While growing up, my daughter, Kara, was quite competent in doing whatever she set her mind to. However, there were moments when she got stuck and needed a little boost from her dad (me). And so, in frustration, when she would call out, “I need help!”, I quickly responded, doing what I could to help her out.
I believe many people primarily view Jesus as one who is on call to jump in and help us out whenever we need a little boost. “I need help…finding that perfect Christmas gift (on sale), dealing with that obnoxious family member, making ends meet, etc.” As a friend of mine put it, “If Jesus truly is the Son of God, then He should always be available to me whenever I can use His help.”
While Jesus is available to help amidst life’s challenges, His mission focused on something far more significant. Jesus entered creation, born as a child, because humanity was in deep trouble. Collectively and individually, we are bound by self-interest, self-determination, lust, greed, immorality, and violence – basically ‘sin’. As the various New Testament words for sin affirm, we have strayed outside God’s boundaries (trespass). We fall far short of living the kind of life we were created for—loving God and neighbor (miss the mark). We have incurred an obligation to our Creator beyond anything we can personally pay (debt). These failures cut us off from fellowship with God, keep us under the weight of shame, and leave us with no recourse in the face of judgment. Yes, we really need help—far more than we realize.
But I have “Good News”! As the angel said to Joseph about the baby growing in Mary’s womb, “…What is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21). God has already acted on our behalf, doing what only He can do. Jesus will help. He will deliver. He takes humanity’s brokenness, failures, rebellion, and rejection of God upon Himself, paying the price that none of us could afford to pay, so that we can be free from the power and penalty of sin. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24).
I need help! You need help! But far more than we can imagine. Thank you Jesus for taking on flesh and coming among us to save us from our sins so we can live in fellowship with you and others. Joy to the World the Lord has come. Let earth receive her king! Let every heart prepare Him room…. Call out to Jesus today. Admit your failures and desperate need of Him. He is your Savior, Deliverer and ultimate Helper both now and forevermore! Merry Christmas!