Bible Society of South Africa
Danny Fourie

God’s grace, love and power – Day 5

God is great and small, far and near

Bible text(s)

10but the angel said to them, “Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people.

We grow up with the idea that God is great and much bigger than us. The psalms portray God as the King of the universe who reigns with power and majesty (Psalm 111:2-3). When God came to earth, he did it in a way that no one expected. God did not come as the pinnacle of greatness, but as the ultimate smallness. God, who holds the stars and planets in his hands, became a human embryo, a baby wrapped in cloths.

We also picture God as the Eternal. He has been there through all the ages and will be there for ages to come. If we compare our human temporariness with God’s divine eternity, it feels as though he is inaccessible and far away. This fills us with fear. But with the birth of Jesus, God bridged the distance between his eternity and our temporary existence. God became one of us. Therefore the angels say: “Do not be afraid.” As a child is accessible, so God became accessible.

God took a huge risk in coming to us in Jesus. Would people recognise him as God? At the time people said: “Isn’t he the carpenter’s son?” (Matthew 13:55). They also said: “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46). God relinquished his majesty, glory and power when he became human. Who expected that?

No wonder the people of that time were surprised. They marvelled at the way in which God acted, in the way he took such a risk – but he did it because he wanted to demonstrate his love for you and me.

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