“You better watch out, You better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He’s making a list and checking it twice;
He’s gonna find out who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town.”
For many people, Jesus is essentially Santa Claus. Like Santa, many think that Jesus is making a list and checking it twice; He’s gonna find out who’s naughty and nice. It’s easy to believe that what Jesus wants from us is to be good, to get better, and to have a great attitude.
Santa Theology is commonplace in our world because it’s in our nature to be performance-driven when it comes to our relationship with God. But even our best behavior could never measure up to the righteous demands of a Holy God. We could never be good enough for goodness sake. That’s why God sent His Son – to be good, perfect, sinless for us.
The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Jesus embodied grace and truth. His life revealed the glory of God among us. Grace refers to God’s loyal love and truth means faithful integrity. These two descriptive nouns in the genitive case state that Jesus is the source and possessor of grace and truth. The Incarnation was the greatest possible expression of God’s grace to mankind. It was also the best way to communicate truth accurately to human understanding. Neither grace nor truth are knowable, much less achievable, apart from God who has revealed them through Jesus Christ.
Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness. (John 1:16)
Santa gives presents only to the deserving. God, however, in His grace, gave His Son for those who deserve nothing but coal in their stockings. His grace is enough for those who could never measure up to His moral standards on their own. He supplies grace for living to those who trust in Jesus day after day. Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift.
The truth of Christ to the worn out and weary is this: “Be righteous” (God’s demand), but “no one is righteous” (God’s diagnosis), so “Jesus became your righteousness” (God’s deliverance). Once this good news grips your heart, it changes everything! It frees you from having to be perfect. It frees you from having to hold it all together. It releases you from having to do it all. It frees you from worry when you’re sleeping. It prevents exhaustion when you’re awake. Watch out for this – Jesus loves you for who you are, not for what you’ve done.
At the end of his gospel about Jesus, the disciple John assured us of this truth about God’s grace and truth: “These things are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31).
Yes, Santa Clause may be coming to town, but grace and truth has come from our Heavenly Father through His One and Only Son to give us life, not a list of rules. Follow me, as I follow Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!