In the account of the Apostle Luke, we find YHWH influencing the entire Roman Empire to situate Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem. So that, the Old Testament prophesy could be fulfilled. In the account of the Apostle Matthew, we find YHWH influencing the entire solar system, to bring foreigners to Christ, so that they could worship Him. And in such narrations, it is easy to be lost among the questions of little significance – as to the ‘how, when, and where’ of these incidents. Piper therefore encourages, we ought to focus on the central subject of these narrations. We ought to focus on the Christ of Christmas, the central subject of the gospel. And message behind, i.e. “the holiness of God, the ugliness of sin, the helplessness of man, the death of Christ, justification by faith alone, the sanctifying work of the Spirit, the glory of Christ’s return and the final judgment.” (pg. 16)
The Samaritan Woman (Jn 4:4-26), also struggled due to similar reasons. Her focus was not on the centrality of the gospel. She was more preoccupied with custom, culture, rituals, place of worship et cetera. To which Jesus replied, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father… But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (Jn 21-24, ESV) And only, then, when Jesus shift her focus from the less significant, to the One, who alone is significant – she could grasp who Christ was.
This Christmas, let us focus on the One who is significant. Yes. It is true, God moved the Roman Empire, and He moved the Solar System because that is His design. It is His will that the chosen ones from the whole mankind, of all nation to come and worship Him. So, if God is moving your environment, your situation, and the people around you – let that be. And let it not be the focus of your life. Let your focus solely be on Christ. Because such people, are the kind of worshipers that the Father seeks. (Jn 4:23)
Note: All of Piper’s quotations are from “Good News of Great Joy“
Read previous entries in this Series:
(i) Introduction: What Christ wants this Christmas (ii) December 1: Prepare the Way (iii) December 2: Mary’s Magnificent God (iv) December 3: The Confidence of Redeeming Hope (v) December 4: A Big God for Little People (vi) December 5: What He Willed to do (vii) December 6: Peace to those with whom He is pleased (viii) December 7: Messiah of all