This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on December 10th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.
Last week we looked at Luke 1 and looked at how the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus came about. Today we will look at Luke 2: 1-21
“1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
Those days is talking about, the days, when after 400 years of silence was broken when an angel of God spoke to Zechariah. 6 months later, the angel spoke to Mary, prophesying to both a child- one being the forerunner and one where she is conceived by the Holy Spirit. Caesar and Augustus are not names, but titles- his real name was Gaius Octavios. Our faith in Jesus is not rooted in mythology but in history. Caesar Augustus ruled the Roman empire for 45 years. Pax romana- peace of Rome- was in his reign. There was prosperity and peace in Rome during this time.
Q. Why is Luke telling us this?
2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child
In Micah he prophesied that the Messiah will come out of Bethlehem. The other prophetic word is that he would be of the lineage of David. But they were living in Nazareth. So God moved the ruler’s heart to conduct a census. According to the census, they had to go to their hometown, which was Bethlehem.
Q. What can we learn from this?
All the international political events can confound us, but above and beyond all these decisions, is our God who is sovereign and he will always have his way. The kings’ hearts are in his hands.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Firstborn – in Jewish culture, the rights and inheritance went to the Firstborn. The Bible tells us that Jesus had other half- brothers and sisters. The Catholics believe otherwise. Jesus had other brothers and sister- Joseph and Mary had normal relations after the birth of Jesus.
Manger- It is a feeding trough for animals. It is not something people usually have in homes. Babies do not belong in a manger. Parents choose a nice room and good place to put our babies. Mary and Joseph were poor. There was no place even in an Inn. The king of the Universe chose to be born in humble surroundings.
Q. Are we willing for the sake of the gospel to sacrifice?
Jesus voluntarily took up the place of a poor person, a humiliating way to be born.
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Shepherds were looked down upon in that society. In their law, shepherds’ testimony was not taken into account. God chose to reveal the wonder of his birth to the nobodies in society.
9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
This statement has so much truth in it. The long awaited Messiah for whom they were pining, a Saviour was born. Christ means the anointed one. Lord is used to refer to God. He is the answer to the Jewish nation. But it is for all people. The extent of Jesus’ influence is all people.
It is good news of great joy. That great joy is when someone receives salvation. Christmas is Merry for us because our sins are forgiven.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
Q. How did they know that that was the baby? The angels gave them this indication.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
What a choir that must have been!! Amazing heavenly worship taking place there. God chose the foolish things on earth to shame the wise. We are amongst those nobodies to whom God has revealed the birth of His son.
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
What an amazing thing that the angels finished singing, and went back to heaven! The Shepherds couldn’t figure out this thing that has happened.
16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.
Now Mary and Joseph had God speak to both of them regarding this baby. But for months, they did not have any other sign or confirmation. Sometimes, we too can wonder if God has really said something. But now, after the baby is born, for the first time they have a confirmation from the shepherds. Then they tell Mary and Joseph that angels told them about this baby.
18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
We have heard the good news of the Saviour. Like the shepherds, we need to make it known. This needs to become a lifestyle. Evangelism is a lifestyle. We need to fill our hearts with worship at the miracle of the birth and salvation of God.
Can we be a people who treasure this news and respond with a lifestyle of Worship and Evangelism?
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.