Sunday, February 5, 2023

The Greatest Gift

By David R. Ferguson


    William Sydney Porter, better known as the short story author O. Henry, said, “The magi, as you know, were wise men – wonderfully wise men who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents.” Although I enjoy the stories with their clever plot twists from the pen of O. Henry, in this instance I disagree with the conclusion of Mr. Porter. It wasn’t the wise men who invented the giving of “Christmas” presents, it was God Himself. He did so when He gave us His only begotten Son. This was the best “Christmas” gift ever. The wise men merely continued the tradition.

    In Jesus, this supreme offering from the Father, we see the glory of God on display. But what is that glory? Did it come with a lot of pomp and circumstance, as Paul saw demonstrated as he declared his defense and the gospel of Jesus Christ before King Agrippa, Bernice and Festus? Did it come with fanfare? No. God’s glory is demonstrated through His humility. In Jesus Christ we see Someone Who was willing to put aside all the trappings of what it means to be God, the Creator of the universe, in order to reach out to us. And it’s this humility that makes the conception, birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ such glorious events indeed. As Paul wrote so eloquently summing up the life and purpose of Jesus Christ, “Christ Jesus: Who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the Cross” (Philippians 2:5-8). In Jesus Christ we see God coming to Earth and being born in a lowly manger. The God of Heaven, even through the lowly birth He chose, demonstrated how He intended to live a life of service. As Jesus later would declare, “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

    In Jesus, God showed up as one of us. Even one of His names, Immanuel, means “God With Us”. The One Who made it all, the One Who holds it all together, the One Whom we call the Creator showed up humbly, served His entire life meekly, and gave His life freely, and all that you and I might lay claim to eternal life through His shed blood. There is something amazing about being created in the image of God, being created to be in a relationship with God, and to be someone that God finds value. You do have great worth, indeed, for God saw fit to give you His one and only begotten Son! Never forget that.

- David R. Ferguson preaches for the Mentor Church of Christ in Mentor, OH.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: or

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