Who is the most famous resident of Norman, Oklahoma? I think it has to be one of three men: Bob Stoops, Barry Switzer, or Toby Keith. If Norman had a Mount Rushmore, these three men would certainly be on it, and we would all drive by and pay homage to our own version of “We Three Kings.”
The success of these men in their respective fields has led to their fame and name recognition in area codes 73069-73072, however, there is an interesting thing about fame . . . it is fleeting. Quick question, who would have adorned our “Mount Rushmore” in 1968? Bud certainly would replace Barry, and I have no clue who the other two would be. Don’t know who Bud is? My point exactly. Famous people capture our attention for a season, but just as fall becomes winter, so one man replaces another in our popular culture conscience.
Perhaps it is because of this passing phenomena of personality, that I find myself in awe over the person of Jesus Christ once again. 2,000+ years after his birth, the whole world still knows His name, and many call Him Lord. People do not just remember and honor Him, they orient their lives around Him and trust Him for their eternal destiny. Because of that, we all must echo the words of the nineteenth century insurance salesman, turned hymnist, William Chatterton Dix, when asking “What child is this who laid to rest on Mary’s lap is sleeping?”
Jesus was more than just famous. He was more than just a good teacher. He was more than just a baby in a manger. He was more than just a man. He is God incarnate.
Because Jesus is God, He is timeless . . . because God is timeless. Bud Wilkinson at one time was the most famous coach in OU history, but then Barry Switzer starting winning national championships and all that changed. Bud was bound in time. However, Jesus is not bound in time. No matter how many years go by, He never gets old or irrelevant or replaced. We need to remember that at Christmas time. We may get lots of new things as presents this year to replace our old stuff, but the Eternal One never needs replacing. He is still our Lord and still deserves our adoration and obedience.
Also because Jesus is God, we can know that our God can be known. John 1:18 tells us “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” By taking on human flesh and walking among us, Jesus showed the world who God was, what God thought, how God felt, and how God acted. Sometimes we can begin to wonder if God is even knowable to a human (since His ways are so much higher than our own). The fact that Jesus was God reminds us that God can be known in Christ . . . because He is the “image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15)” and He is the “exact representation of His (God’s) being (Hebrews 1:3).”
This year as we celebrate Christmas on this planet for the over 2,000th time, let’s remember that it was Him who the three kings visited thousands of years ago. We do not even know the names of those Kings, but the name of Jesus is still fresh on our lips because it is written on our hearts. He is eternal. He is God Himself. Hallelujah! We can know Him, and He will never forget us.