The Word Became Human

Tyndale House Publishers

“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:14, NLT

Article from the Swindoll Study Bible

The Son of God, as “very God” (to quote the Nicene Creed), arrived on this earth as a man. He came to the mountains He created. He faced the rivers with their rushing currents. He crossed the valleys. He gazed upon the sea. He walked beneath the skies and the stars and the moon and the sun. But the tragedy of all tragedies is this: “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him” (John 1:10). The world didn’t recognize the One who had created it. In other words, “He came to his own people, and even they rejected him” (John 1:11).

In our world, people look at the beauty of creation but refuse to acknowledge the Creator. Imagine Walt Disney coming to Disneyland on its opening day in 1955—but nobody even acknowledging him or acknowledging the fact that everything in the park had come from his imagination and creativity. Imagine them all saying, “Oh, it just happened.” Such an illustration can’t really do justice to this magnificent passage of Scripture, but you get the picture.

We all know the Christmas story: The Creator came to our planet as a baby, but there was no room at the inn for the One who had created the rocks from which that inn was made. There was no welcome mat for Christ. Isn’t it remarkable that the One who is coequal, coeternal, and coexistent with the Father and the Spirit—the One who divinely decreed the events that would run their course on this earth in perfect timing with His profound plan—could come to the earth and be beaten and spit upon, have spikes driven through His hands and feet, be hung on a cross, and be cursed until He died? Even after being raised from the dead, He is still denied, rejected, and refused some twenty centuries later. There is still no room for the Savior.

What about you? Do you know what it means that God, who made everything, reduced Himself to take on skin, subject Himself to the very gravity that He put into effect, and limit Himself to a tiny space of property—for you?

From the vanishing point of the past to the vanishing point of the future, Jesus Christ remains in His nature and His attributes very God. But Christ, in order that human beings might be able to see what God is like in tangible form, became a human for all eternity future. This introduction to the Gospel of John concludes, “No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us” (John 1:18).

Do you wonder what the Father is like? Make a study of Christ. Do you wonder how God could be a God of grace, at the same time both gentle and full of justice and purity? Look at Christ. He shares the Father’s divine nature, and He explains it and models it in perfect terms so that we can grasp the person of the Father.

The world didn’t recognize the One who created it. Do we?

Learn more about the Swindoll Study Bible

The Birth of Christ

Tyndale House Publishers

“And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.” Luke 2: 6-7, NLT

Article from the Illustrated Study Bible

Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus is a study in contrasts. On the one side is the lowliness of the birth. A poor peasant couple makes their way to their ancestral home of Bethlehem to register for a census imposed on them by the oppressive Roman Empire. Their journey is a long and hard one from Galilee, and when they arrive they can find no place of lodging. They are consigned to a place reserved for animals. There is a sense of poverty, rejection and obscurity. At the birth of the child, announcements are sent not to great kings or to the rich and powerful, but to lowly shepherds watching their flocks in the field.

Yet beside this humble lowliness is a message of unspeakable power and grandeur. The child who is laid in a manger is the Messiah, the long-awaited descendant of King David. He will reign triumphant over the people of Israel and his kingdom will never end. He is the one spoken about by all the prophets. All of history has been pointing forward to its climax in him. An army of mighty angels comes from heaven to announce his birth.

These contrasts are a foretaste of things to come. In Jesus, the God of Israel and Lord of all the earth has come to visit and to save his people. The Divine One reaches down to meet them where they are. Throughout Luke’s Gospel, Jesus will show special concern for the lowly, the poor, the outcast, and sinners. These are the ones he has come to

save because they recognize their need for him. They receive the message of salvation with joy and rejoicing.

The contrast between lowliness and exaltation also relates to Jesus’ mission. Though wicked people reject him and put him to death, Jesus is vindicated at his resurrection.

n and exalted to the right hand of God, where he reigns as Lord and Messiah. From there he pours out the Spirit of God to guide and direct his church. Through Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and exaltation Jesus provides

forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all those who respond in faith to him.

Learn more about the Illustrated Study Bible

Joseph

Tyndale House Publishers

“When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.” Matthew 1:24, NLT

Profile from the Life Application Study Bible

The strength of what we believe is measured by how much we are willing to suffer for our beliefs. Joseph was a man with strong beliefs. He was prepared to do what was right, despite the pain he knew it would cause to someone he loved and to himself. But Joseph had another great quality:

He not only tried to do what was right but also tried to do it in the right way.

When Mary told Joseph about her pregnancy, Joseph knew the child was not his. His respect for Mary’s character and her sincere explanation, as well as her attitude toward the expected child, must have made it hard to think his bride had done something wrong. Still, someone else was the child’s father—and it was mind-boggling to accept that the “someone else” was God.

Joseph decided he had to break the engagement, but he was determined to do it in a way that would not cause Mary public shame. He intended to act with justice and love.

At this point, God sent a messenger to Joseph to confirm Mary’s story and open another way of obedience for Joseph—to take Mary as his wife. Joseph obeyed God, married Mary, and honored her virginity until after the baby was born. Joseph’s role as guardian of God’s Son and of Mary is clearly seen in his response to the dream in which the angel of the Lord instructed him to flee to Egypt. Joseph immediately obeyed, leading his family to Egypt in order to escape from Herod and later returning to settle in Nazareth instead of going back to Bethlehem.

We do not know how long Joseph lived his role as Jesus’ earthly father—he is last mentioned when Jesus was 12 years old. But Joseph taught his son the trade of carpentry, made sure he had good spiritual training in Nazareth, and took the whole family on the yearly trip to Jerusalem for the Passover, which Jesus continued to observe during his adult years.

Joseph knew Jesus was someone special from the moment he heard the angel’s words. His strong belief in that fact and his willingness to follow God’s leading empowered him to be Jesus’ chosen earthly father.

Learn more about the Life Application Study Bible

Mary the Mother of Jesus

Tyndale House Publishers

“…but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” Luke 2:19, NLT

Profile from the Illustrated Study Bible

Mary, the wife of Joseph, was the virgin mother of Jesus. Luke tells us that as a young girl in Nazareth, Mary was betrothed to Joseph, a local carpenter. Before the marriage took place, an angel announced to her that she would become pregnant by the power of God’s Spirit and give birth to the Son of God (1:26‑35). Mary responded to this extraordinary message in simple faith, humbly submitting herself to God’s will (1:38, 46‑55). Shortly thereafter, the message was confirmed by her relative Elizabeth, who spoke of Mary as the most blessed of all women (1:39‑45). Mary’s miraculous bearing of the Son of God was viewed as a fulfillment of prophecy (Isa 7:14).

Jesus’ birth took place in unusual circumstances, when Joseph took Mary to Bethlehem to register for an official Roman census. The child was born in a stable because no other lodging was available (Luke 2:1‑7). Some time later, Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt to save the child from Herod’s massacre of young boys in the Bethlehem area (Matt 2:13‑18). When they returned, they resettled in Nazareth to raise their family (Matt 2:19‑23). After Jesus’ birth, Mary apparently gave birth to several other sons and daughters (Matt 13:55‑56; Mark 6:3). It is likely that Mary herself told Luke the details of Jesus’ birth and the unusual events associated with it (Luke 2:51).

When Jesus was twelve years old, he stayed in the Temple during a family trip to Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph rebuked him for staying behind when they departed, but they did not understand Jesus’ response (2:41‑51). Early in Jesus’ public ministry, Mary encouraged him to do a miracle at a wedding in Cana (John 2:1‑11). Later, when she and Jesus’ brothers went to see Jesus, he said that his disciples were his “real family” (Luke 8:19‑21; Matt 12:46‑50; Mark 3:31‑35).

When Jesus was crucified, Mary was among the women looking on (cp. Mark 15:40, 47; John 19:25). As Jesus was dying, he asked John, the “disciple he loved,” to take care of Mary as his own mother (John 19:26‑27). After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Mary was apparently a member of the believing community; she is listed among those who were praying together when the Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:14).

God chose Mary to bring his Son, the Savior, into the world. For all Christians, she is a model of humble and obedient submission to God’s will.

Learn more about the Illustrated Study Bible

What Do Tyndale Bibles Team Members Want for Christmas?

Tyndale House Publishers

Okay, maybe it’s not all our Bibles Team members want for Christmas, but these Bibles would bring huge smiles to our faces if they showed up under our Christmas trees. One of our passions is to encourage people to engage with God’s Word. God loves variety! Just look at the world around us. We understand that how people engage with Scripture is as uniquely beautiful and different as his creation. That is one of the reasons we are creating such a varied lineup of Bibles. We hope to help you or your loved one to find the perfect Bible to keep you reading and connecting with God’s living Word to us. What Bible are you hoping is under your Christmas Tree?

Kim’s Pick: DaySpring Hope & Encouragement Bible

I love discovering new Bibles! Bibles are my favorite gifts to give because God speaks to us through them. Tyndale has released a bunch of new Bibles this year, and there is definitely something for everyone! The Bible I would love to unwrap is the new DaySpring Hope & Encouragement Bible. As Christians, eternal hope and encouragement are some of the greatest gifts we can share with others—and receive. This Bible amplifies twelve indisputable truths about who we are in Christ. It has really great, focused content, and there is space in the margins to write or create. I will use that space for writing out prayers as I read through Scripture. I’d love the navy LeatherLike edition because it’s perfectly floppy to hold (if you know, you know). It’s a gorgeous edition of God’s Word that I will treasure.

Get Kim’s Pick

Jim J’s Pick: NLT Filament Compact Bible

The best gifts, as the saying goes, come in small packages. And the best Bibles are the ones that increase our ability to take them anywhere, study them everywhere, and understand them without phoning a friend.

That’s why I’ll be looking under my Christmas tree this year for the new NLT Compact Bible with the Filament Bible app. It meets these criteria and more. At about 4 inches by 6 inches, it fits in the palm of my hand. And because it is paired with Filament’s enormous reservoir of content (continuously curated to the pages I’m reading), including study notes, book introductions, articles, devotionals, and even videos and worship music, it’s a study Bible on steroids.

With all of this, it’s certainly the smallest study Bible in the world, and because these Bibles feature the New Living Translation, I’ll get the most accurate and readable Bible translation in the English language. Now that’s a great gift in a small package!

Get Jim J’s Pick

Jeff G’s Pick: The Swindoll Study Bible

This year, I’m wishing for a copy of The Swindoll Study Bible. I’d love to settle into my armchair with this beautiful Bible and a cup of coffee to spend time with God. I’ve listened to and admired Chuck Swindoll for years, and I’d love to go deeper with his insights into the Scriptures.

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Blaine’s Pick: NLT Filament Bible Journals

This year for Christmas, I’m wishing for the NLT Filament Journaling Collection. Since it’s currently available only in the New Testament, I’ll be able to pack one wish into two Christmases! The beautiful interleaved pages will give me plenty of space to journal, and the Filament-enabled typesetting will provide a full suite of curated study notes, devotional thoughts, reading plans, full-color maps, and insightful video content all without creating a distracting reading experience. The attractive bindings and beautiful slipcases will make this an attractive addition to my Bible and reference library. I can’t wait!

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Amy’s Pick: The One Year Pray for the Persecuted Bible

I’d like to see The One Year Pray for the Persecuted Bible under my tree this year. It will not only help me read through the Bible in a year but also prompt me to be in daily prayer for brothers and sisters around the world. As I learn more about people who are enduring persecution, I’m inspired by their courage and their determination to live faithfully. As I better understand their needs, I can join with them in prayer and in faith, knowing God will hear and will meet the needs of all his people.

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Maissie’s Pick: NLT Compact Filament Bible

I hope that under my Christmas Tree this year is the new NLT Compact Bible, Filament-Enabled Edition. It is the perfect size to carry around in my bag so I can read my Bible anytime and anywhere. What’s even better is that it has the Filament app so I’m not only carrying around a beautiful text Bible but also have all of the study notes, devotionals, videos, music, and so much more right on my phone!

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Jim G’s Pick: Life Application Study Bible

The Life Application Study Bible has been such a blessing in my life. I just love how I can go anywhere in the Bible, begin reading, and understand how God’s Word really relates to me today. I learn something new every time I pick it up! The notes and features were updated through an amazing collaborative effort between the founding editors and a group of editors across generations, which resulted in trustworthy biblical teaching that is incredibly relevant today—regardless of who you are. Also, my eyes appreciate a larger print font size, so the new Large Print Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition in the handsome brown genuine leather is the forever Bible that I hope to have under my tree this Christmas.

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Callie’s Pick: Chronological Life Application Study Bible

This Christmas, the Chronological Life Application Study Bible is on my list. Its beautiful, full-color interior is second to none, but that’s not the only reason I like it. Back in 2013, when the Chronological Life Application Study Bible released, I first opened it up and immersed myself in the interesting format. I had never seen the Bible laid out in a chronological format—in the order events actually happened—and it blew my mind. I read all about the ten eras of Bible history, and things that I had never pieced together before came together for me—mostly because of the helpful Life Application notes, but also through the charts and infographics scattered throughout. Even though I started the year off strong and was on pace to finish in 2014, by about summertime, I stopped reading it. No good reason, but I quit. So this time, 8 years later, I am remembering why I found this edition so particularly interesting and helpful in my faith journey. I have committed to make it through 2022 with this Bible!

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Jeff R’s Pick: NLT Daily Walk Bible

I’m hoping for a new NLT Daily Walk Bible this year as I have read through my original Daily Walk Bible so many times it’s beginning to show much wear and tear. The Daily Walk Bible is easily my favorite go-to Bible as I love how six days a week, in addition to a short daily Bible reading, I get to read a brief overview of the day’s reading, an insight, and a practical devotional. Then the seventh day is set aside to review the past week, look ahead to the next week, and finally “look up ” for God’s guidance. There simply is no easier, more straightforward way to work through the Bible in a year while also being fed wonderful insights to help provide context and depth to my Bible study.

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Evie’s Pick: Immerse: The Reading Bible

In 2022, I want to spend more time in God’s big Story and read without being interrupted by chapter and verse numbers, so I am hoping for the complete six-volume set of Immerse: The Reading Bible. Dividing the Bible into six volumes helps make reading more manageable. The removal of chapter and verse numbers helps take away distractions and creates a beautiful reading experience that puts me right in the story, like reading a novel. I also love the easy-to-carry paperback that I can throw in my backpack or in the car so I can read it in the school pickup line or wherever I’m going.

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What Tyndale Bible is on your Christmas list?

The Long Awaited Messiah Slips Into Our World

Tyndale House Publishers


“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.” Luke 2:1-7, NLT

Notes from the Wayfinding Bible

MARY AND JOSEPH’S JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM
The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem takes about two hours today by car. Two thousand years ago, the same journey, a ninety-mile trip, would have taken as long as two weeks. Joseph and Mary would have had to traverse hilly, rocky terrain as they made their way south. Bethlehem, a small town five miles south of Jerusalem, sits on a ridge 2,000 feet above sea level.  
 

EXPLORATION POINT

Determined to restore his relationship with his creation and show his love for his people, God sent his Son to earth. Jesus Christ was the King of kings, but he did not enter on a charging white stallion or in a chariot preceded by a hundred foot soldiers. He came as a lowly, dependent infant. From these humble beginnings he grew to become part of the everyday world, building a relationship with others on love, not fear; on fellowship, not power.

And Presents by the Tree

brian

We all have our own unique Christmas traditions. Maybe you open gifts on Christmas Eve or wait until Three Kings Day in January. Maybe you create a special family recipe or play a game each year. Do you decorate a tree or buy gifts for someone in need? One of my favorite traditions is helping my kids make their Christmas lists.

This year I asked my fellow team members to make their own Christmas lists and include which Bible they wish would be waiting under their Christmas tree. One of the things I love most about working on the Tyndale Bible team is that we are all so different. Each of us brings our individual gifts and abilities so that together we can bring God glory. But though we are all different, yet we are united in the Word that became human. What a reason to celebrate!

Here is what the Bible Team hopes is under their Christmas trees this year. You can click on the Bible title if you want to learn more.

Callie is excited for the new NLT Daily Reader’s Bible.

“I am asking for the Daily Reader’s Bible. I am really curious about the unique layout, and I love the fact that the readings are numbered, not dated. My plan is to start in January, but because the readings are numbered, I don’t have to fear getting behind. I can just pick right back up when I can!”

Blaine is hoping to unwrap a beautiful new classic Bible.

“For Christmas this year, I have selected the NLT Filament-enabled Personal Size Giant Print Black Genuine Leather Indexed edition. Its uninterrupted readable text will allow me to focus on the Scripture without the distraction of study notes or other features. Knowing that a full suite of carefully curated study notes, devotionals, videos, and even worship songs is available to me by simply opening the Filament Bible app and pointing my phone at any page makes this a Bible unlike any other I’ve had the privilege of using over the years. I’m really looking forward to 2021 with this new Bible.”

Kim loves Bibles and surprises so she is sharing her top three so she will be surprised at what shows up under her tree.

“The new Art of Life Bible because this Bible is so gorgeous and artsy—and there’s nothing else like it out there that I know of! I absolutely love that this Bible is slightly oversized with wider margins, comes in a slipcase, and has the most beautiful teal hardcover cloth design with gold foil accents. It looks more like a coffee table book than a Bible, but that’s what I love about it! The inside has amazing hand-drawn illustrations of Bible things like people, animals, and plants scattered throughout along with descriptions. It will be a really fascinating way to read through the Bible and reflect on this artist’s rendition of things mentioned in the Bible. It’s a spacious setting, so I could embellish, color, paint, or add to the illustrations if I wanted to do some Bible journaling in it, but I think I might reserve this one for reading since it’s already so amazing.

The new THRIVE Creative Journaling Devotional Bible for Women just released in two new bindings, and I absolutely love the teal cover with “Thrive” displayed in rose gold foil across the front. Probably my favorite thing about this design is the rose gold page edges. It is stunning, and it pairs so beautifully with the teal. I will be able to spend the whole year reading through the daily devotionals and journaling my reflections and prayers in the wide margins.

SONY DSC

The new Inspire PRAYER Bible is another Bible I cannot wait to read and Bible journal in! I would love to use the extra-wide margins in this Bible to write out personal prayers focused on my marriage and also listing out ways (bullet journaling style!) that I can challenge myself to become more like Christ. I would love either of the cover designs—so surprise me! I adore the metallic champagne gold Hardcover LeatherLike binding because it is so special and unique (like me!), but I also love the colorful one because it is so cheerful—and floppy! This Bible has thirty-two of the most beautiful, colorful vellum sheets with prayers on them, prayer prompts in the margins, and hundreds of line-art illustrations I could watercolor, paint, or color in!”

Jim J. is wishing for the genuine leather brown NLT Filament-enabled Edition Personal Size Giant Print Bible. He even wrote this poem:

Under the tree this Christmas morning
I’ll search for the gift I find myself yearning

The Word became flesh we remember this day
Come to teach and to save us, his life to pay

And the Word we are given to keep and to cherish
Comes in beautiful books without being garish

I look for a Bible that is handy in size
With the magic of light, the Filament prize.

With print that is giant, truth without explanation
Expressed in the language of a living translation

For me I want brown with the rich touch of leather
That gift would bring joy as our family’s together.

As I think of that day of holy observance,
I wish for a Bible to illumine remembrance.

Linda is wishing for a stalwart favorite: The One Year Chronological Bible in the NLT.

“It’s not flashy or new, but I would like The One Year Chronological Bible, NLT, Large Print. This year, more than ever, I’d like to start 2021 on a fresh foot, with renewed commitment to good habits that are healthy for my body, mind, and soul. I like the idea of reading the Bible chronologically as it happened, and I think the reading schedule and the way The One Year Bible breaks the Bible into manageable portions for each day is helpful and sets me up to successfully complete reading the whole Bible in a year. The large print edition is also easy on the eyes and would be nice to have.”

Dave is excited to partner with Joni and Friends to intercede on behalf of the most vulnerable by using The One Year Pray for Life Bible.

“The Bible on my wish list this Christmas and the one I plan to use daily in 2021 is The One Year Pray for Life Bible. With sanctity of life issues continuing to dominate the news cycle every day, I look forward to listening to God in his Word daily. I also look forward to joining my voice with thousands of other Christians around the world to pray not only for those who are threatened and impacted adversely by laws and policies but also for those who hold the power to write and support laws that defend the weak and powerless among us.”

Evie is all about relationships, so her wish list Bible is about time with family.

“I am hoping the purple and pink swirl Hands-On Bible is waiting under our Christmas tree. The interactive activities and lessons help me to engage with my girls in God’s Word in a way that keeps them entertained and excited to learn more. I love that we can play together while learning about God and his plan for our lives. It’s so wonderful to come together as a family to have fun and grow in our understanding of God’s Word.”

Jim G. has had a life-long love for the Life Application Study Bible. Here is the one he’d like under his tree.

“The Life Application Study Bible has been such a blessing in my life. Not only did I have the privilege of providing this life-changing Bible to thousands of people when I served in retail stores, but I also recently had the honor of working on the team that published the new ‘Third Edition.’ I just love how I can go anywhere in the Bible, begin reading, and understand how God’s Word really relates to me today. I learn something new every time I pick it up! The notes and features were updated through an amazing collaborative effort between the founding editors and a group of editors across generations which resulted in trustworthy biblical teaching that is incredibly relevant today—regardless of who you are. Also, my eyes appreciate a larger print font size, so the new Large Print Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition, in the handsome brown genuine leather is the forever Bible that I hope to have under my tree this Christmas.”

We are so thankful that the most precious gift given to the world wasn’t wrapped in beautiful gift wrap and placed under a tree. It was a baby placed in a lowly manger who was himself the Word become human.

“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:14, NLT

Was Mary, Jesus’ Mother, Ever Afraid?

We often think of Mary, Jesus’ mother, as the beautiful young woman who the angel visited to share of the coming of Christ. And that the Messiah would come into the world through her. We know Mary sang out in praise to God, but that wasn’t the end of her story. Read more about Mary’s story from the Life Application Study Bible

Profile Note from the Life Application Study Bible Third Edition

Motherhood is a painful privilege. Young Mary of Nazareth had the unique privilege of being mother to the very Son of God. Yet most of the pains and pleasures Mary experienced in motherhood can be understood by mothers everywhere. Mary was the only human present at Jesus’ birth who also witnessed his death. She saw him arrive as her baby son, and she watched him die as her Savior.

Until Gabriel’s unexpected visit, Mary’s life was quite satisfactory. She had recently become engaged to a carpenter, Joseph, and was anticipating married life. But her life was about to change forever.

Angels don’t make appointments before visiting. Feeling as if she were being congratulated for winning the grand prize in a contest she had never entered, Mary found the angel’s greeting puzzling and his presence frightening. What she heard next was the news almost every woman in Israel hoped to hear—that her child would be the Messiah, God’s promised Savior. Mary did not doubt the message; instead, she asked how pregnancy would be possible. Gabriel told her the baby would be God’s Son. Her answer was the one God waits in vain to hear from so many people: “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true” (Luke 1:38). Her later song of joy shows us how well she knew God, for her thoughts were filled with his words from the Old Testament.

When Jesus was eight days old, Mary and Joseph took him to the Temple to be dedicated to God. There they were met by two devout people, Simeon and Anna, who recognized the child as the Messiah and praised God. Simeon directed some words to Mary that must have come to her mind many times in the years that followed: “A sword will pierce your very soul” (Luke 2:35). A big part of her painful privilege of motherhood would be to see her son rejected and crucified by the people he had come to save.

We can imagine that even if she had known all she would suffer as Jesus’ mother, Mary would still have given the same response. Are you, like Mary, available to be used by God?

Life Application Study Bible 3rd Edition NLT
Look Inside the
Life Application Study Bible

The Word Became Human

Article from the Swindoll Study Bible

Read John 1:1-18

THE SON OF GOD, as “very God” (to quote the Nicene Creed), arrived on this earth as a man. He came to the mountains He created. He faced the rivers with their rushing currents. He crossed the valleys. He gazed upon the sea. He walked beneath the skies and the stars and the moon and the sun. But the tragedy of all tragedies is this: “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him” (John 1:10). The world didn’t recognize the One who had created it. In other words, “He came to his own people, and even they rejected him” (John 1:11).


In our world, people look at the beauty of creation but refuse to acknowledge the Creator. Imagine Walt Disney coming to Disneyland on its opening day in 1955—but nobody even acknowledging him or acknowledging the fact that everything in the park had come from his imagination and creativity. Imagine them all saying, “Oh, it just happened.” Such an illustration can’t really do justice to this magnificent passage of Scripture, but you get the picture.

We all know the Christmas story: The Creator came to our planet as a baby, but there was no room at the inn for the One who had created the rocks from which that inn was made. There was no welcome mat for Christ. Isn’t it remarkable that the One who is coequal, coeternal, and coexistent with the Father and the Spirit—the One who divinely decreed the events that would run their course on this earth in perfect timing with His profound plan—could come to the earth and be beaten and spit upon, have spikes driven through His hands and feet, be hung on a cross, and be cursed until He died? Even after being raised from the dead, He is still denied, rejected, and refused some twenty centuries later. There is still no room for the Savior.


What about you? Do you know what it means that God, who made everything, reduced Himself to take on skin, subject Himself to the very gravity that He put into effect, and limit Himself to a tiny space of property—for you?

From the vanishing point of the past to the vanishing point of the future, Jesus Christ remains in His nature and His attributes very God. But Christ, in order that human beings might be able to see what God is like in tangible form, became a human for all eternity future. This introduction to the Gospel of John concludes, “No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us” (John 1:18).

Do you wonder what the Father is like? Make a study of Christ. Do you wonder how God could be a God of grace, at the same time both gentle and full of justice and purity? Look at Christ. He shares the Father’s divine nature, and He explains it and models it in perfect terms so that we can grasp the person of the Father.

The world didn’t recognize the One who created it. Do we?

Take a look inside the Swindoll Study Bible

Joseph’s Quandary

“Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.” Matthew 1:19, NLT

We aren’t given many details about Joseph, but we can draw a pretty
accurate portrait from what we do know. He was a “good man” and betrothed to Mary—meaning he was in a covenant almost as unbreakable as marriage and bound by God and his own sense of honor to fulfill it. These covenants could only be broken if the terms had been misrepresented or if one of the parties fell into sin. And from Joseph’s perspective, that’s exactly what had happened. Those around him would have affirmed his right to cancel the wedding.

That’s what Joseph planned to do, though not publicly with his indignation
on display. He could have divorced Mary and openly answered the
questions that would follow, but he preferred to endure any questions quietly and let the silence cover her. As Mary’s betrothed, Joseph was just as chosen as she was, and his quiet sense of honor may be one of the reasons God chose him. Most men would have a hard time letting God rearrange their expectations for life and marriage and then fading into the background of the story. Joseph took on a responsibility no man before or since has taken on, and we hear very little else about him throughout the Gospels—an early death in Jesus’ late childhood or early adulthood seems a natural conclusion. But we know God trusted him to handle earth’s greatest treasure and allow his wife and her son to get far more attention than he ever would.

In Their Steps
Some of the most vital roles in God’s Kingdom remain in the background of the Kingdom story. Many personalities aren’t equipped for that level of humility. Joseph was. Mary apparently lived long enough to tell Luke some of the things she stored in her heart (Luke 2:51), but Joseph must have treasured the story too. And he submitted himself to it honorably.

Taken from the Dancing in the Desert Devotional Bible