The Adorable Christ
I was once reading a sermon by Charles Spurgeon where he referenced Jesus as “adorable”. I instantly fell in love! What a neat way to allude to Christ. In our modern English, when we hear the word “adorable” it often brings to mind babies, puppies, or some other tiny and/or fluffy object. According to my oldest daughter even a small, single egg frying pan is “adorable”. Oh, how far we have drifted from the original intention of the word.
At its root, something that is adorable is worthy of veneration, or in other words “divine worship”. While babies, puppies, and teensy frying pans may be cute, I wouldn't put them in the “divine worship” category. The belongs to Jesus alone.
One of my favorite Christmas carols is O Come All Ye Faithful. I love it so much that my favorite Christmas tee shirt is emblazoned with the phrase “Oh come let us adore Him” (and in all honesty, I'm pretty bummed out that it is now time to pack it up for another 11 months until it is appropriate to rock it again). This year, every time that I heard that song I would think of Charles Spurgeon and his “adorable” Christ. I know this is my heart’s cry as a follower of Jesus. I want to adore Him!
Can you imagine what it would have been like for the shepherds on that first Christmas night? What an honor! What a privilege to stand before the adorable newborn King (in both senses of the word) and well...adore Him. How easy it would have been!
How easy it would have been for Mary while holding her wonderful, adorable miracle baby in her arms to adore Him. And for Joseph while looking into the face of the Son of God to do so in adoration. For Simeon and for Anna, who had been waiting their whole lives to finally come face to face with their Messiah, the adoration would have been effortless.
I pray that your Christmas season was filled with adoration for our Christ. I pray that within all of the hustle and the bustle, all of the attention-stealing details and busyness that you made time to go and adore your King.
For He is the King that came! The King that dwelt among us. The King that saw the plight of His people, a people that He loved dearly, and He chose to deny Himself and to be their deliverer. Christmas is the celebration of the beginning of the most darling, most selfless rescue missions in the history of forever! That's who came into that stable on the first Christmas night, a warrior of otherworldly proportions, God Himself emptied and made man (who is still man)! This wasn't only a 33-year mission, this had eternal consequences! Through His sacrifice we are forever changed, yet so is He. Word became flesh and Word stayed flesh, perfected, the first of many brethren but flesh just the same. This is the King that we choose to adore!
I think it's natural to consider the peaceful, sleeping nativity Jesus—the one that is wrapped neatly in swaddling clothes and lying in the manger—and call him adorable. But what about the Jesus that is flipping tables in the synagogue, the one that took the time to go and make a whip, what about disruptive Jesus? Is He adorable too? Or what about uncompromising Jesus, the Jesus that won't deviate from His plan so that you can first accomplish your own? Do we look to Him in adoration? Do I?
I think the account in John 6 is one of the best pictures of choosing to adore Jesus even when it's not popular, even when it doesn't make sense. Jesus knew what He was saying was offensive to human sensibilities. The whole eat my flesh and drink my blood bit has some pretty serious blowback. But when standing in the face of the fallout caused by offensive Jesus, when many of His disciples deserted Him, Peter chose to stay.
In John 6:66-67, we are told, “At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, "Are you also going to leave?"” This leads to my favorite response in all of scripture!
“Simon Peter replied, "Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God."” -John 6:68-69
How powerful! How beautiful! Peter stayed! Even though he didn't understand, he understood enough to know that there was nowhere else to go, that his understanding wasn't a prerequisite to following. Offensive Jesus was just as worthy of adoration as nativity Jesus!
You see we don't get to pick and choose what parts of Jesus we want to include in our worship. Either we adore Him all or we adore Him not.
So as we transition out of the Christmas season I pray that your adoration stays—that it transitions not to apathy or disregard. I pray that you choose to adore Him. That you cling to your adoration even when it's difficult, even when the cost is great and the stance unpopular. Let us go into this new year like Peter, sold out and all in, regardless of the consequences, adoring Him for who He is, for being the God that came.
Written by Amanda Strauser