Genesis 12:2 | Christmas: The World Blessed
After the fall of man the entirety of creation falls under a curse. God chose Abraham to start the plan to restore the creation and remove the curse. God wanted to move forward with a grand plan to bless the world. And He uses Abraham to accomplish that purpose. Christmas blessings are founded in promises to Abraham.
And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:2-3 ESV
Blessed is the Earth
Blessing comes to all the families of the world by way of Abraham. However the promise does not work out the way I or Abraham might have envisioned. The Old Testament documents the struggles of that chosen nation and only briefly in a few instances can we see where that vision for Israel to be a blessing or an ambassador of blessing is realized in some small way. Most of the energy of Israel is spent in rebellion refusing to be that blessing. God however being God has a plan that no child of Adam can undo and that plan is Jesus.
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-20 ESV
Jesus is the Promise
God made promises to Abraham and Jesus the fulfilment. Jesus is here to reconcile God’s creation to God. And Jesus tells the people that it is in him that Israel will perfectly fulfill the promise of being the blessing to all nations and all people.
Peter one of the Disciples of Jesus and a thoroughly Jewish man grew up in that inwardly turned culture. In a famous narrative the Holy Spirit reveals to Peter a feast of food. This feast has all kinds of animals that would not be acceptable in the Jewish diet. The Holy Spirit tells Peter that nothing is unclean that God has made clean and then the vision ends. That vision was preparing Peter not about food, but about being a blessing to other people and nations just as God had promised Abraham. After that vision Peter is asked to travel to a certain man’s home. This ask breaks all social norms. Peter enters the home of a Roman and is witness to God saving a non-Jewish family.
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. Acts 10:34-35 ESV
Be a Blessing
Later Peter challenges the church reminding us that we are to be a blessing to all peoples of all nations. Peter in this challegne to the church confirms lessons he had learned and practiced throughout his ministry.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 ESV
This Christmas we remember that Jesus is God’s blessing and peace to all creation.
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