What Child Is This?
When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask
him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see:
The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.
Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
Please check back daily during the month of December as through Christmas we’ll have an entry from The Heart of Christmas: A Devotional for the Season.
It is one thing to say that the child born in Bethlehem was God incarnate; it is quite another to establish it beyond a reasonable doubt. To do so, we must demonstrate Jesus to be the sinless, supernatural Savior of humanity.
First, Christ is the only human who ever demonstrated the credential of sinlessness. While the Qur’an exhorts Muhammad to seek forgiveness for his sins or faults (40:55; 47:19; cf. 48:1–3), the Bible exonerates Messiah, saying Jesus “had no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). And this is no singular statement. John declares, “And in him is no sin” (1 John 3:5), and Peter says Jesus “committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22). Jesus Himself went so far as to challenge His antagonists asking, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” ( John 8:46).
Furthermore, Jesus demonstrated supernatural authority over sickness, the forces of nature, fallen angels, and even death itself. Matthew 4 records that Jesus went throughout Galilee teaching, preaching, “and healing every disease and sickness among the people” (v. 23). Mark 4 documents Jesus rebuking the winds and the waves saying, “Quiet! Be still!” (v. 39). In Luke 4 Jesus encounters a man possessed by an evil spirit and commands the demon to “Come out of him!” (v. 35). And in John 4, Jesus tells the royal official whose son was close to death, “Your son will live” (v. 50). In fact, the four Gospel writers all records that Jesus demonstrated ultimate power over death through the immutable fact of His resurrection.
Finally, the credentials of Christ’s deity are seen in the lives of countless men, women, and children. Each day, people of every tongue and tribe and nation experience the Christ of Christmas by repenting of their sins and receiving Him as Lord and Savior of their lives. Thus, they not only come to know about Christ evidentially, but experientially as Christ becomes more real to them than the very flesh on their bones.
What Child is this? None other than the sinless, supernatural Savior “who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried . . . the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.”
The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert. (Isaiah 35:1–6)
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him. (Matthew 4:23–25)
How is Jesus different than Muhammad?
What works did Christ perform to support His claim to be God?
What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)
—William Chatterton Dix
What child is this who, laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear; for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading;
Nails, spear, shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The babe, the Son of Mary.
So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise the song on high,
The Virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.