John Barnett

Missing Jesus and His salvation is seen most vividly in the story of Christmas. Those closest to the coming of Christ were most untouched by it! In both Luke and Matthew's record we find that you can grow up in the shadow of God's Temple, hear God's Word every day of your life, meet the wise men themselves, explain the Old Testament to them - and still miss everything, if it is not inside your heart and mind.

Christmas is a time to remember that Jesus came to save us from sin and live within us. Beware of getting so close in every way - but in your heart, to Christ. Beware of being acquainted with Christ but never knowing Him. Webster's dictionary says that knowledge has three levels: recognition, acquaintance, and experience. Knowing Christ means a personal experience of His grace that leads us to partake of His salvation.

How close can you get to Jesus and still be too far away? That is what the religious leaders of Christ's day demonstrate to us this Christmas. So close they got, and yet so far away they remained. It is possible to be as close as them, and yet miss all that Christ and Christmas have to offer.

Matthew 2 and Luke 1 introduce us the chief priests and scribes, with daily immersion in the Scriptures, endless hours of singing and serving, and constant exposure to all that God had left to point to Him and His salvation - they only held God's Word externally - never in their wills and souls. God was only near in their mouths - and not in their hearts.

Christmas is a time to remember that Jesus came to save us from sin and live within us. Beware of getting so close in every way - but in your heart, to Christ. Beware of being acquainted with Christ but never knowing Him.

Taken from "How Close Can You Get - And Miss it All" by Discover the Book Ministries (used by permission).