Why Do Some People Only Want A Big God?

Text: John 1:1-18

In the name of Jesus. Amen. 

Some people only want a big and awesome God.  They only want a big God to do big and awesome things for them.  They believe that if God is really really big – bigger than everything else – then nothing can overtake Him.  And so, all of their religious talk is clothed with how big, great, awesome, mighty, and powerful God is.  

Now, to a certain extent, they are right.  The Psalms talk extensively about the might, power, and greatness of God.  However, with this in mind, what do we do with the story of Christmas?  How are we to understand this in light of the fact that God comes to us and lies in a manger as a helpless baby?  If God is so awesome and big and mighty, what do we do a tiny baby in a tiny stinky feeding trough?  

It is even more problematic to hear that the Son of God willingly located Himself into a human cell smaller than the eye can see in a young Jewish girl named, Mary.  You see, even though the Son of God was before the world and was always in the world as God, He grew in Mary’s womb just like you and me.  Like you, the Son of God grew legs, arms, and fingernails in the womb. And so, the point is that the God who is so big and awesome chose to be meager and small as He came to us that first Christmas.   

Now, perhaps one would think that as Jesus grew to be older, He would grow to have outstanding physical characteristics.  However, from the reading of the scriptures, it is clear that Jesus was probably of average size for a man living in that day.  Furthermore, He did not have an overly impressive form, or boundless majesty, or a profound appearance that would cause us to take a second look at him.  

Again, this is problematic for those who only want a big and awesome God.  The reason is that a tiny and insignificant God – according to the standards of the world – is a God that can be easily overtaken, extinguished, or suppressed.  

Dear friends, the Gospel of John tells us otherwise, though.  Listen to John again, 

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.     

In other words, when Jesus was born that first Christmas, Light appeared.  In fact, the Light shined in the darkness, and the darkness was unable to overcome the Light. 

It is important to take notice of a small word that John uses in chapter 1, verse 5.  The word is katelaben.  It means: to take, suppress, seize, overcome, attain, lay hold, or catch.   In other words, John is saying that the darkness cannot take, suppress, seize, overcome, attain, lay hold, or catch the Light.  Indeed, the darkness cannot extinguish the Light.  The darkness cannot eclipse the Light or capture the Light, as a thief who runs away with stolen goods.  The Light shines and will continue to shine despite the darkness.  

And so, the fact that the Son of God comes into this dark world as a baby born to a no-name Virgin girl in a no-name little town, in a no-name cave next to a crowded inn, does not matter one bit with respect to the shroud of the world’s darkness.  The darkness cannot overcome the Light – it cannot overcome Jesus.  

The reason why this is true is that the Baby lying in the manger is no ordinary baby.  Sure, the Babe lying in that manger looked like any other baby born in the first century; however, that Babe lying in the manger was the Divine Logos.  

Listen up; the Babe in the manger is the eternal Word.  The Babe in the manger is the Son of God.  The Babe in the manger was in the beginning – before time, matter, and space existed.  Everything was created through the Babe in the manger; nothing – not one thing! – came into being without Him.  The earth, moon, stars, and universe were made by the Babe in the manger.  In this vast world and universe, the Babe is the center.  He is that which is stable.  In that Babe in the manger, all things in heaven and on earth were created, things invisible and visible.  Whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers – all things have been created through that Babe in the manger.  The Babe in the manger is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together.

And so, hear this: the darkness cannot extinguish the Light.  The darkness cannot seize the Christ - not due to His size or bigness but because of who He really is.  Hear this loud and clear: evil cannot overcome Christ, the gates of Hades will not overcome Christ’s church, and darkness will never snuff out the Light.  

Baptized Saints, Christ the Lord came into our messed-up world full of blindness and sin and rooted with evil.  He came and was not overcome by darkness.  That’s the message of Christmas.  That is the message of Christianity that is proclaimed to you this day.  And nothing is surer than this message.  You have it on the highest authority that Christ has been born, and it is good news to be received with great joy. 

And so, you don’t exclusively need a big and awesome God that is supposedly bigger and more awesome than darkness and evil.  No, that is not how this works.  Instead, you need the God who became small and low for you.  You need Christ, who left the great majesty and awesome glory of heaven for you.  You need the Christ who came in humble and lowly ways and still comes to you this day in lowly and humble ways – through a morsel of bread and a sip of wine - for the forgiveness of your sins. Again, you do not exclusively need a big and awesome God that is supposedly bigger and more awesome than darkness and evil.  Instead, you already have the Christ, who cannot be extinguished or overtaken by darkness.  You have the One who entered the darkness to conquer it for you.  

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 

Merry Christmas.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

CLICK HERE to 'Like' on Facebook
CLICK HERE to 'Follow' on Twitter
CLICK HERE to Subscribe on iTunes
CLICK HERE to Subscribe on Podbean