The Precious Baby

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7 NIV

Oh, what a beautiful picture we paint of Mary and Joseph and the precious baby Jesus. When we look at the paintings and the Nativity scenes, we forget the trials Mary and Joseph went through to get to this point. And
none of the pictures portray how dirty and uncomfortable their situation was. All we see is the precious baby, soft and pink and cuddly, lying peacefully in the manger with a halo shining over His head.

When you think of Jesus, is this how you see Him. as the precious baby He was when He came into the world? Is He still lying in that manger, soft and cuddly and helpless? Except for the most ardent Atheist, this picture of Jesus is acceptable. Even those who don't believe in Him can accept a helpless baby. And they happily live with that picture of Him in their minds, a picture much easier to deal with than the Jesus He grew up to be.

But Jesus did grow up. And, at the age of thirty, began upsetting the apple carts of the world. Three years later, He was crucified. Three days after that, He arose. Forty days later, after being seen by and interacting with
hundreds of people, He ascended into heaven, where He sits at the right hand of God, interceding for you and me, and waiting to judge the world. One day - most likely very soon - He will come back again in power and might to claim His people and to pronounce judgment on this dark and evil world. This is the Jesus that the world doesn't want to accept, the grown-up Jesus that doesn't sit well in their minds.

This Christmas, when you look at all the Nativity scenes - perhaps even the one that you have in your house - take special note of the little baby in the manger. The way He came to us, is the way we must come to Him - as
babies. spiritual babies who need to be nurtured and fed so that we can grow to mature believers who can serve Him as He deserves to be served.

There is so much more to knowing Jesus than the tiny baby we all think of at this time of the year. If the Jesus you know is still lying in that manger, perhaps it's time for you to become a baby, too, so you can let Him grow up in your life. And so that you can grow up in Him.

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