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Recognize Your Rescuer

Earlier this month, one of my teammates threw a Christmas party for our staff team.  It was a fun lunch with great food plus a gift exchange and games.  
To get ready for one of the games, we had to send in a baby picture of ourselves.  Then, at the party, we had to guess which baby was which teammate.  I was horrible at this game.  Not just bad but really bad.  I could hardly match anyone to their baby picture.  In fact, it was so hard, that I almost didn’t even choose the right picture for my wife.
I don’t like losing any game, but when the point of the game was shared, I really didn’t want to lose this one.  After the game, we were asked if we would have recognized Jesus, our Savior when He was a baby.  This may seem like a no-brainer like being about to match your wife’s baby picture to her name, but not everyone recognized Jesus when He was in our midst.
Some like the shepherds and the wise men recognized Him when He was young.  Others saw nothing special about the boy born to Mary and Joseph.  As a teenager, Jesus was said to have understanding like no other, but even then He wasn’t seen for who He fully was.  When He taught and healed with power and authority that could only be credited to God, everyone didn’t recognize Him as their Rescuer.  Sure, the disciples followed Him, but others sought to trap and eventually kill Him.  Even as He asked for God to forgive those who crucified Him, He was mocked and taunted.  
Every step of the way, those around Jesus were like me miserably losing the game to recognize the baby who grew to be a man.  This Christmas, I pray that we all see Jesus for who He is.  I love how John described Jesus’ arrival in John 1:14.  “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John makes it simple.  When we see Jesus in the Gospels, we see truth with skin on.  We see God in the flesh.  Jesus was no ordinary person.  He is God.  Even more, He is God who chose to live in our midst so that we can know Him.  He demonstrated His love by leaving heaven for the earth so that we can have a forever relationship with Him.  On top of that Jesus living in our midst shows that He knows us.  He knows our feelings.   He knows our experiences.  He knows what it is to be tired and hungry.  He knows the highs and the lows of life because He made His dwelling among us.  He knows us so that we can know how to become more and more like Him.
This Christmas, recognize the Savior who loved you first and came for you.  Recognize the Savior that is with you and is your ever-present help in times of trouble.  Recognize the leader and Lord of your life - King Jesus.  Recognize the baby in the manger, God’s gift for all.
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