Christmas is about the baby that changed the world. His story could be viewed through Mary’s eyes, through Joseph’s eyes, through the wise men’s or the shepherds’ eyes. Because you all know the basic story, instead, throughout December we will look at heaven’s perspective on Christmas. The New Testament book of Colossians will answer four questions: “Why did He come?”, “Who is He?”, “What does He want for us?” and “What does he want from us?”. In Colossae, false teachers had come on the scene who brought in a variety of false Jewish and Gentile teachings. On the one hand, they demanded that church members keep the Jewish Law, which no one can actually keep. On the other hand, they brought in some Greek philosophy that said that only “spirit” is good; everything material is evil. Of course, this created a problem with the idea that God could come in the flesh, because, according to them, flesh is evil. These false teachers were puffed up with pride. They had this sense of elitism and sophistication because they had this “higher knowledge.” Paul wrote the Colossian letter to correct this bad theology, and in so doing, gives us heaven’s perspective on why Jesus came.
 Jesus left heaven to give us a hope that will never disappoint (Colossians 1:3-8). Paul gave thanks to God for the Colossians’ faith in Christ and love for fellow believers. Their faith and love sprang from their Christian “hope”—which refers to “that which is absolutely certain, unchangeable, definite and true about the future” (see John 14:1-3). Paul said that the Christian gospel (literally “good news”)—contrary to what these false teachers are saying—is true and is consistently bearing fruit. It was transforming lives, love was growing, needs were being met, joy and peace were replacing conflict, bondage, and addictions. The gospel is the message that God came in the form of a little baby, fully human, fully God. He grew up and lived an absolutely sinless life. He revealed what the Father is like. He is full of truth and grace—and he is coming back again. This good news can energize us to keep going when life’s difficulties come our way—the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, the death of a marriage, a cancer diagnosis. We have a living hope that will never disappoint.
 Jesus left heaven to reveal God’s perfect plan for each of our lives (Colossians 1:9-11). Paul prayed that the Colossian Christians would be overflowing with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. He wants them to have skill in living—God’s perspective on relationships, on money, on how to raise your kids in a deteriorating culture. Spiritual wisdom helps us know how to deal with adversity. Paul says that when we have God’s wisdom and understanding, we’ll please God in all respects, bear fruit, increase in our knowledge of God, and have patience and God’s power for living in difficult circumstances.
 Jesus left heaven to rescue us from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:12-14). He qualifies us for an inheritance in heaven; he named us in his will! The darkness God rescues us from is inside us all, and he brings us into his kingdom.
Jesus came because he loves you and wants to have a personal, intimate relationship with you forever. That is why he came. That is why we celebrate the baby. When God took on human flesh he was born in a common stable among the animals. My prayer is that during this Christmas season you will make room for Jesus in your heart.
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
- What most amazes you about God’s plan revealed in the Christmas story?
- Which of the three reasons for Jesus leaving heaven resonate most deeply with you?
- How will heaven’s perspective of Christmas transform how you experience Christmas?
- For whom did Jesus come? How will they know about him? What should you do?
TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large, that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)