Who did Jesus come for?
The first visitors of Jesus covered a broad spectrum of people. We have the shepherds, who were poor, uneducated and likely represented the lowest end of the economic spectrum of that time. Then we have Magi, who seemed to represent a kingly class, educated and wealthy.
The shepherds appeared to have nothing to offer the newly born Messiah other than themselves and their faith in believing that what the angels had told them was true. The Magi, on the other hand, were learned astrologers who studied ancient writings and the heavens to discover the rising of a new star. Some scripture scholars believe that they were of a Persian priestly class.
The angel told the shepherds that Jesus had come for all people. “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.” (Luke 2:10)
The “good news” was not just for the shepherds or the Jewish people, but for all people. All people included the unbelieving and pagan world of the Roman and Greek cultures; it includes people who are Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu. It includes the atheists of our day.
Whether they know it or not, Jesus is everyone’s savior.
The prophet Isaiah says that Jesus came for the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, those who mourn and grieve, and those who are in despair and darkness. He says that Jesus wants to give them a crown of beauty and a garment of praise so that they may become oaks of righteousness. (Is. 61:1-3)
While Jesus walked this earth he did exactly what Isaiah said. Today, he expects to continue to do this, but through us by the power of his Holy Spirit.
For us, “everyone” includes the check-out clerk in the grocery store, the telephone solicitor who we hang up on, the person at work who is difficult to get along with, the person asking for money outside the metro station, the person who talks during church services or the children who can’t sit still. “Everyone” includes those who think different politically than we do and even the terrorists who wish to do us harm.
Lord, when I see people you put in my life, let me look upon them with the understanding that you came for them just as you came for me. It doesn’t matter who they are, what their religion, race, position or financial status is. Your offer of salvation and new life is available to them. Let me use the opportunity to introduce them to you first through my conduct and second by my words as you give me the opportunity.
John’s Gospel tells us that all who accept you, Lord Jesus, and believe on your name will become sons of God. (John 1:12)