Sunday July 14, 2024 a.d.Epep 7, 1740 a.m.

Who is that Wonderful Baby?

The Manger

Who is the baby that was born in Bethlehem today?
Who is the baby whose birthplace was declared by a wonderful star?
Who is the baby whose birth was celebrated by heaven and earth?
Who is the baby whose birth troubled Jerusalem and its king, while giving joy to the simple people?
Who is the baby whom the magi worshiped, and to whom they offered their gifts?

He is the Christ who was born from the Father before all ages – His Divinity; born in the fullness of time from the Virgin Mary – His humanity. Christ is the fulfillment of the prophecies; the hearts of the believers were attached to Him, waiting for salvation, expecting the coming of Christ the Savior, the Son of God and the Son of Man; Christ the descendant of David by the flesh; Christ the eternal king.

He is the incarnate Son of God, as the angel said, “Therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God… and will be called the Son of the Highest” (Lk. 1:35,32) Born from the Father before all ages, “The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’” (Ps. 2:7). And that is what was declared to the disciples, which they tested, and testified for (Mt. 4:33; 16:16). That was also the testimony of the centurion at the moment of the death of Christ on the cross. (Mt. 27:54) He is Christ the eternal king, as the angel said, “The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Lk. 1:32,33) This was also the prophecy of Daniel, “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people (The kingdom of Christ the king); it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands (The virgin birth of Jesus from St. Mary), and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold… And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” (Da. 2:44,45,35)

In His incarnation, Christ became the Son of Man, and He accepted to be called by that title in many occasions (Mt. 8:20; 12:40; 13:37; 16:13,27; 17:9,22; 20:18; 24:30; 25:31; 26:64; etc…)

Regarding this Wonderful Baby, Isaiah said, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever.” (Is. 9:6,7) The Son of God incarnated to become the Son of Man, so that He may make us the children of God. He carried our human nature in its most perfect form, without separation, mingling, or changes in His divine nature.

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given,” Christ was born today in Bethlehem so that He may share with us our life. St. Paul says, “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hb. 2:15) And hence, He annihilated death by His death on the cross by that body that He took today… He died as a king, and He started His kingdom on the cross, the throne of His divine love; about that Isaiah said, “And the government will be upon His shoulder”

“And His name will be called Wonderful” His birth was wonderful, and His death was wonderful as well… He was wonderful in accepting to be tempted by Satan, and in His victory and conquering him on the cross. He was also wonderful in His teachings and sayings, wonderful in His deeds and miracles, in His resurrection and ascension; He will also be wonderful in His second coming. He is also wonderful for His person that is beyond understanding, as He was given a name above all name so that every knee that is in heaven and on earth and under earth should bow at His name (Philippians 2:9-11) He was given a wonderful name so that we may be saved, as He was called Jesus “for He will save His people from their sins.” (Mt. 1:21) This is the name of salvation that is for Christ the Lord. (Lk. 2:11) “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) The disciples knew the power of the name of Jesus, by which they were preaching, and by which they performed miracles, cured the sick, cast daemons, and raised the dead. (Acts 3:6,16; 9:17,34; 16:18) This led the church to hold that name dear, as the secret of its power and victory over Satan, a strength that is offered to the believer to live in victory over sin, Satan, and all the powers of darkness. And His name will be called “Counselor” for He is “the wisdom of God” (1 Co. 1:24) “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Co. 2:3) or as it was translated in the Septuagint, “The messenger of the great counsel”. What is that great counsel for whom the Father sent Him? It is the declaration of the divine secret for humankind, to present the Father whom no one knows except the Son, and to whom the Son wills to declare. That is what Jesus expressed in His talk with the Father, saying, “I have manifested Your name to the men” (Jn. 17:6) as He manifested His name by words and deeds, and crowned all that by achieving salvation, and declaring the eternal kingdom.

And His name will be “Mighty God”, a true God from a true God, one with the Father in essence, and equal to Him. And for He is a mighty God, He is the one capable of renewing our nature; He is the only one capable of covering the sin of the whole world. His divine power was proved by His supernatural actions, which were topped by His victory over Satan on the cross.

And His name will be called “Everlasting Father”. He offered us a unique loving fatherhood, as He is a Mighty God and Everlasting Father at the same time. From His love to us, He does not call us slaves any more, but children (Jn. 15:15) that St. John wonders from that love saying, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God” (1 Jn. 3:1) as He gave us the power to become the children of God, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (Jn. 1:12) “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God… and if children, then heirs-- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” (Ro. 8:14,17) Through this unique fatherhood we enjoy the power of Christ as a mighty God in us, and carry His capabilities in us as His children, and members of His body. In other words, in Jesus Christ, the power of God that is beyond understanding is manifested with His utmost love, so we say with St. Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

His name will be also called “Prince of Peace,” and “King of Peace” (1 Th. 5:33) who offered us His precious blood for our reconciliation with the Father (Eph. 2:14-18) so that by Him we may have inner peace. (Ro. 5:1) Peace with God, with ourselves, and with our fellow humans.

How beautiful is it for this wonderful baby to be called “Immanuel,” as Isaiah prophesied and said, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Is. 7:14) This prophecy, which was brought to the center light by St. Matthew. (Mt. 1:22,23) Immanuel, (God is with us) He is with us all the time, not just in the eternal life (Jn. 17:24) but on earth too, as He says, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:20)… Not just with us, but He dwells in us, as He says, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (Jn. 14:23) And He is in our midst, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Mt. 18:20) He even abides in us, and we in Him, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” (Jn. 6:56) Isn’t the presence of God in our midst a proof of His love to us? Our sense that He is present with us gives us the strength, and the trust; it also gives us the timidity from committing sin in the presence of God, which saves us from falling into temptation.

He is the Son of David, “Prince and King,” not on earth, bound by time, but to reign an everlasting, and spiritual reign over the throne of David His father, (Lk. 1:32,33) and over the hearts of His people for ever, there is no end for His government and His peace. (Is. 9:7) He reigns by truth and righteousness, and makes us to act by truth and righteousness as well.