Why Did Jesus Come as a Baby?

Do you ever find it astonishing that, of all the ways in which God could have reached us–of all the ways in which the Father could have saved humanity–He chose, in His infinite wisdom, to send a baby.

Not a man.

Not an obvious Messiah.

Not a solider or a king.

But an infant, helpless insomuch as any infant, susceptible to all of the harms of the world. I have always wondered why….

As Christmas draws near, I find myself asking, why God sent Jesus as a baby–small and defenseless–and not a man, ready to begin His ministry on earth?

From a theological perspective, I think there are many reasons why Christ came as an infant. It allowed His life to be more accurately and historically proven and documented.

He was better able to understand our own lives as humans–how fragile, how weak the flesh truly is. Although, Jesus could perhaps just as well have experienced temptation having only walked the earth as an adult man, but chose to also experience it as a 5 year-old and a 12 year-old.

For me, however, I like to think Jesus came to earth as a helpless babe, lying in a manger for a different reason.

A baby represents so much. For anyone who has children or has experienced the birth of a child, it is a miraculous occurrence. What was once nothingness is formed in a womb, wherein God breathes life. That life grows and a belly swells with the hope and promise of a new baby.

Babies represent life. Newness. Hope. The future. A second chance. A new beginning. Opportunity. Freshness. God’s promises.  Tomorrow and far beyond.

What better way for the heavenly Father to give the gift of salvation and eternal life, but through a baby who represents a spiritually new life?

More than that, in His wisdom, God chose for the Savior of the world to be born into, what else, but a family. God knows that families can provide the support, encouragement, discipline, and love that we need to become whole and healthy.

God chose for Jesus, the Savior of the world, to be raised by a mother and father, surrounded by siblings and other family members. He did not have Jesus born be born an orphan, alone and forgotten. No, he was born into a family because families are important to God.

For those of us who do not have the perfect earthly family, there is God’s family instead, which provides every believer (even those with great earthly families) a spiritual family, where we can grow to become more like Christ.

I love that Jesus came as a baby and not in a cloud of smoke and fire. I love that my King chose to humble Himselfand pour Himself out in the form of an infant. I am thankful that Jesus was willing to walk in my shoes and experience the normal life we each lead, tempted by the flesh, but choosing to serve God.

I am thankful for the Babe, lying in the manger, who changed everything.

How  about you? Why do you think Jesus came as a baby? What do you love about Christ? What are you thankful for this Christmas season?

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17 thoughts on “Why Did Jesus Come as a Baby?”

  1. I think that Jesus came as a baby for us to know that He truly understands our lives. From infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood, Christ experienced it and knows what we feel. His humble arrival is such a great example to us and shows that He is a King, but He is also human.

    I love the Christmas season as a time to focus on His birth and what a miracle it was. I’m thankful that I know Him and learn more about Him every year.

  2. It’s ironic that you wrote about this today because Devin and I were just talking about it! Somehow our conversation drifted more to wondering what Jesus was like as a toddler. All of that amazing joy and wonder that toddlers express… minus the tantrums and issues with sharing?? It’s kind of hard to imagine a perfectly selfless two year old. What do you think?

    As for what I love about Jesus? That is so hard to express, but there is so so much! I love that He cares about my fears and insecurities and that He can relate to me on that level because He was a man once. I love that He knows my heart, that He is faithful to me even when I am unfaithful to Him, and that He looked forward to our relationship with joy when He was on the cross. I don’t think I can really express how much it means to me that He sees me exactly as I am with all of my sin, past and present, and still says that He loves me and will carry those burdens. When I think about the grudges I tend to hold, His forgiveness and gentleness astounds me.

  3. it is hard to understand or know why. i am perplexed, humbled and fascinated all the same. choosing to be created and fashioned in Mary’s womb and then becoming just like a child, growing in every stage completely God, yet completely man. Wow! I can’t wrap my head around it and I won’t try. I think of the scripture in Hebrews, “…we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses…” He is truly our kinsman redeemer…clothed in utter and complete obedience and humility. Hallelujah!

  4. Great post! I love how the King of Kings and Lord of Lords wasn’t born in a fancy palace, but in a barn. His “crib” was a feed trough! An upside birth narrative for the King of the Upside Down Kingdom.

  5. You said, “He was better able to understand our own lives as humans–how fragile, how weak the flesh truly is.” I think there is a lot of truth to that.

    A couple of weeks ago I was at a home small group Bible study, and we were discussing Advent. As the discussion progressed, I made the observation that Jesus own perception of who he was, and how he ought to go about doing what he was sent to do seemed to evolve. At twelve years old, he already seems to have known who he was. His initial take on being the Messiah, however, was to sneak into the temple when his folks weren’t looking, and argue his way into being acclaimed as the Messiah. Sadly (for him) that didn’t work out too well. He then spent about 20 years waiting – with lots of time to gain a better perspective on how this whole thing was really going to go down, and what price he would have to pay as a result.

    I was struck by the common thread that he experienced with us. So often our initial idea of what we ought to accomplish in life, and how we ought to go about achieving that, needs a lot of retooling before it comes to pass. I can relate. It’s interesting that Jesus’ growth, over time, in maturity and perspective, mirrors how things work for us.

  6. I think by coming as a baby and living out a life till adulthood Jesus drives home the “You can do it” to all of us. He is proving that it could be done. Clearly we are not God so we won’t be perfect but we can have that indwelling of God. And, if we submit to Him we CAN do it.

    Thanks Nicole good perspective.

  7. He was tempted in all things and we do not have a savior that cannot impathize with us…so let us draw near to the throne!…

    Thats way he came as an infant…and to show his great power! concieveing him through the Holy Spirit!…

    in other words…the order of the World does not matter to God…God is God…he outside the limitations of this world…. nothing is impossible for him….

  8. hi Nicole, it was a really profound statement when you wrote, “What better way for the heavenly Father to give the gift of salvation and eternal life, but through a baby who represents a spiritually new life?”

    I had never seen before and it has really given me a new insight into why Christ came as a baby. I think that Jesus came as a baby to show us how humble God is. I cannot think of a more powerful portrayal of humility then for the most magnificent and majestic King, leaving His throne, and becoming a baby. What an AWESOME example!

    1. Peter, well said. i agree too, that Jesus emptying Himself out of His divinity to be here on earht with us is the most profound example of humility we have. Our Lord came to serve not to be served. What an amazing Messiah we have…

  9. I don’t sense that God came as a babe to know us better. He knows all things, and He certainly knows us perfectly. Rather, I think He came as He did so that we could better relate to Him. The baby Christ makes God real and tactile and approachable; God with us…a perfect blending of the spirit life with the body of flesh…just as God intended for humanity to exist. We can feel safe and confident with Him because, after all, He is one of us. :-)

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