I love that we have 4 gospel accounts. It shows us such a more unique and complete picture of who Jesus is. It's not 4 copies of the same story. It's 4 different perspectives on a very compelling narrative. Each gospel writer came from a different background, had a different profession, and so naturally, what they took away from Jesus and the stories of Jesus had a different focus.
The gift of having multiple perspectives plays a crucial role in telling the story of Christmas.
For example, in Matthew, Jesus is referred to as the Son of David. The first chapter is an entire genealogy of Jesus going back generations and generations proving Jesus came from the line of King David. Jesus is in fact royalty.
It is in the narrative of Jesus that we find the story of the wise men.
These wise men, Magi, spiritual priests, or whatever else they have been called, see a star rise in the sky and know that something important has happened. They travel such a long distance to see this king that had been born, to bow down, worship him, and give him extravagant gifts.
It only makes sense that in this narrative of Jesus' life where Matthew is proving to his readers that Jesus is King would he include a story where from the very beginning Jesus is seen and known as royalty.
In 12 verses we see that Jesus is:
- King of the Jewish people (2:2)
- Worthy of worship (2:2, 10-11)
- The promised Messiah (2:4)
- Ruler and Shepherd of God's people (2:6)
This is a stark contrast to the story we read about Jesus in the book of Luke. In Luke, Jesus is called the Son of Man and we see a vivid picture of his humanity. He came as a baby, helpless and innocent, into a dark world full of troubles and trials just like us.
Here, we read about his humble beginnings. Born in a stable, amongst the animals.
Something amazing I love about this story is who is included on this very special occasion. Multitudes of Angels in glorious splendor come from heaven to share the good news. And who do they tell first? Shepherds.
Shepherds, considered to be lowest class, outcasts, dirty, crooks and thieves, are the first to see our baby Saviour. In this moment, we see God's call to all humanity that Jesus is for everyone. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from. Jesus is an invitation for everyone to come to God.
With these two Christmas stories, we find a more complete picture of the significance of the Christmas story. Hebrews 4:15-16 says, “ For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
We see that Jesus, while being on the throne, does not separate himself from us, but in his kindness, extends his grace to us to come near to him. He is King, with all authority and power. He is also human, able to identify in our weaknesses inviting to all to come. So let us all come to Jesus this Christmas knowing that we can all find acceptance and love and peace because he came for us all.
-Written by Jake Estes