Jesus came the way we all do. Rumor has it that the manger scene was quiet, and perhaps it was, but I imagine Jesus came into the world screaming and crying just like you and I did. Sure, He met the world surrounded by animals instead of doctors, but His entrance was just the same. He traded His place in the womb for His place in the world. He was just like every other baby, but there was something different about Him.

Fast forward several years, and the boy couldn’t be found. Mary and Joseph went back into town and searched for Him. Maybe Mary mumbled about how she’d just seen Him when they loaded up their belongings to go home. Perhaps Joseph stopped a group of kids who looked to be Jesus’s age and asked if they’d seen Him. Regardless, they found Him in the Temple. He wasn’t sitting in the back with His arms crossed. He wasn’t sitting at the teacher’s feet, looking up in admiration. He was the teacher. All eyes were on Him as He spoke, and I can picture them with their jaws dropped. Teacher or not, Mary scolded Him, told Him how they’d looked everywhere for Him. He said, whether out of sass or genuine confusion, that they should’ve started at the Temple knowing He would be about His Father’s business. He was just like every other kid, but there was something different about Him.

Skip ahead many years. Jesus goes to His cousin John, who was baptizing people, and He went prepared to officially accept His calling and ministry. When He went under the water and arose, a dove flew by and a voice said, “This is my son, in whom I am well pleased.” He was like every other believer, but there was something different about Him.

He searched for disciples. He wanted people to teach. He knew they would learn one day and lead the next. People who would ask questions one day and answer them the next. People to grow the Kingdom He was building. But He didn’t look to the upper crust or the spiritual leaders or those of good repute. He looked on fishing boats and in tax collection agencies. He looked for the rough and the zealous. And He didn’t coerce them. He simply said, “Follow me,” and they did. He was like every other leader, but there was something different about Him.

He hung on the cross. The miracles, the traveling, the people He helped, the people He forgave, the parables, the Pharisees – it all led to a bloody display on a hill. Some only saw the blood; it’d been in their eyes from the start. His wounds were big and dirty. His feet, hands, and head bowed as much as they could under the weight. The sky darkened and suspense blew across the onlookers. He said, “It is finished,” and He died. He died as we all will (although in a far worse fashion), but there was something different about Him.

The difference? He never faltered. He gave out hope, peace, joy, and love perfectly. He was the Son of God, and He knew it. In 33 and a half years, He changed the entire world. And when He died, He came back to life, scarred but not defeated.

He came back for you. His resurrected life gives us life. He came back for the times that we verge on death and need to be brought back ourselves.

He did it all for you. Everything all the way back to leaving His throne and walking among precious, imperfect humanity. That baby in the manger? He looks cute and innocent. But He’s all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. He was there when Earth was formed. He alone has what it takes to rescue you completely. Humanity’s hope laid in a manger, and He changed everything.

By Carrie Prevette

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