holy Thing

Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art] highly favoured, the Lord [is] with thee: blessed [art] thou among women. 29 And when she saw [him], she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

He who was equal with God became a little speck. This earth is a little speck in the universe but he became a speck that you can’t even see with your own eyes.

Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Thou shalt conceive. He who is God came – the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee. That which is going to be conceived in your womb is as a consequence of the Holy Spirit coming upon you and inseminating you. With what; with something small enough to enter into her tiny little ovum, a tiny speck of her egg. Something had to come into her egg and conceive.

Nearly two thousand years ago, a voice of mysterious import was heard in heaven, from the throne of God, “Lo, I come.” “Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me. . . . Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.” Hebrews 10:5-7. In these words is announced the fulfillment of the purpose that had been hidden from eternal ages. Christ was about to visit our world, and to become incarnate. He says, “A body hast Thou prepared Me.” Had He appeared with the glory that was His with the Father before the world was, we could not have endured the light of His presence. That we might behold it and not be destroyed, the manifestation of His glory was shrouded. His divinity was veiled with humanity,–the invisible glory in the visible human form. {DA 23.1}

More than two thousand years ago, the voice said, Lo I come. It was announced to Mary by the angel, the Holy Spirit shall come upon you. Having been announced now He comes. How?

Christ, at an infinite cost, by a painful process, mysterious to angels as well as to men, assumed humanity. Hiding His divinity, laying aside His glory, He was born a babe in Bethlehem. In human flesh He lived the law of God, that He might condemn sin in the flesh, and bear witness to heavenly intelligences that the law was ordained to life and to ensure the happiness, peace, and eternal good of all who obey. . . . {UL 90.2}

Here the angels see their beloved ruler disappear and become a tiny cell. He went through a painful experience of being reduced into a tiny cell. Painful until His consciousness went out of him. Have you ever been going through pain until finally you become unconscious? That is how painful it was. So painful that He went into unconsciousness in an embryonic conception. An embryo in its first cell is just an egg and sperm together and that is what Jesus the Son of God became.

The Shekinah Glory Departed

The Shekinah had departed from the sanctuary, but in the Child of Bethlehem was veiled the glory before which angels bow. This unconscious babe {DA 52.3}

This being inside the woman’s womb is a mystery to the angels as well to man. The Shekinah glory that was there before the angels departed. Here is this unconscious development. No baby can remember – its development in the womb. No baby can remember its birth and neither did Jesus. What happens as the baby develops very slowly? A dawn of appreciation gathers upon a babies mind. It slowly becomes conscious. Observe the process of awareness coming upon Jesus.

From the first dawning of intelligence He was constantly growing in spiritual grace and knowledge of truth. {DA 70.3}

With deep earnestness the mother of Jesus watched the unfolding of His powers, and beheld the impress of perfection upon His character. {DA 69.1}

To have the honour of the unfolding of this babies powers. Isn’t it wonderful to behold a baby as it becomes aware of its surroundings? That is a delight of motherhood. When my first children came along I said, you can have them as I want them later when I can reason with them. How a baby develops in the stimuli that takes place around it.

The powers of mind and body developed gradually, in keeping with the laws of childhood. {DA 68.2}

There was this little speck constricted into unconsciousness that developed over nine months in the mother’s womb and in its unconscious state began to develop. He grows and develops by the law. A child has no consciousness of manhood. The bodily functions of manhood have not come into existence. When does a child start to feel manhood developing upon them?

Luke 2:42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

When he was twelve years old.

Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

He who was equal with God made himself of no reputation. The form of a servant was made in the likeness of a man. He found himself as the development of childhood law came into consciousness. Where am I? This is one of the most crucial stages of a child when it comes into adolescence. All things come into the body. The arousals of male or female comes at about twelve. Jesus was fast in development because at the age of twelve He found himself in fashion as a man. What did He find? At the age of twelve, something awoke in Him.

Jesus in the Temple

Can you see Him looking? Everything taught by His mother He had instructed the prophets to write. Everything taught by His mother was read from the Bible, now He is there.

For the first time the child Jesus looked upon the temple. He saw the white-robed priests performing their solemn ministry. He beheld the bleeding victim upon the altar of sacrifice. With the worshipers He bowed in prayer, while the cloud of incense ascended before God. He witnessed the impressive rites of the paschal service. Day by day He saw their meaning more clearly. Every act seemed to be bound up with His own life. New impulses were awakening within Him. Silent and absorbed, He seemed to be studying out a great problem. The mystery of His mission was opening to the Saviour. {DA 78.1}

Imagine the child seeing the animal slain and the blood coming out and burning on the altar, what an imprint. As He was beholding these things, something was happening inside of Him. He was awakening as to who He was. He didn’t know it before. Now it became a living discovery. As it became a living discovery, He expressed it so vividly:

Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

His mind was so occupied. It is interesting when you listen to young people share the Word of God. They are more alert in the fine tuning, more than those who have been at it for years. Jesus was like that. He said why are you looking for me? You know I must be about my father’s business.

In the answer to His mother, Jesus showed for the first time that He understood His relation to God. {DA 81.6}

What else did He understand as He found himself in fashion as a man? He was a man. He was an adolescent that discovered the hormonal influx of manhood. That has all sorts of connotations, He the Son of God. What can I feel going on inside of my body? This is what bewilders so many young people.

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

What did He discover? He discovered his relationship with his Father the same time He discovered sinful flesh. As He discovered that, He awoke to something very unpleasant to His pure holy mind:

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. See what that grief and sorrow included:

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

He who began to be aware that He was in sinful flesh condemned sin in the flesh. What did that mean? He cried with strong crying and tears.

Look at Jesus

Remember your youth? What happens when you have a feeling that comes up inside of you unasked for? It is a hormonal development. A thought and feeling comes and your knowledge of right and wrong tells you “what is that?” and you know where it is going to lead you if you cherish it. It was a suffering – purity in touch with this yucky body feeling. With strong crying and tears He cried Lord save me from these terrible inroads. He suffered so He could learn obedience like you and I need to learn.

Jesus was misunderstood by His brothers because He was not like them. His standard was not their standard. In looking to men they had turned away from God, and they had not His power in their lives. The forms of religion which they observed could not transform the character. They paid “tithe of mint and anise and cummin,” but omitted “the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith.” Matthew 23:23. The example of Jesus was to them a continual irritation. He hated but one thing in the world, and that was sin. He could not witness a wrong act without pain which it was impossible to disguise. Between the formalists, whose sanctity of appearance concealed the love of sin, and a character in which zeal for God’s glory was always paramount, the contrast was unmistakable. Because the life of Jesus condemned evil, He was opposed, both at home and abroad. His unselfishness and integrity were commented on with a sneer. His forbearance and kindness were termed cowardice. {DA 88.1}

Of the bitterness that falls to the lot of humanity, there was no part which Christ did not taste. There were those who tried to cast contempt upon Him because of His birth, and even in His childhood He had to meet their scornful looks and evil whisperings. {DA 88.2}

He was an illegitimate child in the eyes of humanity as they saw that Joseph got married to Mary and before the nine months were up, there was a birth already.

If He had responded by an impatient word or look, if He had conceded to His brothers by even one wrong act, He would have failed of being a perfect example. Thus He would have failed of carrying out the plan for our redemption. Had He even admitted that there could be an excuse for sin, Satan would have triumphed, and the world would have been lost. This is why the tempter worked to make His life as trying as possible, that He might be led to sin. {DA 88.2}

Lucifer knew what He had done to other human flesh and He would work on the human flesh to stir and arouse Him as much as He could through all the stimuli that would arouse every humans flesh whether male or female. Behold Him, worship Him. When you awoke and are awake to these horrible internal realities and the horrible drag they make upon your system that plunge you into internal conflicts, do you want to live? Do you know why many young people take their life? They know they have been taught what is right but with the things they go on in their bodies become a terrible tug of war and it’s not worth living. Jesus found that experience. What does He do with it? He found himself in fashion as a man and did what? He could have done what so many do and relieved Himself and gone back to heaven. That is the equivalent of a person taking their life. Free from all this but Jesus chose to be obedient and learn obedience by the things which he suffered even unto the death of the cross. Doesn’t that touch your heart?

Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. 8 [He is] near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who [is] mine adversary? let him come near to me. 9 Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who [is] he [that] shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up. 10 Who [is] among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh [in] darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.

Here is not only what Jesus is suffering but he says those of you who fear the Lord like you, that obey the voice of his servant, you are walking in darkness, you have no light, trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon your God. I walked in darkness too but I would not be confounded I set my face like a flint. Every individual who hears this message can say this is the way out, I don’t’ have to take my life. I can be obedient like Jesus was. I am not going to be ashamed. I can set my face like a flint like Jesus. As we behold this amazing picture – unto you a child is born. As we behold Him developing, discovering and making a decision in His life, will you and I resolve with Him as did also Apostle Paul when he discovered it? He didn’t discover it in his youth. He discovered it when he was persecuting the church. Where ever we are, we can discover it and make a choice.

Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

As we behold Jesus- unto us a child is born – and we have explored this amazing story, there comes to us the appeal, will you follow me? To be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief? My suffering. That I will go through these bodily messages and will set my face like a flint and suffer it and persevere in conquering.

From the manger to the cross, the life of Jesus was a call to self-surrender, and to fellowship in suffering. It unveiled the purposes of men. Jesus came with the truth of heaven, and all who were listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit were drawn to Him. The worshipers of self belonged to Satan’s kingdom. In their attitude toward Christ, all would show on which side they stood. And thus everyone passes judgment on himself. {DA 57.3}

What will you do with Jesus? This is the choice that is laid before us when we look at Jesus. My soul thrills within me as Jesus washed Judas feet. To make a complete surrender will show on which side I stand. Am I prepared to keep on looking and researching into the depths of Christ’s sufferings so that my heart will be stirred to surrender all?


Further reading: http://sabbathsermons.com/category/beholding-christ/

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