The 6-year-old kids in their Sunday School category were re-enacting the narrative of the birth of Jesus. The instructor wanted them to present it themselves based on their ain made-up book, so it was surely interesting. They had three Marys, two Josephs, six shepherds, two wise cats, and one male child who played the cow.
Another male child decided he would be the physician who would present the babe. The instructor consented, so the small physician went back behind the trough and picked up the doll and carefully wrapped him in a cover. Then with a large smiling on his face, he turned to theMarys and the Josephs and said, “ Praises, it ‘s a Supreme being! ”That small male child had a better appreciation of the embodiment than many people much older. The birth of Jesus was an astonishing experience of God taking on a human signifier. Today, we are traveling to analyze “ The Day God became a Baby. ”
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You are listening to Derek Stringer on Word Alive. My name is ( – ) and we are so glad that you are fall ining us today for a particular message from Luke ‘s Gospel observing the birth of Jesus.
Good News Broadcasting produces Word Alive and Dr. Stringer is our Bible Teacher, and I bit in from clip to clip.Derek ‘s current series is taking us through selected transitions in Luke ‘s Gospel.We are picking up on what the Bible says about Storm Proofing Our Lifes.You can acquire this whole series on CD or cassette. If you have email we will direct you transcripts. I ‘ll acquire our contact inside informations to you subsequently in the programme.
Let ‘s now go back to Derek for his particular message. . . The Day God Became A Baby. ”
We are n’t certain about the clip of the twelvemonth when Jesus was born, but it ‘s safe to deduce He was n’t born around December 25. When Constantine legalised Christianity in the fourth Century, there was already a heathen jubilation called Sol Invictus that took topographic point a few yearss after the winter solstice.
It was a jubilation of the fact that one time once more light had conquered darkness. When the Roman Empire became “ Christian ” they adopted many of these heathen patterns and tried to Christianize them ( they finally paganised Christianity ) , therefore we celebrate “ Christ ‘s mass ” on December 25.The best hint in the narration for the clip of twelvemonth was the fact that shepherds were out in the Fieldss at dark with their flocks. This was merely done during the warm months, surely non in December. The day of the month of the birth of Jesus is n’t the point – the good intelligence is that HE HAS BEEN BORN. For that ground, we should analyze this event at times other than at Christmas.We read about this amazing experience in Luke 2:1-20.
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I ‘ll merely pick out a few poetries so that we get the feel of this familiar transition in Bible.In those yearss, Caesar Augustus issued a edict that a nose count should be taken of the full Roman universe. . . . So Joseph besides went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went at that place to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was anticipating a kid.
While they were at that place, the clip came for the babe to be born, and she gave birth to her eldest, a boy. She wrapped him in strips of fabric and placed him in a trough, because there was no room for them in the hostel. And there were shepherds populating out in the Fieldss nearby maintaining ticker over their flocks at dark.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glorification of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “ Do non be afraid. I bring you good intelligence of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you ; he is Christ the Lord.
This will be a mark to you ; You will happen a babe wrapped in strips of fabric and prevarication in a trough. ”
. So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe, who was lying in the trough. ”
You ‘ve heard Christmas discourses all your life, and there is so much we could happen in this text, but for this survey, we will look at merely two subjects:First, the Miracles Mary pondered and,Second, the Message God proclaimed.
First: THE MIRACLES MARY PONDERED
It ‘s obvious that Luke conducted a personal interview with Mary many old ages subsequently or how else would he hold been able to compose what he did in poetry 19? It says, “ Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her bosom. ” Mary experienced so many miracles that dark that she had to hive away them in her bosom as cherished hoarded wealths.The word “ pondered ” is a word that Aristotle used often ; it is the word sunballousa which means to “ invariably rethink and measure even the tiniest inside informations ” of an experience. What were “ these things ” that she pondered? When we lookat what took topographic point that dark, there were really three marvelous journeys. Each of these three journeys came to a decision that dark and they all arrived at the same topographic point in Bethlehem.First, there was The hard reaching in Bethlehem.
The first journey that came to a decision that dark was the hard journey Mary and Joseph made from Nazareth to Bethlehem. It was a hard trek of over 80 stat mis. The chapter begins with Luke puting this event in a actual historical and political context. Remember, he is composing to Theophilus, who likely was an of import functionary in the Roman authorities. Luke is careful to guarantee that the readers comprehend that the birth of Jesus is steadfastly rooted in history. It was non a once-upon-a-time narrative. There was a existent The nazarene merely as there was a Caesar Augustus and agovernor named Quirinius.Can you conceive of the fright and anxiousness Joseph and Mary experienced when they heard that because of this nose count, they had no pick but to go to Bethlehem? They knew Mary was traveling to give birth any twenty-four hours and it would be a long and hard trip but they had non pick, did they? After all, the Emperor Augustus was in control.
Truly? Actually, the bosom of this male monarch was in the manus of the Lord, and God was behind this edict. This monolithic enrollment program was merely God ‘s manner to acquire Mary in the right topographic point for Jesus to be born. The Bible had prophesied 700 old ages earlier that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
Micah 5:2 says, “ But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the kins of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose beginnings are from of old, from ancient times. ”
That last phrase literally reads, “ whose beginning is from the yearss of infinity. ” Caesar Augustus, the adoptive boy of Julius Caesar, was the first Caesar to be called Augustus.
His existent name was Octavanius. The Roman Senate voted to give him that rubric, Augustus, which means “ holy or revered. ” It was a rubric reserved for Gods. They wanted to do the Roman emperor like God. So here was this “ Augustus ” doing his political edict, believing he was God and he is merely a pawn in the manus of the true God. Man proposes, but God disposes. Augustus was a adult male who wanted to go a God and what we see in this text is God who is going a adult male – what a contrast!So Joseph and Mary eventually arrived in Bethlehem, merely to happen every hotel had a “ no vacancy ” mark out forepart.
Actually, Bethlehem was such a bantam town, that when it says there was no room in the Inn, it means there was merely one and it was full. So Jesus was born. .
. where, precisely? The Bible does n’t state. We merely know He was laid in a trough, which is a wooden provender box for cattles and sheep. That ‘s why we assume He was born in a barn.
Most miniature Nativity scenes employ a wooden hovel as the barn, but we are reasonably certain it was n’t a wooden barn. In Bible times, and particularly in the part around Bethlehem, husbandmans and shepherds did n’t hold plenty wood to construct wooden edifice. Alternatively they used the natural shoal caves that dotted the sides of the limestone hills.If you of all time acquire the opportunity to see Bethlehem, you will likely travel down into the Church of the Nativity, and there is a shallow cave, or grotto, that is the traditional site of the birth of Jesus.
Of class, this immense church has been built over it, so I would seek to take travelers to a shepherd ‘s cave outside the metropolis that looks the same today as it might hold looked 2,000 old ages ago.So Mary and Joseph likely found safety in or near one of these limestone caves. One of the things Mary pondered in her bosom that dark was the trip to Bethlehem and the tough experience of holding her eldest kid born in less-than-idea fortunes.But there was a 2nd journey that arrived at the same topographic point that flushing. I call it The quiet reaching of God.
The Bible Teachs that when Jesus comes once more there will be the cry of the archangel and the cornet of God will sound. How different was His first coming. In the silence of a starlit dark, Mary merely gave birth to a small babe – and his baby call was the first clip the voice of God was heard talking through human lips. The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem was 80 stat mis.How far was this journey? It was a journey in which the Eternal Son of God laid aside His glorification and travelled down through clip and infinite at the velocity of idea and took upon Himself our similitude.
There is a kids ‘s film entitled “ The Incredible Journey. ” It ‘s about a twosome of Canis familiariss and a cat that travel across the land to be reunited with their proprietors. That ‘s unbelievable! But the existent Incredible Journey was when God travelled to planet Earth and became a babe. If the word “ unbelievable ” means “ incredible, ” so you ca n’t utilize if for the embodiment, because it is reallycredible. One the best poetries about the Incarnation is II Corinthians 8:9, “ For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your interests he became hapless, so that you through his poorness might go rich.
”The ground Jesus was born in such a hapless low circumstance was for our interests. Less than a stat mi from Bethlehem sitting on top of the tallest hill was the monolithic castle that Herod the Great had built for himself. Called the Herodium, it had 200 polished marble stairss taking to a series of towers and arches. It contained a swimming pool twice every bit big as an olympic pool. It would hold been clearly in sight that dark blazing off with its torches and tapers.Why was n’t the King of the Jews Born at that place? Did God cognize what He was making? Was it a error for the Messiah to born in such low milieus? Should n’t there hold been a castle alternatively of a cave? Should n’t there hold been a solid gold cradle, non a trough? Should n’t there hold been the finest doctors present alternatively of merely Mary and Joseph? Did God cognize what He was making? Absolutely.Now you would believe that if God so regulations the universe as to utilize an empire- broad nose count to convey Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, He certainly could hold seen to it that a room was available in the hostel. Yes, He could hold.
And Jesus could hold been born into a affluent household. He could hold turned stone into staff of life in the wilderness. He could hold called 10,000 angels to His assistance in Gethsemane. He could hold come downfrom the cross and saved Himself. The inquiry is non what God could make but what He willed to make. God ‘s will was that though Christ was rich, yet for your interest He became hapless. The “ No vacancy ” marks over all the motels in Bethlehem were for your interest. “ For your interest He became hapless.
” God regulations all things – even motel capacities, for the interest of His kids. The Calvary route begins with a no vacancy mark in Bethlehem and ends with the expectoration and jeer and the cross in Jerusalem.So softly, without ostentation or huntsman’s horns, God softly slipped into this universe as a small babe.
Charles Wesley wrote six thousand anthems. We sing one of his best: “ Hark theHerald Angels Sing. ”Listen once more to the instruction in the last poetry,“ Hail the Eden born Prince of Peace,hail the Son of righteousness,Light and life to all He brings,risen with mending in His wings,mild He lays His glorification by, ” ( that ‘s the embodiment ) ,“ Born that adult male no more may decease,born to raise the boies of Earth,born to give them 2nd birth.Hark the trumpeter angels sing,glorification to the new born King.
I ‘m certain these were things that Mary pondered in her bosom, but at that place was another journey that dark.She besides pondered The surprise reaching of shepherds.Now, image small Mary for a minute. She is exhausted from the hard trip from Nazareth, and she is weary from the physical ordeal of giving birth to her eldest. But she is excessively aroused to travel to kip so she and Joseph are taking bends keeping the babe Jesus. Sometime that flushing, a group of shepherds arrive and state, “ Yes, here He is, merely like the angel said. .
. what do you cognize, a babe in a trough, now I ‘ve ne’er seen that earlier. ”I wonder if Mary had begun to entertain some uncertainties about the visit of the angel nine months before. After all, if her kid was the Messiah, would she hold been out in a cave, seting her kid in a provender box? But now these unexpected visitants show up – and they are aroused! One of the shepherds returns to state Mary about the angel and so about the whole ground forces of angels who appeared in the sky. This had to be a pleasant surprise as, one time once more ; Mary receives verification that this small babe was to be the Saviour of the universe.This journey was a circular trip of merely a twosome of stat mis. They travelled from the Fieldss into Bethlehem, and so they returned to Fieldss, joying and praising God.
What a dark that was!There were three miracles that caused Mary to chew over God ‘s illustriousness and grace. The twosome arrived safely in the metropolis of David, God arrived in the signifier a babe, and the shepherds arrived to look into this alone birth.So now, allow ‘s see SECONDLY: THE MESSAGE GOD PROCLAIMED.God delivered a message to all of us, but He foremost delivered it to these shepherds. Merely as it was no accident that Jesus was born in hapless, low fortunes, God ‘s message to shepherds has a deep impact on us every bit good. The fact that God chose shepherds to hear the first gospel message is non an accident.
Shepherds were the lowest people in the socio-economic order of that twenty-four hours ; they were a detested category with a bad repute. Shepherds were known as stealers because they were mobile, and as they moved their sheep around the state, sometimes they got confused about what was “ mine ” and what was “ thine. ” They were non allowed to give testimony in a Judaic tribunal of jurisprudence. Their work made it impossible for them to detect the Judaic ceremonial Torahs and temple rites, so they were considered sacredly dirty and unacceptable. It ‘s pretty astonishing to believe this celestial invasion came to such societal castawaies!The conditions was mild at this clip so the shepherds of the part kept ticker over their flocks in the hills instead so drive them to the shelter of pens. There is some grounds these flocks were being raised to utilize in the forfeits at the temple in Jerusalem five stat mis off.
There, an unmarred lamb was slain every forenoon and eventide as an offering to the Lord. Now the angel was about to inform the shepherds that the Lamb of God who would take away their wickednesss by the sloughing of his ain blood had merely been born. The fact that God delivered the first gospel message to shepherds alternatively of a male monarch tells us that the good intelligence is for all people, non merely the wealthy or the educated.Let ‘s notice four things God said to those shepherds 2,000 old ages ago, because He is stating the same thing to us today.
He is stating here ‘s some good intelligence that will give you great joy.
The first thing the angel said to the shepherds was “ DO NOT BE AFRAID. ”
Meeting an angel in the center of the dark tends to scare people out of their marbless. However, there are fearful people today, who have n’t seen an angel, alternatively they are looking at an unsure hereafter. Fear is one of the biggest jobs we face.I recall even when I was a kid turning up in North London we would go forth the forepart and back door unfastened from clip to clip ; we were n’t afraid of person breakage in.
Timess have changed.God is go throughing on a good intelligence message today: “ Do n’t be afraid. Whatever happens to you, I am non traveling to go forth you or abandon you.
”Some of you need to hear His voice of confidence right now.
Following, God says through the angel, “ Today a Saviour has been born to you ; He is Christ the Lord. ”
I ‘m glad God did n’t state, “ Today a Saviour has been born to Mary. . . “ He said, “ a Saviour Born to you. ” That means Jesus was born for each of us. This is God ‘s manner of allowing us know He wants to come in into a personal relationship with us.
Then the angel calls Jesus “ Christ ” which means “ Messiah. ” He is placing Jesus as the long-awaited King of the Jews. He besides calls Him “ Lord ” which means “ Master. ” This is His rubric. From the really first twenty-four hours of His human birth, Jesus is called Saviour, Messiah, and Lord. God invaded this planet in the delicate signifier a small babe. He had to go like us so that we could associate to Him.
John 1:14 says, “ The Word ( God ) became flesh and dwelt among us.
If God wanted to associate to birds, He would hold become a bird. If God had wanted to pass on to cattles, He would hold become a cow. If He wanted to pass on to Canis familiariss, He would hold become a Canis familiaris. But God wanted to associate to you and to me, so He became like us – a human being.It ‘s like the small miss who was afraid of the dark and called out, “ Daddy, come in here and be with me. ” Her male parent said, “ Merely embrace your teddy bear. ” The small miss said, “ No, Daddy, I want something with tegument on it. ” Jesus is God with tegument on, so that you can cognize him every bit much as he knows you.
This is what happened harmonizing to Philippians 2:5-7 “ Your attitude should be thesame as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in really nature God, did non see equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nil, taking the really nature of a retainer, being made in human similitude. ”
God did all of this so that we could cognize him personally. He put on human flesh so He could decease for us. This is at the bosom of Christian truth.I read of a Hindu adult male who could non believe in Christianity because he could non contemplate a God who would so low himself. Then one twenty-four hours as he came across an formicary he tried to acquire near plenty to analyze it, but every clip he bent low, his shadow caused all the emmets to scamper off. He recognised to himself that the lone manner inwhich he could of all time come to cognize that settlement of emmets would be if he could somehow go an ant himself – and that was the minute in which his transition to Christ began.If our greatest demand had been information, God would hold sent an pedagogue.
If our greatest demand had been engineering, God would hold sent us a scientist. If our greatest demand had been money, God would hold sent us an economic expert. If our greatest demand had been pleasance, God would hold sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest demand was for forgiveness, so God sent us a Saviour.One of the most beautiful rubrics of Jesus is Emmanuel, which means “ God with us. ” That ‘s the truth of the Embodiment: God has come to be with us in the individual of Jesus.
Next, the angel invited the shepherds to go into Bethlehem to look into and corroborate this message.
He said the manner they would recognize this Savior/Messiah/King in an unusual manner. He would be lying in a provender trough ( we have made the word “ trough ” excessively spiritual ) .
To me it is important that God did n’t command them to go into Bethlehem, He merely delivered the Good News. After the angels left, the shepherds said, “ Let ‘s travel into Bethlehem to see this thing that the Lord has told us about. ”They heard God ‘s invitation, and by their ain pick they accepted His invitation and travelled into the town to happen the babe.
I can merely conceive of what must hold happened. They hurried into town inquiring everyone they met if they had heard of a babe being born who was placed in a provender trough ; eventually they arrive at the right location and they see Mary, Joseph, and small babe Jesus.The babe is wrapped tightly in strips of fabric and is resting in a wooden provender trough. They had seen plenty! The angel was right: the Saviour, Messiah, Lord had arrived! They non merely heard the proclamation, they came into His presence and met Him.
I wonder what happened after they told Mary and Joseph the narrative of the angels. The Bible does n’t state, but possibly Mary did what many new female parents say to me when I visit them in the infirmary. Do you believe she asked, “ Would you wish to keep Him? ” Ca n’t you see one of those unsmooth old shepherds tenderly taking the babe into his weaponries? This shepherd who daily handled the spotless lambs that would be used for the Temple forfeit was keeping the Spotless Lamb of God.I do n’t cognize if Mary invited them to keep the babe Jesus but I do cognize God is ask foring you today to have Him into your bosom. Like the shepherds, you have heard the Good News and now God merely invites you to come to Jesus and to come in into His presence and have His forgiveness.It ‘s clip for you to RSVP. Have you of all time received an invitation to go to a particularjuncture and the initials RSVP look? You likely know that it stands.
It ‘s abbreviated from the Gallic for “ answer please. ” It means that a answer is expected ; it is considered an abuse to disregard an invitation that has RSVP written. God has addressed a particular invitation to you – it has your name on it. He invites you to come into His presence and have the free gift of ageless life through Jesus Christ our Lord. He has added RSVP to you invitation. Have you insulted God by non reacting?Here ‘s the 4th thing that God is stating to us: Once you run into me, you ca n’t maintain it a secret.So these shepherds travelled into the small town and they met the babe Jesus and they were so aroused that poetry 17 says, “ they spread the word refering what had been told them about this kid.
” That means they became the really first revivalists for Jesus. I believe each of those work forces were changed from holding entered into the presence of Jesus. They could n’t maintain quiet about what had happened to them since they met Jesus. They were gleefully jumping along, sharing the good intelligence with everyone they encountered.Verse 18 says, “ and all who heard it were amazed. ” You see, one time you meet Jesus, you ca n’t remain the same. The birth of this small babe made all the difference in the universe.
Did you of all time read Bret Harte ‘s short narrative “ The Luck of Roaring Camp? ” Roaring Camp was supposed to be, harmonizing to the narrative, the meanest, toughest mining town in the full American West.More slayings, more larcenies, it was a awful topographic point inhabited wholly by work forces, and one adult female who tried to function them all. Her name was Cherokee Sal. She died while giving birth to a babe.Well, the work forces took the babe, and they put her in a box with some old shred under her. When they looked at her, they decided that did n’t look right, so they sent one of the work forces 80 stat mis to purchase a rosewood cradle. He brought it back, and they put the shred and the babe in the rosewood cradle. And the shreds did n’t look right at that place.
So they sent another of their figure to Sacramento, and he came back with some beautiful silk and lacing covers. And they put the babe, wrapped around with those covers, in the rosewood cradle. It looked all right until person happened to detect the floor was so foul.
So these hardened, tough work forces got down on their custodies and articulatio genuss, and with their hardened and aroused custodies they scrubbed that floor until it was really clean. Of class, what that did was to do the walls and the ceiling and the dirty windows without drapes look perfectly awful. So they washed down the walls and the ceiling, and they put drapes at the Windowss.
And now things were get downing to look as they thought they should look. But of class, they had to give up a batch of their combat, because the babe slept a batch, and babes ca n’t kip during a bash. So the whole temperature of Roaring Camp seemed to travel down.They used to take her out and put her by the entryway to the mine in her rosewood cradle so they could see her when they came up. Then person noticed what a soiled topographic point that was, so they planted flowers, and they made a really nice garden at that place.
It looked rather beautiful. And they would convey her, oh, glistening small rocks and things that they would happen in the mine. But when they would set their custodies down following to hers, their custodies looked so soiled. Reasonably shortly the general shop was all sold out of soap and shaving cogwheel and aroma and those sorts of things. Before long, the work forces were a wholly different clump of work forces…
the babe changed everything.Have you of all time met Jesus? He will alter your life excessively. One of the ways you can state is that you will be stating everyone you meet that your life is different. When was the last clip you acted like those shepherds and informed everyone you know that you have met Jesus and things are different in your life?
For us, these should be more than words to a vocal, they should be our day-to-day testimony:“ What a fantastic alteration in my life has been wrought,since Jesus came into my bosom.I have light in my psyche for which long had I sought,since Jesus came into my bosom,since Jesus came into my bosom,inundations of joy over my psyche like the sea billows axial rotation,since Jesus came into my bosom ”
I late read a narrative of a missional squad that had been invited to Russia to learn Christianity. It was Christmastime, and as they taught the narrative of Christ ‘s birth at an orphanhood ; everyone listened in astonishment.
None of the kids or the staff had of all time heard it before. One of the squad wrote: “ We gave the kids some stuffs and instructed them to make the trough scene that they had merely heard about. All went good until I got to one tabular array where small Misha sat ; he looked to be about 6 old ages old and had finished his undertaking. As I looked at the small male child ‘s trough, I was startled to see non one, but two babes in the trough.
I called for a transcriber to inquire why. Looking at his completed trough scene, the kid began to reiterate the narrativeaccurately, until he came to the portion where Mary put the babe Jesus in the trough. Then Misha started to improvise his ain stoping to the narrative.He said, ‘And when Mary laid the babe in the trough, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a topographic point to remain. I told him I have no mamma and no dad, so I do n’t hold any topographic point to remain. Then Jesus told me I could remain with him. So I got into the trough, and so Jesus looked at me and he told me I could remain with him everlastingly.
‘ Puting his manus over his face, Misha ‘s caput dropped to the tabular array and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed.For the first clip in his life, he had found person who would ne’er abandon nor mistreat him, person who would remain with him everlastingly. ”
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God has delivered a Good News Invitation to you today. He says, “ Come to me allyou who weary and burdened and I will give you rest. ”Your name is embossed on the invitation. He says, “ I love you and I want you to populate with Me forever.
” He has added “ RSVP ” to the invitation. Now, what is your response?
There is no better clip than right now to react to Christ.Derek Stringer has been conveying some penetration to the familiar narrative of the birth of Christ. It needs to go ‘our narrative ‘ so we know Him as our Savour, Lord and Friend.We would love to assist you know Him.