Last week in Part I of our Advent series “A True Son Appears,” we talked about why the Son of God appeared. We concluded that He appeared to liberate people from bondage so that they might be adopted as sons and daughters. What an amazing reality. This week, we are asking the question, “What did the one and only Son of God come to do?”
Because if we know that, then we know what we are here to do and why we exist.
John the Beloved answers the question in I John 3:8: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”
There it is right there—the Son appeared to destroythe works of the devil. Why were Mary, Joseph, the Magi, Wisemen, Simeon, Anna the prophetess, and Jerusalem all giving glory to God and celebrating the Son of God’s appearance? Because He had come to destroy the works of the devil.
What then is the purpose of the revealing of sons and daughters? And why does Creation eagerly long for them to be revealed? Why such angst? It can’t be just to watch another dipping in the baptismal waters, another ordination, another denomination to be formed, another great cause set in motion . . . can it?
Surely Creation is eager to see something more! Why was all of Jerusalem on their toes, with eager expectation in their hearts at the Son of God’s appearance? And why is Creation longing for more sons and daughters to appear? Because new sons and daughters mean more demonic works, more oppression, more broken entanglement, and sickness—destroyed.
This destroying of the devil’s works is not some tyrannical, authoritative, physical sword-in-hand, 24/7 attack mode mentality that is carried out by a son or daughter. Instead, destroying the works of the devil is simply the overtaking of one ruler over the other: of God over the devil. It is the Kingdom of God showing up through a cleric (an announcer of the King) who heralds whatever his unique message is for that moment in time and performs whatever action his King has asked of him.
Jesus was a cleric of sorts. He was simultaneously heralding and performing the works of His Father (John 5:19) all the time. So, what exactly did the Son appear to do? He appeared to destroy the works of the devil, as they were relayed to Him by His Father in Heaven.
When Jesus healed, He was destroying the works of the devil.
When Jesus forgave, he was destroying the works of the devil.
When Jesus showed sinners mercy, he was destroying the works of the devil.
When Jesus delivered people from bondage and demonic oppression, He was destroying the works of the devil.
When the lame walked, the blind saw, and the deaf heard—Jesus was destroying the works of the devil.
This is what happened when the Son of God appeared. This is what is supposed to happen when sons and daughters appear.
Jesus tells us that we need to go learn what the prophet Hosea meant by, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” Essentially, Jesus makes it clear that more than sacrifices and burnt offerings, he wants us to carry the loving-kindness of God, as well as true knowledge of Who God actually is. He is asking us to discern the heart of God towards men and women. This will affect the way we see people. The sick, sinners, and oppressed will no longer be obstacles to steer clear of but persons and opportunities of immense value, waiting to be liberated, healed—and adopted as sons and daughters.
As we reflect on the appearance of the Son of God over the Christmas Advent, it would only be right in our reflecting to see how we can more fully reflect the perfect Son of God. As sons and daughters of God, we should reflect on why we have appeared at this time, in this generation. It would be good to also reflect on how we are to participate in the ongoing mission of the Father.
Start by telling the Father that you want to participate in destroying the works of the devil. Ask Him for opportunities to pray for people, to share the gospel with people, to give you the gifts of His Spirit as you visit friends and family over the holiday so that you might impart something beneficial to them.
Creation is longing for the sons and daughters of God to be revealed and Jesus, with His life, showed us what a son and daughter will look like. It’s time to engage the Kingdom of God, destroy the works of the devil, and walk as true offspring of the Son. Let’s follow in His footsteps this Holiday season as we celebrate and give thanks for His timely appearance.