The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

(1 John 3:8, NIV)


First John 3:8 doesn’t sound like a verse for a Christmas meditation! There’s no Christmas Carol I know that exalts destroying the devil’s work as a key contribution of Jesus’s Incarnation, but this is a liberating and wonderful fact for those who have been living in darkness. Paul tells the Colossians that through the Father’s intervention, they have been “rescued from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son He loves” (Colossians 1:12–13). Unsaved people in Jesus’s time and today are living in darkness, a darkness that is not simply human ignorance or their own failure to respond to God’s grace and the gospel, but rather a darkness that epitomizes Satan’s control. As John also says: “The whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19).

Jesus, the Son of God, was manifest to rescue all who would believe in Him from the control of Satan, and from their own sin. He did this by destroying Satan’s principal strength, and that apparently was his ability to destroy people by blinding their eyes so that they would not see or understand the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4). But Jesus, the Son of God and Light of the World, did appear and provides deliverance by His life and death on the cross for the sins of the world. Jesus commissioned His disciples to take that Good News to the whole world. So perhaps we can count the Christmas Carol “O Holy Night” as one that does carry the thought of our key verse.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Yes, it’s true and wonderful! This is the reason the Son of God appeared: to destroy the devil’s work!