What Babe Is This?

What Babe Is This?

Sunday December 3, 2023


I’ve been listening to it for days now: the Christmas carol “What Child Is This?”

And I have been thinking about Advent and Christmas.

But it was in my sleep that God spoke to me, it seems – because when I woke up one morning, a four-part series came to my mind, directly and clearly, one reflection for each of the four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas Eve and Day: 

“What Babe Is This?”

“What Child Is This?”

“What Man Is This?”

“What King Is This?”


So, this first week of Advent, let’s reflect on “What Babe Is This?”

- this babe whose coming was prophesied by Isaiah: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Emmanuel.” (7:14) - “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (9:6) 

- this babe whose place of birth was prophesied by Micah: “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” (5:2) 

- this babe who, before His conception, was foretold to Mary by the angel Gabriel as “Jesus… the Son of the Most High… the Son of God” (Luke 1:31,32,35) 

- this babe who, after His conception by the Holy Spirit, was announced to Joseph by an angel as “Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” and as “Emmanuel, which translated means God With Us” (Matthew 1:21,23)

- this babe who, while He was still being formed in His mother’s womb, filled Mary’s cousin Elizabeth with the Holy Spirit and caused Elizabeth’s babe-in-womb to leap for joy (Luke 1:41,44)

- this babe who, being in Himself God, chose to be born in a simple manger in a humble stable in the small town of Bethlehem (Luke 2:4,7) – “Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men…” (Philippians 2:5-7)

- this babe who, on the night of His birth, was heralded and praised by myriads of angels on high as “a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11)

- this babe, “this Child”, who on the night of His birth was visited and glorified by shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night (Luke 2:17)

- this babe, over whom “His star” rested and shone from afar – whose star caused magi kings from the East to “rejoice exceedingly with great joy” as they followed its light to the place where Jesus was (Matthew 2:2,10)

- this babe, “He who has been born King of the Jews”, whom magi kings offered their worship and their treasures of gold and frankincense and myrrh (Matthew 2:2)


So: what babe is this? 

As the chorus of the beautiful Christmas carol goes: 

“This, this is Christ the King,

Whom shepherds guard and angels sing,

Haste, haste to bring Him laud,

The babe, the son of Mary.”

Yes, this babe is Christ the King! 

This babe was born of the Holy Spirit and a humble highly-favoured virgin – and was raised by her and her righteous carpenter husband. 

This babe was foretold by prophets, announced and heralded by angels, glorified by shepherds, worshiped by magi kings.

This babe brought good news of great joy and peace among men. 

This babe brought God amongst us – brought salvation from sin – brought eternity down from heaven to earth.

“This, this is Christ the King…”

So: let us all make haste to bring Him laud, to bring Him the worship and adoration of our hearts and lives!  


For a beautiful rendition of the Christmas carol What Child Is This?, 

the song that inspired this Advent Reflections series - 

click on the following link: