Today’s Scripture: And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

Whenever a good work is done in secret, one runs the risk of being misunderstood. The famous preacher Charles Spurgeon and his wife earned a reputation for selling, but refusing to give away, the eggs their chickens had laid. Even close relatives were told, “You may have them if you pay for them.” This caused some people to accuse the Spurgeons of being greedy.

The Spurgeons made no effort to defend themselves from the accusations. It was not until after Mrs. Spurgeon died that people learned the full story. Every last cent from the sale of the eggs had gone to support two elderly widows. When the truth came out, the lips of the Spurgeons’ accusers were silenced, and the Spurgeon name was vindicated.

When God sent His Son to be born in the lowly town of Bethlehem, He risked being misunderstood. Kings weren’t supposed to associate with peasants, much less share their mean accommodations. When Jesus ministered in his home town of Nazareth, His identity was misunderstood. They refused to believe His teaching because they had seen Him grow up with His half-brothers and half-sisters. When Jesus died on the cross, His sacrifice was misunderstood. The religious leaders mocked Him because He who had saved others could not save Himself. Many thought the crucifixion of Jesus was the waste of a life. To them, Jesus was just another criminal facing Roman execution.

The good news is Easter Sunday came, and Jesus arose from the dead. After He had revealed Himself to His disciples, He empowered them with His Holy Spirit and they began to tell others the truth they had seen and heard. Their message changed the world.

Let us never forget the reason we celebrate Christmas today is because of the events which occurred on Easter. The Christ child became a Sacrifice Who rose again. That’s the full story — and that is worth celebrating. Have a Merry Christmas!

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.