My youngest daughter is a kind, compassionate person. As a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit of a major hospital, she faces situations where strength and tenderness are needed in equal amounts on a daily basis. My daughter is a picture of tenderness and strength, and I am very proud her (as if you didn’t notice).


This same idea of tender strength is what I see in Baby Jesus. Jesus was not only God in human flesh when performing miracles, dying on the cross, or rising from the dead. That little baby lying in a manger was as much God in human flesh as He was when displaying His power later in life. Even on the night of His birth, Jesus was the Incarnate God. He may have been “wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger,” but He was also the God who spoke the world into existence. The wise men from the East came to see a baby, but they also recognized Him as King and Lord, though they themselves were rulers. One of the most well-known and loved Christmas hymns states this truth saying,

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
let earth receive her King.

Jesus came into this world as a baby, but He was still the second person of the triune God in human flesh. He was the tender baby and the Almighty God. There are many things we can learn about God from the details of His birth. One of those is the amazing combination of tenderness and strength represented in Baby Jesus. There is nothing more tender or gentle than a newborn, yet in this little baby, lying in the humblest of circumstances, dwelt the supreme power of all existence.

As I consider how God works with such patience, compassion, and tenderness in this world (and in my life), and yet also works with such power and authority, in seems like the most perfect way for Him to show up on earth would be as a baby, “wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” The more I think of it, how else could He have made His entry into the world? As usual, God did it perfectly.

by Jimmy Aycock