He's More Than a Brand
The clues were all there, written down for everyone to read. But time had obscured their meaning. Like accumulated layers of sediment, expectations had built up that no longer resembled the original inscription. But the people were ready. When the time came for all to be fulfilled, they were ready. They just weren’t ready for … Him.
Scripture says simply that the “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came unto His own, and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:10, 11).
Perhaps we still don’t.
We like the brand, the image of a rebel against the religious stagnancy of His day. We enjoy the sound of a gospel message of good news. We resonate to the tender image of the babe in a manger, of a shepherd searching for his sheep, of a Savior calming the storm. We pick Christ off the shelf like a box of laundry detergent or pair of pants. We choose Him because of the brand.
Branding can be helpful. Grocery shopping is a cinch as you cruise down the aisle, pulling a box or container off the shelf by the familiar appearance. But what if it were not so? What if you were to open a package of chocolate chip cookies only to discover dog treats inside? To find salt labeled as sugar? Unless the cover correctly prefaces the ingredients, disappointment is inevitable.
We judge a book by its cover. But what if the cover does not describe what's inside? What if we've designed a cover for Jesus that is not at all like Him?
Before Jesus came 2,000 years ago, His people had already determined what He would be like. They were ready for an all-out marketing campaign. But when they discovered Jesus the Man was not what they had expected as Jesus the Messiah, they turned away, back to the brand they had built up in their own minds.
Some of us have done the same.
During this Christmas season, let’s reflect on the reality of our Savior and the truth of His character. Let’s open His Word and rediscover firsthand what He has to say about the past, present and future. Jesus is more than a brand name on a box. He’s more than a squeaky-clean exterior. While we’re enamored with the outside, He’s reading our hearts.
And that’s why He came to an unwelcoming world. He saw our hearts. He knew our need. He reached out in love.
We wish for each GLEANER reader this year a new and rich experience with the real Prince of Peace. He's more, much more, than just a brand.