No Crying He Makes – Really?

In the familiar carol Away in a Manger, there is a line in the second verse that says, “no crying he makes.” This seems to suggest that baby Jesus just doesn’t cry, cannot cry. In other words right from the earliest of days, he really wasn’t quite like us, he doesn’t feel like us, he doesn’t experience our concerns – he is somewhat different and distant from real humanity.

Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus we are told was God, and was “made flesh and dwelt among us.” Real Jesus = real God. Real Jesus = real Man. Very God and very man. Every bit God, every bit man. It’s important we understand this, because if he wasn’t both true God and true man there is no good news, no possibility of the forgiveness of sins, no salvation, no transforming work of the Spirit, no hope of eternal glory.

And as real man, he was as human as we are, he had to be. He was as much a baby as the next one, born in the same way, with all the needs that any baby has. Though the text doesn’t say, we can be sure he cried. He knew dependence. He was dependent on his earthly mother, he needed food and drink, he needed parents to raise him. He was taught knowledge and he learned carpentry. He experienced temptation and trials and he wept at the loss of a close friend. He knew weariness, he knew pain physically and emotionally, and he had the same bodily functions we have, etc. etc.. He was as human as you or I.

He doesn’t work salvation outside of our humanity, but comes and works within it. As transcendent Creator God, he must localise himself within his own broken creation in order to bring salvation. This is the wonder of Christmas. This is the Good News!

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