The Introduction of Jesus
Today, if someone of importance was to be introduced to the public, there would be a PR campaign to get his name out to all media outlets, a social media campaign to ensure his name was among trending tweets and reposts, celebrity endorsements and sponsored events, paid promotions by social media influencers, and advertising in every relevant medium. By the time the individual was actually introduced, many people would already be familiar with the name and maybe even have many ‘followers’ and many more who would be interested to see just who this person of importance really was. In today’s society, one can simply be famous for being famous, with no other reason than that.
But regardless of the means of all the promotions and promoters of modern-day celebrities and would-be celebrities, the reality is that this individual is being promoted by other men and women. While some of those men and women doing the promoting might also wield influence, hold some power, and be of some importance themselves [lending credibility and some degree of prestige to the newly-introduced individual], it is nothing in comparison to the introduction of Jesus into this world. The magnitude of that introduction and the ones behind it says something about Jesus Himself, but it should also say something about the credibility and significance of Jesus to us, too. Consider:
His Coming Prophesied. In some introductions of individuals to the world, it is hoped that they will make a name for themselves quickly and make lots of money and everyone around them can get a piece of that lucrative pie. Press notices are sent out long in advance in hopes his name will be mentioned and then repeated often, but the prospective star is at least already alive and has some attributes [i.e., looks and talent] that will inspire hope for a potential bright future. This wasn’t the case with Jesus.
Long before Jesus was even born, it was foretold of His coming into the world as someone of not just importance, but of the greatest importance; He was to be the Savior of the world! More than 2000 years before His birth, a man named Abraham was told, “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). Later, this would be reiterated to him when God told him, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 22:18). Paul would later explain that this “Seed” was the Christ (Gal. 3:16).
About 1000 years before the birth of Jesus, David, the King of Israel, was told by God, “I will set up your seed after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever” (1 Chron. 17:11, 12). The very first time the gospel message was preached it was taught then that Jesus was the fulfillment of that prophecy and was then sitting on the throne (Acts 2:30-33).
Several other prophecies were made about the coming Christ and King, but they were all pointing to, and fulfilled by, Jesus. While men may have some introductions to the world that have powerful backing, none has the power and credibility behind the foretelling of the coming of Jesus the Christ.
Foretold to His Parents. On one occasion, the angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her of the coming conception and birth of the One who would fulfill those prophecies of old, and that she would conceive this child by the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38). At some point after the conception, Joseph was told by an angel that the conception was of the Holy Spirit, and that the One who was to be born would be called “Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:20, 21). To say the least, this would be an overwhelming and incredible introduction to those who would serve as His earthly parents! When you have messengers from God revealing such information, you know (1) it is important, (2) it can be believed without question, and (3) your life will never be the same again. Such was the case with Joseph and Mary.
Announced By An Angel to the Shepherds. At some point after the birth of Jesus, “there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger’” (Luke 2:8-12). They went to Bethlehem, understanding “the Lord has made known” to them those things (Luke 2:15), and found Him, just as they had been told. The shepherds then “made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds” (Luke 2:17, 18). It’s not every day that angels from God come to shepherds in the field, and on this occasion, it was a message of the greatest importance, for the Savior of the world had been born into this earth!
Signified to Others By ‘His’ Star. We find also within Scripture that, some time after the birth of Jesus, “wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him’” (Matt. 2:1, 2). The point to be noted here is twofold, regarding the introduction of Jesus, for He is ‘announced’ to these wise men by this star, and then to Herod and those in Jerusalem by the wise men. Let us begin by considering how these wise men knew of Jesus and His entry into this world.
Much speculation has been made and several possibilities written about in commentaries regarding this star, but let us note this: The wise men told Herod that they had seen “His star in the East,” so whatever it was, they knew it was the sign of the coming of the Christ, the “King of the Jews,” and the Savior of the world. We are told no more than this, so we can only speculate, but we need not speculate; we can know that in some way, they knew the star was sent by God as a sign of His coming, and they did not question it and they did not delay in acting on what they knew. The fact that their words are recorded within Scripture without correction tells us their understanding was correct. The fact the Christ had indeed been born proves it.
Now, when we consider all of these incredible ‘introductions’ of Jesus, we cannot simply ignore any one of them, and certainly not the overall significance to the whole of mankind — and to us individually. Individually, these things that were said about the one who was to come, or who had come, came from God, whether by prophets, visions, or angels. What this should tell us is that this was no insignificant event. It should also cause us to look back and recall this when we read of the later life of Jesus, for when He made His debut to the world as an adult and claimed to be the Messiah, the Savior of the world, and the Son of God, we should understand that, because of how He was introduced to the world [God’s testimony], we can believe those claims to be true and we should then respond accordingly.
But do you know Him? — Steven Harper