God’s purpose from the beginning was to send His son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior (2 Tim 1:8-10b). Zechariah’s song (Luke 1:67–75) shows several ways that Jesus is our Savior. First, he came in the flesh, was born, and lived among us (John 1:14). Second, Jesus’s name means “Yahweh is salvation” (Mounce, Matthew, Understanding the Bible Commentary, 11). His name reveals his mission. Third, he came to redeem, to save us from our sins. Fourth, he delivered us and bought us by his life, death, and resurrection (Rev 5:9). He loved us (1 John 4:10) and gave himself for us (Gal 1:4). More than a military liberator (Evans, Luke, Understanding the Bible Commentary, 37), Jesus liberated us from the power of sin and death. This liberation leads to eternal life, by God’s grace. Fifth, he reconciled us to God through his death and resurrection, initiating a changed, unobstructed relationship and continued fellowship with God.
Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus, such as the virgin birth (Isa 7:14) in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Jesus even explained “what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Lk 24:27). God’s plan is universal—not just for Jews, but for all people throughout the whole world.
The people of the Christmas story in Matthew and Luke all heard God’s voice, believed his word, and obeyed him. They heard God’s word through angel appearances, dreams, and stars. An angel told Zechariah he would have a son who would prepare the way for the Messiah. He needed some assurance but obeyed in the end. Mary was told she would bear God’s son. She believed and obeyed even though it would be difficult. God told Joseph to marry Mary. Joseph obeyed immediately each time God spoke to him. The Magi came from afar to worship Jesus. They helped keep him safe by obeying God to return a different way. John the Baptist, the long awaited for son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, was to be set apart to God. He obeyed by being a Nazarite. The shepherds were told of Jesus’ birth and left their fields to worship him and spread the word. God revealed his plan to each of these people, and they helped God’s plan succeed.
Do you listen to God’s voice, his word? Do you believe what he says? Do you obey what he says? “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life” (John 5:24). “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God has called you from the beginning. YOU are part of his plan.