Tim Keller | December 25, 1994
Looking at the family tree of Jesus Christ in Matthew’s book, we see four key things about Jesus and what Christmas really means. This shows us that God takes His time to keep His promises, steps into our world to carry out His plan, wants to give us a deep spiritual peace, and through Jesus, breaks down the barriers we set up in society. All of these big ideas are told through the family line of Christ.
1. God takes his time
God’s clock may not run like ours, but He never forgets a promise, just like He didn’t forget to send the Messiah even after 400 years without a prophet. Christmas might remind us of promises that weren’t kept, but it’s really about how God’s promises happen in ways we could never guess. Even when we mess up and face the consequences, God is still working out His perfect plan.
2. God broke into history
Christmas is about how God stepped into our world—it’s not just a nice story or a personal belief. Jesus Christ turned the myth into a fact, being the ultimate truth behind all the other stories. His birth shows that all the stories are true and that we can change and be set free.
3. To give us Sabbath rest
The idea of Sabbath rest, which comes from the Old Testament, is symbolized by the number seven, standing for the Sabbath day, Sabbath year, and Jubilee year. These all point to a bigger promise of spiritual rest that God made and kept through Jesus Christ. Jesus gives us a deep peace in our souls through the gospel. The gospel shows us our mistakes, but also the deep love and acceptance we have in Christ, giving us true peace and the freedom from having to hide or prove ourselves.
4. To destroy all of the world’s pet distinctions and categories
The family tree of Jesus is special because it includes women, showing the big change for women that the Messiah brought. It also includes non-Jews, showing that Jesus accepts everyone, no matter their family background, nationality, or race. Plus, the fact that there were sinners in the family line shows that Jesus’ love and grace is for everyone, making our status, race, and job unimportant when it comes to being a Christian.
1 John, Part 2
In 1 John, we see how important love and growth are, showing us that we need to care for each other and keep growing in our faith. The book warns about the dangers of chasing after the things of this world and reminds us to stick to the truth of the Gospel. It also talks about deep ideas like being born of God, experiencing God’s love, and what marks a Christian, especially holiness.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer