"...the birth of Jesus Christ..."
What a powerful statement God makes through Matthew when recording the birth event of Jesus. He quite literally became 'Emmanuel', God with us (Matthew 1:23); the moment God took on human form, clothed in human flesh, experiencing our every weakness... yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). In what way did He experience human weakness?
As a baby, He was exposed to the human weakness of total dependency on others for His care. Though He was fully God and fully man (read Hebrews 2:5-18), He subjected Himself to the entire human experience (read Philippians 2:6-7). He grew through the stages of development each of us share: learning physical coordination to walk; eye-hand coordination; learning to speak; and developing His understanding of language skills.
As a child, Jesus saw in others the human weakness of discord. He may have felt the pain of scraped knees or hitting His thumb with a hammer; or He may have seen the unleashed anger of others during a childhood game or some competitive sport... and yet He Himself did not sin... neither was He ever held in disfavor by others (read Luke 2:52). Imagine how small children squabble over toys... not so with Jesus - He shared from His supply, even as a child. Think of the childhood quarrels that arise... not so with the King of Kings, Who never fell into disfavor with anyone in those years. He was willing to defer and to share with all.
As an older child, Christ experienced the corrective practice of discipline by His own parents. When His mother and father discovered He was missing from the family caravan that had left Jerusalem a day earlier, they had to return to retrieve their son Who they found teaching in the synagogue. It took them three days to find Him! (Can you imagine how frantic they must have been?) Their son was in the Temple both giving and asking questions with the teachers of God's Word, and they were astonished at His knowledge and use of God's Word. (Luke 2:41-47) One can be certain Joseph and Mary acted as any concerned parent would: giving Jesus appropriate verbal reprimands and discipline, which Jesus followed completely, of course. (Luke 2:48-51)
As a man, Jesus experienced the human weakness of despair. In the garden, Jesus prayed to be spared the brutality of the cross with the commitment to overcome His own human weakness in the words: "...but not my will..." (Luke 22:42) If He had not become fully human, He would never have experieinced the torture, ridicule, and death upon that cross. He had to become as one of His own creation in order to exhibit His perfect eternal love to the world. His birth brought to fulfillment that which had been planned in eternity past and promised so many years before. (For a look at 100 biblical prophesies fulfilled at the cross see the following web article:
Through the reality of Christ birth, we are able to rely on the testimony of His life, experienced as fully human. We can better understand how He humbled Himself to leave heaven's throne and become a person exposed to the same hurts and weaknesses we experience: dependency, discord, discipline, and despair... a life journey that began in a humble stable and led to a humiliating end on a cross.
Thank you, Jesus, for Your wisdom in becoming like your own creation, and for loving us enough to fully experience and endure it all.
Oh, that now He would live through each of us! (Galatians 2:20)