Monday, December 19, 2005

Text Luke 2:1-20

                              Lectionary Gospel Reading  QUICK OVERVIEW
                                             For December 25  2005

Text:  Luke 2:1-20.

Key Word:  Humility.

Key Verses:  Luke 2:11, 13-14. “(an angel said )….for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord….suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest,  and on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased.”

Key Thought:  Jesus Christ, the Godman Lord of Glory, made a humble entrance into this world in a stable.   In contrast, Caesar Augustus on the throne of the Roman Empire claimed to be a god and was really only a lying idol.

Outline of Ideas Presented in the Text:

Joseph and his pregnant, betrothed wife planned to have the child in Nazareth their home town. But God used Caesar Augustus, proud head of the Roman Empire (who claimed godhood), to providentially intervene.  Caesar ordered all persons to go back to their families’ birthplaces to be registered.  So Joseph and Mary, in the royal line of King David, had to make a grueling seventy-mile trip through the mountains to go to little humble Bethlehem (David’s birthplace) the predicted birthplace of the coming Messiah. (verses 1-5).

Little Bethlehem was crowded with returning families.  Joseph and Mary were left in humble circumstances to find shelter probably in a cave where the animals were kept.  Mary had to deliver her own baby and for a crib had to use a manger for feeding animals. (verses 6-7).

Nearby, humble shepherds (under the rabbi’s ban because they were unable to keep the ceremonial law) were tending flocks of sheep that were destined for sacrificial offerings at the Temple in Jerusalem.  God the Father sent His supernatural messenger to announce His son’s humble birth.  The shepherds were scared of the bright light surrounding the angel but the wonderful news of Christ the Lord’s (God’s) birth in nearby Bethlehem overcame their fears.  The token of his identity would be in their finding a newborn in a manger. (verses 8-12).

Suddenly a whole army of angels appeared to see this glorious event.  God had sent His only Son as a love gift to remove the conflict between Himself and a world in revolt against Him.  The angels praised God in awesome wonder.  This humble birth would result in the child’s growing up to pay the penalty for men’s sins and so bring peace between men and God.  (verses 13-14).

When the angels returned to heaven, the excited shepherds said, “Let us go and find this baby lying in a manger.”  They found the baby as they had been told.  These humble shepherds then became the first evangelists to tell everyone they met about the wonderful Good News and extraordinary event—the Messiah had come! (verses 15-18).

Humble Mary carefully treasured in her heart all these extraordinary events surrounding the birth of her child..  She did not brag about them to others. (verses 19-20).

Applications:

Is Jesus still just a little baby or a good teacher whom I can ignore?

Am I willing to humble myself and receive the new birth--Christ being spiritually born in me?

Am I humble enough to allow Jesus to be Lord of my life and direct me through His Word and Spirit in all that I do?

Am I still excited about Jesus coming into my life so that I share Him with those I meet?














  

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