God With Us
Do you ever think about what it cost God to be with us?
We used to get what I’d call serial crank calls” from a man who was beside himself at the thought of God coming to earth in the flesh. He would leave long messages asking us in various colorful ways if we really believed that God would put Himself in a position of having dirty diapers.
Many Jewish people are offended by the idea of an incarnate God because they mistakenly think it means that a person could become God. But our serial crank caller understood it better. And he was even more offended!
Is it zeal for God’s holiness that causes some people to disbelieve the lengths God went to in order to rescue us? Maybe. Or maybe not.
Perhaps you’ve read a book called The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. It is a fictional book that is full of facts. The “letters” are hypothetical communications from one demon to another. One thing that comes through over and over is the hellish disgust over God’s love for humanity. At times the demons seem almost embarrassed for God, that He would lower Himself to care for such squalid and pathetic creatures as us.
What Hell cannot understand—nor, for that matter can humanity, except by God’s grace—is that God did not lower Himself by condescending to come to us in the flesh. He lifted us. Is it any wonder that angels desire to look into these things? (1 Peter 1:12)
God suffered the dirt and stench, not only of physical waste, but of proximity to spiritually rotting humanity. Have you ever wondered how He could stand the smell of sin breathing down His holy neck?
He came to have blistered and dirty feet, to be tempted and to put aside His own longing. He came to be rejected by people who were not worthy to set eyes on Him, let alone pass judgment.
This is the mystery that we will not fully understand until we see Him face to face—that our God endured for us. How can we comprehend the perfect One having to endure all the suffering He never deserved? Yet Jesus, God incarnate, endured everything that was beneath Him in order to lift us up to heaven.
To those who do not know Him, the Incarnation may seem like a ludicrous indignity. But through it all, God lost nothing. He used what some think is an indignity to bring dignity to our fallen race.
This love which demons mock and most humans cannot bring themselves to trust has the power to purify. When light touches darkness, the darkness becomes light. When God touches us, He does not become dirty but we become clean. When we trust His promises, He adopts us as His own.
Why are some so agitated by the love God has lavished upon us? Maybe because the only choice we are left with is to be embarrassed—or humbled—by His glorious unmitigated acts of grace on our behalf. Embarrassment is a denial of just how wonderful God is. Humility is the only right response to a God who has humbled Himself.
God grant us the humility to appreciate, truly and deeply, all that His Advent means.
Joyful, joyful we adore Him!
Newsletter Editor, Missionary
Ruth Rosen, daughter of Jews for Jesus founder Moishe Rosen, is a staff writer and editor with Jews for Jesus. Her parents raised her with a sense of Jewishness as well as "Jesusness." Ruth has a degree in biblical studies from Biola College in Southern California and has been part of our full-time staff since 1979. She's toured with Jewish gospel drama teams and participated in many outreaches. She writes and edits quite a few of our evangelistic resources, including many broadside tracts. One of her favorites is, "Who Needs Politics." Ruth also helps other Jewish believers in Jesus tell their stories. That includes her father, whose biography she authored in what she says was "one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life." For details, or to order your copy of Called to Controversy the Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen and the Founding of Jews for Jesus, click here. Or click here for a video desription of the biography. For the inside story and "extras" about the book, check out our Called to Controversy Facebook page. Ruth also writes shorter "faith journey" stories in books like Jewish Doctors Meet the Great Physician as well as in booklets like From Generation to Generation: A Jewish Family Finds Their Way Home, which you can download for free here. She edits the Jews for Jesus Newsletter and RealTime for Christians who want to pray for our ministry and our missionaries. In her spare time, Ruth enjoys writing fiction and playing with her dog, Annie, whom she "rescued" from a shelter. Ruth says, "Some people say that rescue dogs have issues, and that is probably true. If dogs could talk, they'd probably say that people have issues, and that is probably even more true. I'm glad that God is in the business of rescuing people, (and dogs) despite—or maybe because of—all our issues." You can follow Ruth Rosen on facebook or as RuthARosen on twitter.