In the name of Jesus: Amen.
Why was Jesus born? Yes, why was Jesus born?
It is a simple question to ask this evening. It is not only a simple question but an important question for us to consider, especially during this Advent Season. Indeed, it is a question that should be asked every Christmas Eve as we celebrate and ponder the story of Mary and Joseph, the journey to Bethlehem, the manger, and the birth of Jesus.
Considering this simple question a bit more, it can be a difficult question to answer at times. For example, people try to personally answer this question for themselves and end up with all sorts of different answers. One of the answers that may come to our minds is that Jesus came to be worshipped and adored and served! Isn’t that what the wise men came to Jesus to do? Does not our modern nativity art depict the animals and shepherds in the stable bowering before the babe in reverence?
While it is true that the wise men and shepherds worshiped Jesus, it is not correct to say that Jesus came to humanity to be served. But rather, it is the other way around. Jesus came to serve humanity. Remember how it was, on the night when Jesus was betrayed, that our Lord wrapped a towel around Himself, took water and washed His disciples feet? That is shocking, that the Lord would take upon Himself such a role of humility. The Apostle Peter is offended that the Lord would do such a thing. Peter and the disciples should be serving Jesus, not the other way around, but this is not how it is with Jesus.
So, because Jesus came not to be served, but to serve us, we still have only answered a portion of our question of why Jesus was born. We know that He came to serve, but how does He serve us? In answering this some believe that Jesus was born to serve us by giving encouragement to humanity’s pursuit of whatever makes a person happy – to be like a Christian Mascot. Others believe that Jesus was born to impart wise tips for wise living – to be nothing more than a very good religious teacher. Others believe that Jesus was born to reduce things like sadness, un-fulfillment, and stress – to be some therapist for them. Some think He was born to help with the liberation of oppressed people from unjust economic, political, and social systems. If not all of these, then maybe He was born to be that shining example of what the good moralistic life looks like – some moral example to inspire us. Or maybe He was born to give new laws and rules – rules that are more up-to-date than the Old Testament Ten Commandments. Maybe all of these examples are wrong and maybe Jesus was born to be that comfort blanket for humanity – to be a safe space where people can run to when life gets them down or when they are triggered.
So who is right? What is the answer to ‘Why was Jesus born?’ Was He born to be a mascot, a wise teacher, a therapist, a social and political liberator, a shining example, a safe space for triggered people, or something else?
Truth be told, the question of ‘why was Jesus born’ is not a question for you or me to answer, but rather, it is a question that is answered by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures. And frankly, as the Holy Scriptures answer this question, we find out that Jesus was not born to serve as a mascot or a wise teacher or a therapist or a social and political liberator or a shining example or a safe space for triggered people. None of these are correct. The reason why none of these are correct is that none of these views of Jesus see Him serving mankind by giving His life as a ‘ransom,’ as we have heard in our Gospel reading. None of these views understand Christ as one who deals with the predicament of sin, death, and the devil.
Dear friends, you and I – along with humanity – need a Savior to serve us by ransoming us from sin, death, and the devil. We do not need a mascot or a therapist or a social and political liberator or a shining example, for these views of Jesus do nothing about humanity’s predicament! We are in need of a Savior who will serve us by forgiving us of our sins – rescuing us from the hell that we deserve! As was previously mentioned, all of these other views of Jesus do not portray a Savior who came to pay for our sins and rescue us from sin, death, and the devil.
Therefore, why was Jesus born? He was born not to be served but to serve you and me by being a ransom. He was born to die and rise from the grave. He was born to accomplish forgiveness for you. He was born to accomplish a resurrection for you.
More specifically, this Jesus was born so that He could stand in your place. He was born so that He could walk through the wilderness of depravity on your behalf. He was born so that He could conquer the temptations that you so easily succumb to. He was born so that He could stand in your place in every way, drinking the vile cup of your suffering and sin. He was born so that He could stumble up a lonely hill and be displayed on a bloody cross. He was born so that His body could be pierced, so that blood and water could be poured out for you… for each and every one of you. He was born so that the earth might quake and so that the curtain could be torn in two. He was born so that He could declare from His cross, ‘It is finished!’ All your sins have been atoned for.
Indeed, Jesus was born to serve you and me. That is what Jesus came to do. He came to serve us, to save us, to rescue us but the Lord does not stop serving us there.
After the Lord Jesus gave His last will and testament, the Lord’s Supper, He asks His disciples a question, “Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner?” We know the answer to this; the customer is always right. We know that the servant is there to serve, to give you what you need. And that is the profound truth about Jesus. He came to serve us on the cross and He is still among us as the one who serves us in the Word and Sacraments, every single time that we open his Word, hear His Word preached, and receive His body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine.
This is the Jesus who serves you. He is the Servant that you and I do not deserve, but certainly need. He is the Servant who is for you. He is the one who has drawn near to you in His Word to reveal Himself to you, so that you might receive Him by faith and that you might be His own. This is the one who was born for you: Christ crucified and resurrected, the only one who forgives sin and grants everlasting life.
In the name of Jesus: Amen.
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