“I am the gate . . . I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:9–10, NIV)
Jesus identified Himself as the gate, declaring that those who walk through that gate into eternal life will also experience abundant life now. His earthly ministry secured that promise. Jesus revolutionized our world more than any other historical figure.
In the Roman world, parents abandoned their newborns to die from exposure if the child failed to please the family, the economy was built on the backs of slaves, women were literally considered property, and only kings and emperors were believed to be made in God’s image. But Jesus’s teaching resulted in mammoth shifts in thinking concerning the dignity of human life. Humility, once scorned as weakness, replaced the coveted Roman attribute of pride, shaping new ideas about worthy character and lifestyles.
Enormous worldwide changes have ensued over the centuries.
Wherever seeds of Christianity take root and flourish, the value of children, women, and anyone “less than” skyrockets. Social organizations for the common good emerge; Jesus’s teaching birthed the first hospitals and charity organizations. Government structures morph from monarchies into entities that exist to serve everyone. Universities open their doors not just to the privileged men but also to common folk and women.
More cities are named after the baby who began His life in a filthy stable than all earthly kings and emperors. Our calendar has been constructed around His life. And He and His followers are the subject of more art than anyone else who ever lived.
As you celebrate Christmas, remember the immeasurable benefits you and I enjoy because He came down. Savor an intimate relationship with Almighty God and the gift of eternal life, but don’t forget that Jesus is also the gate to a more just, kind, and gracious world—the result of the short time He spent with us. Imagine an eternity with Him in our glorious eternal home!