When the angelic host appeared to shepherds outside Bethelehem and announced the birth of Jesus they must have been aware of the full identity of this new-born baby. I’d submit that their understanding would have been quite similar to what an ex-pharisee named Paul – who never claimed to have met Jesus in the flesh – wrote years later to non-Jewish followers of Jesus. Paul was exhorting them to become like Jesus and in so doing gave away a fundamental insight. In the middle of a letter written whilst imprisoned in Rome, he wrote, as translated from Greek.:
Let this same attitude, purpose and humble mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God, possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God, did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, but stripped Himself of all privileges and rightful dignity so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.
And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself still further and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!
Therefore, because He stooped so low, God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue frankly and openly confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11 Amp – emphases RB)
This famous passage stands well on its own in explaining the divinity of Jesus Christ, but is much better read in its full context, which you can do here. The Amplified version is quoted because it gives a fuller appreciation of the original. A study of doctor Luke’s carefully researched account of the birth of Jesus (here) and of the early church (Acts of the Apostles), as well as parts of Paul’s letters attest to his acquaintance with Jesus as being through supernatural means. That is, I’m of the opinion Paul was often in direct contact with Jesus after His Ascension and was, thereby, blessed to receive heavenly revelations and Holy Spirit inspiration.
May the above holy scripture enable you dear reader, if you don’t know Jesus, to lead to a personal encounter like Paul and I had with Jesus. Or, if you’re already a believer then may it encourage you to follow Him more closely in 2013.
Dear Richard I tried to post a comment but couldn’t – please pass this to your wife with my greateful thanks You testimony has really moved me very close to tears, I cant really put it into words as it is very close to home, nothing as bad as your experience but I never know when mine is about to ‘go’, I also know that its not Fathers fault and have received healing before but it still happens, like you too I know about forgiveness and this has really made me think- is there some hidden un-forgiveness, I dont know yet,but I will pray, thank you so much for your honesty – you have really blessed me and I praise God for what he has done for you. Lynne
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2012 16:11:04 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks Lynne – and to think I’d fully intended not to go online on this holy day, only to discover your note. Will tell Nina and may Father bless you on His Son’s birthday celebration.