Why did Jesus come? What is the meaning of Christmas?

John 18:37

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

John Piper, in a Christmas sermon, “Jesus Came into the World to Bear Witness to the Truth”

Why Did Jesus Come?

Every year Christmas poses a question to the world—and to you this morning—namely, why did Jesus come? Or what is the meaning of Jesus Christ? Or, more personally, what difference should this man make in my life? In my marriage, in my work, in my leisure, in my thinking, in my emotions?

When he was on trial for his life Jesus spoke some words which give an answer to this question. He said in John 18:37, “For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.”

The words were spoken at the end of his life, but they are about Christmas. “For this reason I was born . . . “ For this reason there is Christmas. Christmas exists because Jesus came to bear witness to the truth.

So what I would like to do on this Christmas morning is to think for a few minutes with you about these words of Jesus. I suggest that we focus on two implications of this verse, or two implications of Christmas, and then close with an exhortation.

  • Implication #1: Christmas means that there is truth—truth that everyone should believe.
  • Implication #2: Christmas means that Jesus came to testify to that truth—he is the key witness.
  • Exhortation: Don’t be like Pilate when you hear the truth.

….Conclusion of the sermon:

I have never met or heard of a person who has any trouble believing in moral absolutes when he is punched in the nose. He immediately believes that the aggressor is absolutely guilty. And if a judge said, “Not guilty because truth is relative and for him it was a good thing to punch you in the nose and you can’t put the monkey of your absolutes onto his back,” then you would say that this judge is a bad judge.

The point is this, Pilate may say—you may say—”I don’t know what absolute truth is, and I don’t think I can find out.” But the truth is, when your own personal interest is at stake, you won’t act as though you don’t know what truth is. We have very strong convictions when our life and property are at stake, don’t we? Strange how agnosticism and relativism are blown away when our rights and our life are on the line!

So I plead with you this Christmas that you realize how much is at stake in the Jesus’ claim to bring the truth. It is a matter of eternal life an death. Your life is on the line. And Jesus says in another place (John 7:17), “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God.”

Jesus was not born to keep secret the truth of God. He was born and came into the world to bear witness to the truth, the unchanging absolute truth of God. Realize how much is at stake. Take up the gospel and read. And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

To read or listen to the rest of the sermon, click here:


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