The Coming of the King: Luke 2:4-5; various texts

December 27th, 2017

The Coming of the King

Luke 2:4-5, 10-14; various texts

 

 

Why Bethlehem?

  • Was Jesus’ birth in the Bethlehem a matter of coincidence or was there more to it?
  • Bethlehem has a rich history before the birth of Jesus
    • It is near where Rachel, Jacob’s beloved wife, was buried (Gen. 35:19)
    • One of the minor judges, Ibzan, was a Bethlehemite (Jdg. 12:8-10)
    • A Bethlehemite girl was the victim of a sever lack of hospitality by the men of Gibeah (Jdg. 19-20)
      • An irony lost on the people of Bethlehem in Jesus’ day
    • It was the hometown of Naomi and became the adopted home of Ruth
    • And it was the hometown of David
    • Because of its connection with David, Bethlehem became associated with the coming Messiah (Mic. 5:2-5a)
  • Thus, Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was not coincidence
    • But rather, part of God’s orchestrated plan
    • And a clear declaration that Jesus came to be Messiah!

 

What is Messiah?

  • Messiah is the promised king of Israel

    • From the lineage of David
    • Called Christ in Greek
  • The expectation of the Jews of Jesus’ day was that Messiah came to conquer Israel’s enemies
    • Seen as Rome in that time period
  • But, the people’s expectations were wrong
    • Something He was suspected of (John 7:42)
    • Something He was mocked for (Mark 15:32)
    • Something He was arrested for (Luke 23:2)
  • Jesus came to be Messiah
    • The king who would win victory over the enemies of God’s people
    • The king who would bring peace (Isa 9:6-7)
    • But, the enemy was not Rome or some human institution
      • It was sin & death
    • And the peace He offers is not simply a lack of conflict
      • But real peace with God (Rom 5:1)
    • That was the message that the shepherds heard that night over 2000 years ago (Luke 2:10-14)

So What?

  • Do you know Jesus as King?
  • Do you have peace with God through Jesus?
  • That is what why we celebrate this time each year

 

Meditation Verse: Luke 2:14

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The Coming of the Savior. Luke 2:10-14

December 11th, 2017

The Coming of the Savior

Luke 2:10-14, various texts

Why a Baby?

  • Why did we need this child to come into the world the way He did?

    • If God wanted to step into human history, could He had done so without becoming human?
    • Or could He had simply come as an adult?
  • Not if He wanted accomplish part of Jesus’ mission
    • To be a Savior for humanity (Luke 2:11-12)
  • Jesus coming as a baby was a sign that He came to be our Savior
  • He came to be human in every way, so that He might experience every aspect of humanity
    • In order to sympathize with us (Heb. 4:15)

      • Thus, the rags & manger

        • Before this, Jesus did not know what poverty was like

          • As, God owning all things
        • Before this, Jesus did not know what powerlessness was like
          • As God, being all-powerful
        • So, He took on the lowest, most vulnerable of humanity to know what it was truly like to be human (Phil. 2:6-8)
          • And He invites us to do the same
        • He came to be human in every way, so that He might experience every aspect of humanity
          • In order to redeem it all (Titus 2:14)
          • In order for Jesus to do His redemptive work on the Cross, He needed to be an appropriate substitute for us (Heb. 2:17)

 

The Great Savior

  • Jesus came to be our Savior because we needed saving

    • From our sins
    • From death
    • From ourselves
  • That’s why He is named ‘Jesus’ (Matt. 1:21)
    • It means “The Lord saves

 

So What?

  • We celebrate Jesus coming to be our Great Savior

    • Saving us from our sins, death, and ourselves
  • Are we trusting Him to do this in us?
    • And declaring it to the world!

 

Meditation Verse: Matthew 1:2

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The Coming of the Great Shepherd: Luke 2:8-14, various texts

December 4th, 2017

The Coming of the Great Shepherd

Luke 2:8-14, various texts

 

Why Shepherds?

  • Why did God choose shepherds to first hear the good news about the birth of Jesus?

    • In that day, shepherds were social outcasts
  • There is a strong link between shepherds and Israel’s history
    • Abel was a shepherd (Gen. 4:2)
    • The Patriarchs of Israel were all shepherds
      • Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
    • When the Israelites moved to Egypt under Joseph because of a famine in Canaan
      • They were given the land of Goshen to live in because it was good land for herding sheep (Gen. 46:34)

        • And the Egyptians detested shepherds
      • Moses served as a shepherd to his father-in-law (Ex. 3:1)
      • David was a shepherd before he was king (1 Sam. 17:34)
    • The image of the shepherd became associated with the leaders of Israel ( 27:17; 2 Sam. 5:2, 7:7; 1 Kgs. 22:17; 1 Chr. 11:2, 17:6; 2 Chr. 18:16; Ps. 78:71)
      • And was often used as a lament when there were no one godly to lead, especially during the time of the Prophets ( 10:2; see also Jer. 22:22; 49:19; 50:44; 51:23; Ez. 34:5, 8; 11:16-17)
    • But God is also described as a shepherd (Isa 40:10-11; see also Gen 49:24; Ps. 23; 28:9; 80:1; Jer. 31:10; Ez. 34:15)
    • And the promised Messiah is described as a shepherd (Ez. 34:15-16, 23-24)
    • God sent the angels to these shepherds to declare the coming of the promised Shepherd who would:
      • Seek the lost
      • Bind up the injured
      • Strengthen the weak
      • Bring justice to the oppressed
    • And who to better recognize a good shepherd than other shepherds

 

The Great Shepherd

  • Jesus claimed to be God’s shepherd (John 10:14-15)

    • Sent by the Father
    • Taking care of His sheep
      • Who, in turn, listen to His voice (John 10:4)
      • And follow where He leads

So What?

  • We can celebrate because Jesus came to be our Great Shepherd

    • Seeking the lost, binding up the injured, strengthening the weak, and bringing justice to the oppressed
  • Are we listening to His voice like good sheep?

 

Meditation Verse: John 10:14-15

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