If I was an observer at the time of Jesus, I could easily have missed his significance.
His beginning was dubious, given his teenage mother was pregnant and unmarried(Mat 1:18), and his parents were nothing to write home about (Luke 1:26-27).
When he started speaking publicly it was a bit of a surprise to those who knew him. They only thought of him as a good, solid working class man (Mat 13:54-56). You can’t blame the leaders of his day for being so dismissive of him. After all, he had no formal qualifications (John 7:15). Also, his character was questionable. How could someone enjoy so much time with lawbreakers and dangerous people without it affecting them? (Mat 9:10-11) And, no doubt having well-meaning women support him financially raised an eyebrow or two. (Luke 8:1-3)
Stories of his healing people were circulating and he was gaining in popularity (Mark 1:43-45). But the powerful people who could really have ‘opened doors’ for him were the very ones he fought with the most (Mat 23:13-39). Instead of leveraging his position of power, he spent his time with people who had little to offer him in return (Luke 15:1-2). As a result, he was essentially blacklisted by the authorities(John 9:22).
As an outside observer, I could have missed his significance.
But Jesus didn’t call people to observe him. He called them to follow him (Mat 4:19). For those who stay at a safe distance there is no reward. But for those willing to risk an up-close relationship with Jesus, they will find the gift of life (John 11:25-26).
So take the gamble on a fresh encounter with Jesus today. It will be the best Christmas present you’ll ever get.