Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the “reason” for the season, but what does that mean? Is that just a cool little saying we use each December or does it have a deeper meaning that should impact our lives all year long?
We say we believe the “story” of Christmas, but what does that mean? Do we like the story about the baby Jesus because it’s something that fits in with the annual celebration or does it have a deeper meaning that should impact our lives all year long?
The Bible makes an interesting claim about Jesus Christ:
“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:22-23
“… where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” Colossians 3:11
A professor I studied with years ago often said, “all means all and that’s all all means.” I think about that when I read Paul’s Church letters. He emphasized the “All-ness” of Jesus Christ. That was most appropriate given the variety of worldviews of the 1st century AD. It is still appropriate today as we share the Christian worldview with people.
However, I wonder if Christians understand what we’re saying when we quote Scripture and claim that Jesus “fills all in all,” “Christ is all and in all,” “it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,” “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” and “who is the head of all principality and power.” We love to focus on the “All-ness” of Christ’s supernatural power (e.g. All-Powerful, All-Knowing) and the impact we believe that Truth should have on people, but do we honestly consider the impact that Truth should have on us?
If Jesus Christ truly “fills all in all” and “is all and in all,” then that should weigh heavy on our minds and hearts every day. We Christians love our little slogans (e.g. Jesus is the Reason for the Season, What Would Jesus Do?, Got Jesus?, Too Blessed To Be Stressed, No King but King Jesus), but have we considered seriously the meaning those words have on our lives? I don’t think so.
What I want for Christmas this year is for all of us to understand what Christmas really means. If God really did what He said He did, then Christmas holds a much deeper and higher meaning than we may have ever understood.
Let’s look at Paul’s claim in Ephesians 1 that Jesus Christ “fills all in all” in the context Paul intended it. He had just presented one of the clearest and most powerful presentations of God’s Eternal Plan that exists in the Bible. Then, Paul told believers what he wanted them to do with that presentation.
“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understandingbeing enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:15-23
You might say that’s what Paul wanted for Christmas. He wanted Christians to “know what is the hope of His calling.” He wanted them to know “what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” He wanted them to know “what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe.”
Why did Paul want them to know those spiritual truths? Because Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of God in Heaven, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” Because God placed all things under Jesus’ feet, “and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
If we really believe that Jesus is all of what the apostles wrote about Him, then we will respond to Him differently this Christmas and every Christmas for the rest of our lives. We will not hesitate to obey Him. We will use every opportunity to worship Him. We will look for every conceivable way to make Him known in every avenue of life.
Here’s one last question – what do you believe Jesus wants for Christmas this year? It is a celebration of His “birthday” after all. What is on His Christmas wish list?
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” John 14:21
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:9-10
“… make disciples of all the nations …” Matthew 28:19
“… repent and do the first works …” Revelation 2:5
If Jesus really is who He says he is, we will do what He tells us to do – every day, every time.
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”