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Take On His Attributes

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

What delight we have in celebrating Christmas! We look to the Christ child and recognize here is the One who was from the beginning and in His coming in human form, the incarnation, we see the awesomeness of God come to life in us! We follow the incarnate Christ in physical growth to Spiritual rebirth from above.

Scripture doesn't tell us much of what we want to know of Jesus' life as a Child. But what the Bible does say, reveals much. His physical life began with Mary. His virgin mother had accepted the words of the angel, that "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35) Joseph was provided as the human father of Jesus.

Being obedient to Jewish law, the parents had the Infant circumcised the 8th day. "His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb." (Luke 2:21 b)

"Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord...and to offer a sacrifice..." Luke 2:22-24)

It was then that Simeon proclaimed: "...for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel."

Also there was Anna the prophetess, who "...spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem." (Luke 2:38 b)

Following and performing all things according to the law of the Lord, the family returned to Nazareth. Scripture says, "And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him." (Luke 2:40)

They traveled to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. When Jesus was twelve years old, the family again went up to Jerusalem. This was when Jesus lingered behind His parents and was found three days later in the temple, "...sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions." (Luke 2:46) Can this be considered the model for Jews today for a boy's Bar Mitzvah, a time when he not only becomes considered "of age", but a time when the boy commits himself fully to following God? Jesus understood this when he questioned His parents, "Why is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" Although His parents did not understand, Jesus nevertheless, "...went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them...And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:49-52)

Aren't we asked to be like Jesus?

    "Godliness cannot be fabricated. We cannot merely pretend to be godly. The quality of godliness comes from God Himself. He must give that quality of life to us. We receive it as we are dead to self and alive to God and as we allow the Spirit to live within us. The fruits of the Spirit are attributes of the character of God. The more we are possessed by God, the more we will act like Him and the more His character will be revealed in our lives." (Paul A. Cedar, The Communicator's Commentary, on 2 Peter 1:6)

So then, our own growth, following the pattern set by Jesus Himself, begins with a total surrender of our selves, consciously welcoming the Father's presence and allowing the Holy Spirit to indwell us and guide, helping us to fully mature in the fruit of the Holy Spirit...God's attributes.

Truly, we are called to sing along with this contemporary song by Crystal Lewis. These are the words I sing :


    To be like Jesus
    To be like Jesus
    All I ask is to be like Him
    All through life's journey
    From earth to glory
    All I ask is to be like Him.

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© Constance Vanides