• Mike Diercks

Christmas Pronouns

Pronouns are big news today. The simple pronoun is now front page news as gender identity issue consume the world. It is hard to imagine that there would be lawsuits over such simple words as “he” and “she.” Will you have to change your bathroom signs? What about employee manuals , contracts, etc.? And yet, what a joy to open the Bible and find these simple words bursting forth in the story of Christmas! In this one verse, quoted above, we have four pronouns that establish the purpose of Christmas. They represent all the essential “pronouns” in history —a woman, a man, a Savior, and the people he came to save. She: “She Will Bear a Son” The first gospel pronoun refers to Mary. A young peasant girl from Nazareth. An unremarkable, unknown girl, living in some nondescript village in the back hills of Galilee. Nothing noteworthy about her except for one thing - she found favor with God (Luke 1:30). It’s this one distinction that makes the difference. Out of all the girls throughout all of history, God chose this specific teenager to be the mother of the Son of God. It was absolutely too far-fetched and yet mysteriously believable. You: “You Shall Call His Name Jesus” The second pronoun we find in verse 21 is you. This was a message to Joseph. The same Joseph that was ready to “divorce her quietly” because he was an honorable man. Joseph, who, by all rational thought, believed his wife was pregnant out of wedlock. Joseph was now asked to not only embrace her but to name her baby Jesus. In those days, the task of naming a child belonged uniquely to the father. And he would name him Jesus, contrary to the tradition of using a family name. He: “For He Will Save His People” The third pronoun of the gospel is he. His name reveals the essence of his mission. “He will save his people from their sins.” Never has a child been born to address such a peril - the peril of a justly condemned people. Never has a person so gloriously fulfilled his name. Jesus was God made man in order to save man; he was God entering his own creation to redeem it, to defeat the power of the Devil, to remove the darkness of the curse, and to make all things new. He “will save his people.” He came to actually, truly, irrefutably, and immutably save his people from the peril of divine, eternal damnation. This isn't a question or a wish. This is a statement of fact. He WILL save his people. Their: “From Their Sins” This brings us to the last pronoun of Christmas: their. This pronoun tell us three key things: First, Jesus has his people. They were given to him by the Father before the world began. Second, they are all sinful and continually sinning people. In the angel’s promise, it links the people and the perversion. Our sins offended God. We were justly under His judgment. Finally, Jesus came to save us from our sin. We are the direct object—the recipients of the salvation. We are the reason He was named Jesus.

This is both the Christmas and the gospel story. Jesus, born of a virgin, came to save his sinful people. We have a calling in this Christmas story. Mary was called to bear a son; Joseph was called to name him; Jesus was called to save his own; Sinners are called to claim him.

In the darkness of this present evil age the gospel still shines with all its glorious light: Jesus came for sinners. The gospel pronouns stand!

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