Condescension of Jesus Christ

[14] And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou?
[15] And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.
[16] And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?
[17] And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.
[18] And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.
[19] And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!
[20] And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.
[21] And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?
[22] And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.
[23] And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.
[24] And after he had said these words, he said unto me: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the Son of God going forth among the children of men; and I saw many fall down at his feet and worship him.
[25] And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.
[26] And the angel said unto me again: Look and behold the condescension of God!
[27] And I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world, of whom my father had spoken; and I also beheld the prophet who should prepare the way before him. And the Lamb of God went forth and was baptized of him; and after he was baptized, I beheld the heavens open, and the Holy Ghost come down out of heaven and abide upon him in the form of a dove.
[28] And I beheld that he went forth ministering unto the people, in power and great glory; and the multitudes were gathered together to hear him; and I beheld that they cast him out from among them.
[29] And I also beheld twelve others following him. And it came to pass that they were carried away in the Spirit from before my face, and I saw them not.
[30] And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the heavens open again, and I saw angels descending upon the children of men; and they did minister unto them.
[31] And he spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits; and the angel spake and showed all these things unto me. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out.
[32] And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.
[33] And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.
1 Nephi 11
[5] Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.

[6] For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.

[7] Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement -- save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration.

[11] And because of the way of deliverance of our God, the Holy One of Israel, this death, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave.
[21] And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.
2 Nephi 9
[7] And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.
[8] And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.
Mosiah 3

[33] For behold, did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began -- have they not spoken more or less concerning these things?

[34] Have they not said that God himself should come down among the children of men, and take upon him the form of man, and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth?

[35] Yea, and have they not said also that he should bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, and that he, himself, should be oppressed and afflicted?

Mosiah 13

[10] And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.

[11] And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

[12] And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

[13] Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

Alma 7

Celebrating Jesus' 'Condescension' by Joseph Farah
"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
"To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
"And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
"And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
"And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
"And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
"And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:26-33 (King James Version)
Next week, Christians around the world will be in full Christmas mode attending churches, saying prayers, singing carols and exchanging gifts in remembrance of the birth of their Lord and Savior, Jesus of Nazareth.
We also will be reading from the familiar passages in the Gospel of Luke that describe the circumstances of the Virgin Birth an event like no other in the history of the world.
There have been movies and books about these events. But most have focused, understandably, on the notable obedience and sacrifices of Joseph and Mary in bringing the baby Jesus into the world.
But have you ever thought about what that experience was like for Jesus? We all know how Jesus sacrificed himself for us at the end of his mortal life the excruciating tortures he endured, the humiliation, the death on the cross.
But at this time of the year, I often think about the sacrifice he, the co-creator of the universe, made temporarily to give up his omniscience, his omnipotence, his almighty powers and his seat at the right hand of God and to live inside the womb of a young Jewish girl named Mary and to submit himself to the protection of an obscure Jewish carpenter named Joseph.
He literally stepped down from heaven into a fallen world of danger and deception. He even, presumably, had to disengage from his own divine consciousness to become a helpless embryo. He had to be born under trying circumstances following a rough 70-mile walk by his parents from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
He gave up all the unimaginable riches and untold wisdom of the universe to be born in a barn and laid in an animal trough.
But most of all, try to imagine what it was like sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven contemplating this idea of becoming utterly helpless and, for at least a period of time, presumably, clueless!
Like any other child, Jesus was born not knowing how to walk or talk. How many of us would be willing to trade our own lives and consciousness even as adult mortal human beings to re-enter the world that way again?
That's what Christmas represents to me. It is every bit as awe-inspiring as contemplating Jesus' death and Resurrection.
We often talk about and ponder the Ascension. But what about the "Condescension" that took place when Jesus became, first, an unborn baby and, later on that day in Bethlehem, a vulnerable little infant who would be hunted down by Herod and who would grow up to die an ugly death on the cross?
Believers acknowledge the sacrifice Jesus made on Calvary. But truly, we ought to consider the sacrifice he made the day he willingly stepped down from heaven in the Virgin Birth, which also might be termed the "Miraculous and Mysterious Condescension."
Merry Christmas. And thank you, Jesus!
COPYRIGHT 2007 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.
Bishop Richard C. Edgley, The Condescension of God

This page is sponsored by Tom Irvine, Email: tomirvine@aol.com 
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