Why did God send his Son to the Earth as a baby?
"I think a baby is a sign of love," says Casey, age 9. "God sent our Savior as a baby because when babies are born, everybody thinks they are special," says Buck, age unknown.
Yes, babies are special signs of love, but there's more to the story, says Richard, 9: "God sent our Savior as a baby because kings would want to kill him. If he was big, he would be easily tracked."
Richard is on the right track because an angel warned Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt. Herod, the Jewish king, wasn't exactly thrilled when wise men from the East showed up asking, "Where is he who has been born King of the Jews?"
If Jesus had come with great fanfare, King Herod could have sent his soldiers to a specific house in Bethlehem. Instead, he ordered the massacre of all children in Bethlehem 2 years and younger.
"God sent our Savior as a baby because he wanted to show us that God is our Mighty God and that even a baby could lead us to the right path," says Karly, 11.
"The mystery of godliness" is a biblical phrase used to describe the ultimate paradox. Who can comprehend the depth of the descent Jesus experienced when he left the glories of heaven where angels continually praise God to enter a world dominated by people who live apart from God?
Almighty God experienced the limitations of humanity. Jesus grieved over people who rejected him and his mission to save the world from being separated from his Father. His own disciples, like others, thought the Son of God would come in great power and majesty to set up an earthly kingdom. And, of course, they weren't above jockeying for position in his kingdom.
God's way is different, says Stewart, 12: "If Jesus didn't come as a baby, people would be convinced immediately that he was the Son of God."
During his ministry, Jesus spoke of those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. God's ways are often hidden. The Bible pulls back the curtain on another realm where an angel announced the birth of the Savior to shepherds watching over their flocks by night.
The greatest drama in all history unfolded that night in Bethlehem, yet VIPs were conspicuously absent. The Roman emperor probably had never heard of Bethlehem. Even for the majority of residents in this small, obscure town, it was just a routine night.
Spiritual reality is like that. Usually, it doesn't come with flashing neon lights. It's subtle, small and seemingly insignificant. Those with spiritual eyes see it.
"I think God came as a baby because He wanted us to know that He is humble and a servant," says Will, 11.
Will's comments remind me of the Apostle Paul's summary of Jesus' incarnation: "Christ himself was like God in everything. He was equal with God. But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be held on to. He gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born to be a man and became like a servant.
"And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God. He obeyed even when that caused his death -- death on a cross" (Philippians 2:6-8).
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.
Point to ponder: Almighty God sent his Son to this Earth as a baby born into humble circumstances. Scripture to remember: "He gave up his place with God and made himself nothing" (Philippians 2:7). Questions to consider: If God's Son humbled himself for us, shouldn't we be more concerned about His reputation than our own? Are you embarrassed to let people know you are a Christian?
Inspire your children by reading this column with them and visiting the Kids Talk About God website at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version and International Children's Bible.
Copyright © 2003 Carey Kinsolving