12 December 22, 2013, Luke 1;26 2;7, Celebrate Jesus At Christmas


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12 December 22, 2013, Luke 1;26 2;7, Celebrate Jesus At Christmas

  1. 1. Celebrate Jesus at Christmas Luke 1:26-56; 2:1-7 December 22, 2013 First Baptist Church Jackson, Mississippi USA http://www.handofgod.com.au/attachments/Image/nativitystorythe_photos_1.jpg http://orlandopropertymanager.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/swchristmascard_top.jpg December Memory Verse: Isaiah 9:6 NKJV 6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government shall be upon His shoulder, And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NKJV
  2. 2. http://cdn-parable.com/ProdImage/Large/01/9781605161501.jpg December 24 — Christmas Eve Service — 5:00 p.m. — Sanctuary Celebrate Christmas with a Candlelight Service, Baptism and Observance of the Lord’s Supper http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_N99pcpIz7ik/TRS7Ctdv5mI/AAAAAAAAAVI/1Bk2jdXeZ-0/s1600/Christ+Child.jpg The prophet Isaiah 700 BC http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/50/Isaiah_%28Bible_Card%29.jpg/537pxIsaiah_%28Bible_Card%29.jpg
  3. 3. Isaiah 9:6 NKJV 6 For unto us a Child is born (earthly perspective), Unto us a Son is given (God’s perspective) (both are in the past now); And the government shall be upon His shoulder, And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NKJV http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514lWYmuBsL._SY344_PJlook-insidev2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg Isaiah 9:10 NKJV 10 “The bricks have fallen down, But we will rebuild with hewn stones; The sycamores are cut down, But we will replace them with cedars.” Isaiah 9:10 NKJV What’s the number one thing? The glory of God! http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4612040156710431&pid=1.7
  4. 4. 1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV http://www.idahovaluesalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Christ-in-Christmas1.jpg 3 Virgin birth verses: 2,000 years from Adam (Gen 3) to Abraham 2,000 years from Abraham to Jesus (Luke 1) 2,000 years from Jesus to us (Rev 12) Galatians 3:16 NKJV 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” Who is Christ. Galatians 3:16 NKJV 3 Virgin birth verses: 1) Genesis 3:14-15 - Adam 2) Luke 1:34-35 - Jesus 3) Revelation 12:1-5 - us Genesis 3:14-15 NKJV 14 So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life.
  5. 5. 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” Gen 3:14-15 NKJV http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4743732472972389&w=168&h=182&c=7&rs=1&pid=1.7 http://rlcfchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/cross-jesus-defeat-satan.jpg He shall bruise your head http://blog.hillsbiblechurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/jesusresurrection8.jpg
  6. 6. Genesis 3:15 has been called the protoevangelium, the first Gospel. Martin Luther said of this verse: "This text embraces and comprehends within itself everything noble and glorious that is to be found anywhere in the Scriptures." God wanted more than just innocent man; His plan was to bring forth redeemed man. “Redeemed man – this being who is greater than innocent man – is only possible because man had something to be redeemed from (a terrible choice).” David Guzik 3 Virgin birth verses: 1) Genesis 3:14-15 - Adam 2) Luke 1:34-35 - Jesus 3) Revelation 12:1-5 - us Luke 1:34-35 NKJV 34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” 35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One Who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Luke 1:34-35 NKJV http://www.captivatingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/star-of-bethlehem1.jpg 3 Virgin birth verses: 1) Genesis 3:14-15 - Adam 2) Luke 1:34-35 - Jesus 3) Revelation 12:1-5 - us
  7. 7. http://scalambra.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/7am-12th-september-2-crop.jpg Revelation 12:1-5 NKJV 1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman (Virgo the Virgin) clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars http://www.informedchristians.com/images/articles/revelation_midpoint_virgo.jpg 2 Then being with Child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4936743955728791&pid=1.7
  8. 8. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child Who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Revelation 12:1-5 NKJV http://www.lmci.org/articles/jcimage.jpg 3 Virgin birth verses: 2,000 years from Adam (Gen 3) to Abraham 2,000 years from Abraham to Jesus (Luke 1) 2,000 years from Jesus to us (Rev 12) Now? Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Copyright © 1992 by Chariot Victor Publishing, an imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. Barclay's Daily Study Bible (NT) J. Vernon McGee's Thru The Bible Dr. Luke was the poet who gave us the songs of Christmas! Elizabeth’s Song The Song of Mary LUKE 1:39-45 NKJV Elizabeth’s Song http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ldzclimc8v1qdp53oo1_500.jpg
  9. 9. LUKE 1:46-56 NKJV The Song of Mary http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-S6z1yUF3PRk/Tzv_MLzadfI/AAAAAAAACH8/Pwmwq669nTs/s1600/magnificat.jpg http://www.maristes-france.org/spip301/IMG/jpg_magnificat_image.jpg Mary's song of praise is called "The Magnificent" (from the Latin word for "magnify"). http://www.turnbacktogod.com/wp-conten/uploads/2011/12/Do-I-have-a-Magnificat.jpg LUKE 1:26-56 NKJV Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary 26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
  10. 10. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-z3YF9OJ4Vfs/UWb4JZR2WaI/AAAAAAAAAxs/jgEoAySoVO4/s1600/Mary+%2526+Gabriel.jpg The Annunciation took place at Nazareth. http://www.lifeofchrist.com/history/maps/pics/birth.gif LUKE 1:27 NKJV 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. It is very possible that both Joseph and Mary were quite young when they were betrothed. http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4739562052387591&pid=1.7 Girls were often betrothed as young as twelve years old, and boys when they were several years older than that.
  11. 11. A Hebrew marriage involved two stages, the kiddushin (betrothal, sanctification or dedication) and the huppah (ceremony under the canopy). Huppah http://image001.mywedding.com/10/208/10208401_475.jpg?0 The betrothal prohibited the woman to all other men and was so binding that it required a religious divorce (Get) to dissolve the relationship. During the betrothal the man and woman were considered legally married, even though the marriage ceremony (huppah) and consummation often did not occur until as much as a year later. The betrothal period served as a time of probation and testing of fidelity. During that period the bride and groom usually had little, if any, social contact with each other. When a young Hebrew man and woman were to be betrothed, the groom poured wine into his cup and invited the woman to drink of it. http://hethathasanear.com/images/marriage.jpg
  12. 12. It was up to her. If she drank from it, she was considered betrothed to him. If she did not, no marriage would take place. Paul tells the church in II Corinthians 11:2 2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. II Corinthians 11:2 When the bride drank of the cup, she drank of the marriage covenant or contract, accepting it. It is no wonder what Jesus tells His disciples in Matthew 26:27-28 http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lIako-gmfB0/Ta7eDFQ9AkI/AAAAAAAABeI/v1F_vfAj6iU/s1600/jesus+passover.jpg Matthew 26:27-28 NKJV 27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matthew 26:27-28 NKJV http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GiThAMcSOFw/TlUg-i88gaI/AAAAAAAAATA/7RNbzVOYKcg/s1600/Passover+wine.jpg
  13. 13. As we drink of His cup, we accept His invitation to be betrothed to Him and to be forgiven of our sins so we can be like He is—sinless, spotless, and without fault in His presence at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. http://zionsgate.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/marriage-supper-of-the-lamb.jpg Yet it means far more! “Drinking the cup" means to accept whatever that cup represents. The drinking of the cup is similar (but more binding) to the part in our marriage ceremonies when we vow “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Money/Pix/pictures/2009/8/24/1251118125012/sick-day-couple-in-bed-001.jpg
  14. 14. to love and to cherish, till death us do part https://02varvara.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/00d-love-05-12-till-death-do-us-part.jpg When the mother of James and John approached Jesus with her request to have her sons sit on each side of Jesus when He came into His Kingdom, Jesus replied with a question: Matthew 20:22 22 But Jesus answered and said, "You do not know what you ask. Are you [James and John] able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They said to Him, "We are able." Matthew 20:22 They did not take the cue from Jesus that they may have to drink more than they cared to swallow! They answer affirmatively before they realized what Christ's cup contained. Jesus continues: Matthew 20:23 23 So He said to them, "You will indeed drink My cup and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on my right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.“ Matthew 20:23 What happened to them? James the son of Zebedee was the first apostle martyred, beheaded early on by Herod (Acts 12:2).
  15. 15. The apostle James https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-prn1/c0.0.142.142/74392_104560872945522_7018296_a.jpg Though John was the longest-lived of the twelve, apparently living nearly 100 years, he certainly suffered greatly at the hands of persecutors. Not only did he spend many years in exile on the Isle of Patmos, one tradition says he miraculously survived being boiled in oil! The apostle John http://www.theweddingfeasts.com/hp_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/apostle-John.Book-of-Revelation.jpg Beyond this, he had to watch the church disintegrate through apostasy and persecution. Part of what Jesus' cup entails is suffering. When we drink of His cup, we are saying we are willing to suffer with Him and experience with Him whatever He ordains for us. (Philippians 3:10) Philippians 3:10 NKJV 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, Philippians 3:10 NKJV
  16. 16. We symbolically pledge that we are willing to walk down the same path He walked, with similar consequences. We do not just drink the wine at the Lord’s Supper—we drink "of the cup" of Communion, we are proclaiming our willingness to share in similar trials as Jesus did. We are willing to endure whatever He has appointed for us as our lot. http://mudpreacher.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/communion-with-jesus-hands.png?w=241&h=300 We are also identifying ourselves with Him exclusively. We are cupbearers to the King of kings and to Him only. Psalm 16:5 NKJV O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. Psalm 16:5 NKJV Do we grasp the meaning of this? We cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). We cannot simultaneously identify with Christ and Satan. Our lives, our actions, our words, our thoughts, continuously announce which one is our father, God in Heaven or Satan. Drinking of Jesus' cup means to live His way of life and renounce Satan's ways. Are we drinking of the Master's Cup?
  17. 17. Mary did drink of Joseph’s cup and was engaged to him. Both of them had come from the line of David. http://b.vimeocdn.com/ts/382/170/382170609_640.jpg LUKE 1:28 NKJV 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” LUKE 1:28 NKJV Mary is blessed among women but not above women. http://historyswomen.com/images/mary.jpg Mary is not lifted above women; but she lifted up womanhood. This is the role she played. It is so easy to say that a woman (Eve) brought sin into the world, but remember, it was also a woman (Mary), and not a man, who brought the Savior into the world.
  18. 18.   Gabriel's greeting is literally, "Grace, you who are highly graced!" Although she was a godly woman, it was God's grace, not Mary's character, that made her God's choice. The phrase "highly favored" is used of all God's people in Ephesians 1:6 ("which He freely bestowed on us" [NASB]). Ephesians 1:4-6 NKJV 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved (that He highly favored us in the Beloved). Ephesians 1:4-6 NKJV LUKE 1:29 NKJV 29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. LUKE 1:29 NKJV It is understandable that Mary was troubled at the sayings of the angel. When the supernatural touches the natural, it can certainly create fear. Mary "cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be." http://beckydvorak.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/shining-cloud-of-glory.jpg LUKE 1:30-33 NKJV 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And
  19. 19. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” LUKE 1:31-33 NKJV This is plain language. There is no way of misinterpreting it. This passage is quite literal. Those folks who deny the virgin birth also do not believe that the Lord is literally going to sit on the throne of His father David. http://thegloriousbattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/millennium.jpg   Apparently it was understood that what Luke is writing about is literal. The virgin's womb is literal, and the throne of David is literal. He shall literally reign over the house of Jacob, and of His Kingdom there shall be no end. That Kingdom is also a reality. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_gAMJnGMd02g/R3AsRFeYlAI/AAAAAAAABRo/r91A_uR8t1w/s400/KIng+Jesus.jpg
  20. 20. The coming of the Son of God to earth involved not only our personal salvation but also the fulfilling of God's promises to His people Israel (vv. 32-33). To "spiritualize" these promises is to rob the Jews of what God promised them (2 Sam 7; Isa 9:6-7; Jeremiah 33:14-18). If the angel's words in vv. 30-31 are to be taken literally, so should his words in vv. 32-33. LUKE 1:34 NKJV 34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” LUKE 1:34 NKJV Unlike Zacharias, Mary had faith that God would do what He promised. http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4864017330603935&pid=1.7 The virgin birth is a miracle of God that brought the eternal Son of God into the world without any taint of sin in His human nature (v. 35; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1Peter2:22; Hebrews).  Mary was the first one to question the virgin birth. She said, "How can it be?"  This is still a good question.  Dr. Luke quotes the angel Gabriel and gives us the answer. LUKE 1:35 NKJV 35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One Who is to be born will be called the Son of God. LUKE 1:35 NKJV
  21. 21. Have you ever felt like the Holy Spirit was upon you? http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4509966012778623&w=220&h=188&c=7&rs=1&pid=1.7 Have you ever felt that the Holy Spirit was so heavy upon you that you felt overshadowed – like the Spirit was all over you? An awesome feeling –being so overshadowed by the Holy Spirit that you felt soaked in the Spirit - drenched in His presence – completely surrounded by Him. When you pray – when you read the Bible – when you worship – don’t be in such a hurry – don’t come with an agenda – allow time for the Holy Spirit to speak to your spirit. We should be still and listen! http://www.fuentesevangelism.com/holy-spirit-by-power5.jpg
  22. 22. The verb for “overshadow” speaks of the direct, personal presence of God. http://dephnevictorious.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/arch_of_covenant_glory_of_god1.jpg The word overshadow means "to cover with a cloud," like the cloud of Shekinah glory (Exodus 16:10; 19:9; 24:16; 34:5; 40:34) http://www.gloryofgod.us/tabernaclesunset.jpg or the cloud of the transfiguration (Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:34). http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_dNIXAAtvEOc/TS-w6P6qmMI/AAAAAAAAAFs/iFu8h1pzgg0/s1600/Transfiguration+3.jpg
  23. 23. The verb form is used in all three accounts of the Transfiguration to describe the cloud that enveloped Jesus, Moses and Elijah (and Peter, James and John) on the mountain. (Overshadow!) http://valtorta.org/images/Carl_Heinrich_Bloch_The_Transfiguration.jpg From that cloud came a voice saying, “This is My Son,” even as Gabriel told Mary, “The holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.” The virgin birth was God’s way of announcing to the world that Jesus was indeed His Son. http://www.revelation2seven.org/UsedImages/amarvel.gif Through the virgin birth, the Son of God entered the human race, taking upon Himself all aspects of true humanity, yet remaining sinless, and without surrendering any aspect of His deity. What role did the Holy Spirit play in this? Dr. Ray Pritchard says that through some means unknown to us, during the “overshadowing” He created within the womb of Mary the unborn (yet fully human and fully divine) Person of Jesus Christ.
  24. 24. The virgin birth is the only way God could get that "holy thing" into the human family. The union of man and woman can only produce a child with a sin nature. We are told in the Book of Leviticus that the birth of a child caused a woman to be unclean because she brought a sinner into the world.     In Psalm 51:5 David said, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” No man had anything to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. Mary is told that she is not bringing a sinner into the world but that this Child is holy. Mary's Son would be different, He would be virgin born! http://www.adweek.com/files/adfreak/6a00d8341c51c053ef0148c6acb956970c-450wi Unlike when Jesus was born, when we were born again, we had to be adopted into God’s family. http://makashadorsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/adopted-by-god-p1.png
  25. 25. Like Mary, we are highly favored and blessed. http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/18/96/ec/1896ec0877041db6c2938e8933df23ca.jpg LUKE 1:36-37 NKJV 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” LUKE 1:36-37 NKJV http://rainyday20055.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/nothing-is-impossible-with-god.jpeg   The birth of John the Baptist is also miraculous, but it is not a virgin birth. The statement of the angel, "For with God nothing shall be impossible," is a good one and something we need to hold onto during these days. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZpLCaNG9ERw/TwQHgFgD57I/AAAAAAAAYAA/XO6-lN4b4lk/s1600/withGod.jpg
  26. 26. There are folk who have taken this statement and twisted and distorted its meaning (prosperity gospel preachers, name it and claim it). There is nothing impossible with God when He has determined to do it, but He will not necessarily do the impossible we ask of Him. (Ask in His name) Many people use this verse as a cliché to cover up the fact that they want their own selfish desires. Nothing is impossible with God, but there is a great deal that is impossible with you and me. When a man says, "Nothing is impossible with God" and fails at some task he claims the Lord gave him to do, it causes unbelievers to ridicule God. (belittle) Anything God determines to do He can accomplish, because there is nothing impossible with God. But that does not mean He will do everything believers want Him to do, because some things are not included in His plan. Let us put everything in proper perspective before we do a lot of talking that will hurt and harm the cause of Jesus Christ rather than help it. (Magnify the Lord!) http://i656.photobucket.com/albums/uu289/PublicPics21/WithGodQuote.jpg
  27. 27. LUKE 1:38 NKJV 38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. LUKE 1:38 NKJV http://julieamarxhausen.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/mary-is-visited-by-the-angel-gabriel2.jpg    This verse reveals Mary's free will submission to the will of God. Mary's submission is a very lovely thing. "Whatever God says, I accept." Mary had learned to forget the world's most common prayer — "Thy will be changed" — and prayed the world's greatest prayer — "Thy will be done." Mary yielded herself to the Holy Spirit (“present your bodies as a living, holy sacrifice” Romans 12:1) knowing full well that she would experience shame and misunderstanding. When Mary told the angel, "Be it unto me according to thy word“, at that very moment a cloud came over her life, and that cloud was there until the Lord Jesus Christ came back from the dead. The resurrection of Christ proves His virgin birth. It was questioned until then.   You cannot deny the virgin birth and believe the Resurrection, or vice versa. The virgin birth and the Resurrection go together; they stand or fall together.
  28. 28. LUKE 1:39-40 NKJV Mary Visits Elizabeth 39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. LUKE 1:39-40 NKJV http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4882146363509221&pid=1.7 Zacharias and Elizabeth lived in one of the priestly cities (Joshua 21), so Mary had to make a journey to get there. http://www.mormonchannel.org/sites/default/files/SS-NT-02-01.jpg When she arrived and greeted Elizabeth, wonderful things began to happen.
  29. 29. LUKE 1:41 NKJV 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. LUKE 1:41 NKJV http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ldzclimc8v1qdp53oo1_500.jpg LUKE 1:42 NKJV 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! LUKE 1:42 NKJV   This begins the first song given to us in Luke's Gospel, and it is lovely. Dr. Luke was the poet who gives us all the songs of Christmas; this one comes from Elisabeth. This is a lyrical song on the blessedness of Mary. Nowhere can we better see the paradox of blessedness than in Mary’s life.   To Mary was granted the blessedness of being the mother of the Son of God. Well might her heart be filled with a wondering, tremulous joy at so great a privilege. Yet that very blessedness was to be a sword to pierce her heart. http://eborg2.com/BibleNT/42-Luke/SwordHeart.jpg
  30. 30. It meant that some day she would see her son hanging on a cross. http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c9/b9/ea/c9b9ea1de9c37feeebaae5d1d271edd7.jpg To be chosen by God so often means at one and the same time a crown of joy and cross of sorrow. http://biblicalproof.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/it-takes-a-crown-of-thorns.jpg The piercing truth is that God does not choose a person for ease and comfort and selfish joy but for a task that will take all that head and heart and hand can bring to it. God chooses a man in order to use him. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Vhw4SzNlC9A/TvFA2gv5czI/AAAAAAAABGw/XkEsF0er_As/s1600/pieta4.jpg
  31. 31. When that is realized, the sorrows and hardships that serving God may bring are not matters for lamentation; they are our glory, for all is suffered for God. A great Spanish saint prayed for his people, "May God deny you peace and give you glory." A great modern preacher said, "Jesus Christ came not to make life easy but to make men great." It is the paradox of blessedness that it confers on a person at one and the same time the greatest joy and the greatest task in all the world. Hebrews 12:1b-2 NKJV 1b let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1b-2 NKJV http://www.chick.com/catalog/videos/images/thumbnails/01.gif LUKE 1:43 NKJV 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? LUKE 1:43 NKJV   Note that Elizabeth called Mary "the mother of my Lord," which is a proper title. It was Mary's faith that was extolled most of all (v. 45).
  32. 32. LUKE 1:44 NKJV 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. LUKE 1:44 NKJV http://www.lds.org/bc/content/bible-videos/videos/mary-and-elisabeth-rejoice-together/images/elisabeth-300.jpg Elizabeth gave praise to God for what He had done for Mary, and the unborn John the Baptist leaped for joy in his mother's womb (see John 3:29-30). LUKE 1:45 NKJV 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” LUKE 1:45 NKJV   Little is said in Scripture about Elisabeth. She sang the first song of the New Testament, and when you have a soloist like this, you should not ignore her. She is a remarkable person. She had faith while her husband Zacharias did not.    He was struck dumb because of his unbelief, but Elisabeth was not. She believed God. Now she as an old woman encourages the young woman, Mary. Elisabeth had walked with God for many years, and she assures Mary that there would be a performance of those things which had been revealed to her.
  33. 33. Mary needed the encouragement that Elisabeth could give. http://ec.aciprensa.com/newwiki/images/4/4d/Champaigne_visitation.jpg http://www.maristes-france.org/spip301/IMG/jpg_magnificat_image.jpg Now Mary sings a song. This is known as the Magnificat. This song teaches us several interesting things. Mary tells us in her song that she needed a Savior and that she rejoiced in Him. We also need to call her blessed.   Mary is a wonderful person, and it was no accident that she was chosen by God. It was His definite decision, and God makes no mistakes. It was her glorious privilege to be the mother of the Son of God, to bring Him into the world.
  34. 34. Listen as Mary continues to sing her song: The Song of Mary LUKE 1:46-56 NKJV http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-S6z1yUF3PRk/Tzv_MLzadfI/AAAAAAAACH8/Pwmwq669nTs/s1600/magnificat.jpg Mary's song of praise is called "The Magnificent" (from the Latin word for "magnify"). Mary knew the Scriptures, for there are at least fifteen OT quotations or allusions in her song. (See 1 Samuel 2:1-10) Mary praises God and eight times tells us what God has done ("He has . . . " NKJV). Note that Mary acknowledged God as her Savior (v. 47), which indicates that she had trusted the Lord for her own salvation. She praised God for what He did for her (46-49), for all who fear Him (50-53), and for His people Israel (54-55). Mary took God's promises to Israel literally and did not explain them away. LUKE 1:46-48a NKJV The Song of Mary 46 And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48a For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; LUKE 1:46-48a NKJV Psalm 66:18 NKJV 18 If I regard (pay special attention to) iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. Psalm 66:18 NKJV
  35. 35. LUKE 1:48-56 NKJV 48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. 49 For He Who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. 50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. 54 He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, 55 As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever.” 56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house. LUKE 1:46-56 NKJV Here we have a passage which has become one of the great hymns of the church—the Magnificat. It is saturated with the Old Testament; and is specially kin to Hannah's song of praise in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. It has been said that religion is the opiate of the people; but, as Stanley Jones said, "the Magnificat is the most revolutionary document in the world." It speaks of three of the revolutions of God. (i) He scatters the proud in the plans of their hearts. That is a moral revolution. Christianity is the death of pride. Why?
  36. 36. Because if a man sets his life beside that of Christ it tears the last vestiges of pride from him. Sometimes something happens to a man which with a vivid, revealing light shames him.  O. Henry has a short story about a lad who was brought up in a village.  In school he used to sit beside a girl and they were fond of each other.  He went to the city and fell into evil ways.  He became a pickpocket and a petty thief.  One day he snatched an old lady's purse.  It was clever work and he was pleased.  And then he saw coming down the street the girl whom he used to know, still sweet with the radiance of innocence.  Suddenly he saw himself for the cheap, vile thing he really was.  Burning with shame, he leaned his head against the cool iron of a lamp standard. "God," he said, "I wish I could die."  He saw himself.  Christ enables a man to see himself.  It is the deathblow to pride. The moral revolution has begun. (ii) He casts down the mighty—he exalts the humble. That is a social revolution.          Christianity puts an end to the world's labels and prestige. Muretus was a poor, wandering scholar of the middle ages. In an Italian town he took ill and was taken to a hospital for waifs and strays. The doctors were discussing his case in Latin, never dreaming he could understand. They suggested that since he was such a worthless wanderer they might use him for medical experiments. He looked up and answered them in their own learned tongue, "Call no man worthless for whom Christ died!" When we have realized what Christ did for all men, it is no longer possible to speak about a common man. The social grades are gone.
  37. 37. (iii) He has filled those who are hungry... those who are rich he has sent empty away. That is an economic revolution. A non-Christian society is an acquisitive society where each man is out to amass as much as he can get. A Christian society is a society where no man dares to have too much while others have too little, where every man must get only to give away. There is loveliness in the Magnificat but in that loveliness there is dynamite. Christianity begets a revolution in each man and revolution in the world. http://www.turnbacktogod.com/wp-conten/uploads/2011/12/Do-I-have-a-Magnificat.jpg LUKE 2:1 NKJV 1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Statue-Augustus.jpg
  38. 38. That Jesus would be born in Bethlehem was ordained by God long before Caesar Augustus made his decree (Micah 5:2; Acts 15:18). http://www.emptytombchurch.com/wp-content/uploads/post_bethlehem.jpg http://bibleatlas.org/region/bethlehem.jpg LUKE 2:2 NKJV 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. In the Roman Empire periodical censuses were taken with the double object of assessing taxation and of discovering those who were liable for compulsory military service. The Jews were exempt from military service, and, therefore, in Palestine a census would be predominantly for taxation purposes. Such censuses were taken every fourteen years.
  39. 39. In the phrase, "all the world should be taxed“, the Greek word for world, oikoumene, means "inhabited earth" and referred to the civilized world of that day. Caesar Augustus was the adopted son of Julius Caesar. Actually his name was Octavianus and he took the name Caesar. The name Augustus was not a name at all but a title. When the senate submitted to him certain titles like king, emperor, and dictator, he was not satisfied. Instead he chose the title Augustus. It had religious significance, it was an attempt to deify himself. It was no accident that Dr. Luke mentioned the name of Caesar Augustus.  This man signed a tax bill that the whole world (of that day) be taxed.  He needed money to raise an army to control his vast empire and to live in luxury himself. Notice Luke's historical reference that this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. LUKE 2:3-5 NKJV 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into 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 wife, who was with child. LUKE 2:3-5 NKJV Joseph and Mary came out of Nazareth in Galilee and went into Judea to Bethlehem, the city of David.  Joseph did this because he was of the house and lineage of David.  Why did Mary have to go to Bethlehem?  She also was of the lineage of David.
  40. 40. Caesar Augustus attempted to make himself a god. He wanted to be worshiped. He signed a tax bill which caused a woman and man, peasants, living in Nazareth, to journey to Bethlehem to enroll. The woman was carrying in her womb the Son of God! This Caesar Augustus tried to make himself God, but nobody today reverences him or pays taxes to him.  But that little baby in Mary's womb -- many of us worship Him today and call Him our Savior.  Caesar Augustus was merely the tool in God's hand to bring to pass the prophecy, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2). This is a remarkable account. Everything that happened was arranged by God. If anyone had said to Caesar, "Wait a minute; women about to give birth are going to have to be moved in order for you to get your taxes," I think he would have replied, "I do not care about babies or their mothers; I am only interested in taxes, armies, money and luxury."  That is all gone now, including Caesar & Nero. The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem was 80 miles. The accommodation for travelers was most primitive. The eastern khan was like a series of stalls opening off a common courtyard. Travelers brought their own food; all that the innkeeper provided was fodder for the animals and a fire to cook. The town was crowded and there was no room for Joseph and Mary.
  41. 41. So it was in the common courtyard that Mary's child was born. The difficult three-day journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem may have taken longer because of Mary's condition. LUKE 2:6-7 NKJV 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7 NKJV Dr. Luke gets right down to the little human details in this passage. He is saying that Mary put swaddling clothes on this little child -- baby clothes and diapers on the Son of God! How perfectly human He was -- God manifest in the flesh! Swaddling clothes consisted of a square of cloth with a long bandage-like strip coming diagonally off from one corner. The child was first wrapped in the square of cloth and then the long strip was wound round and round about him. The word translated "manger" means a place where animals feed; and therefore it can be either the stable or the manger which is meant.  That there was no room in the inn was symbolic of what was to happen to Jesus.  The only place where there was room for him was on a cross. He sought an entry to the over-crowded hearts of men; He could not find it; and still his search—and His rejection—go on. Some preachers and some people who present Christmas pageants like to condemn the innkeeper because he did not give Mary a decent place to give birth to her Baby, but the Bible is silent about the matter.
  42. 42. “Inn" was probably a typical Eastern "caravansary," a two-story structure (the lower level was for animals) built around a courtyard where travelers could camp. Jesus must have been born in one of the cattle stalls; the feeding trough was His bed. Philippians 2:1-11 and 2 Corinthians 8:9. What’s the number one thing? The glory of God! http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4612040156710431&pid=1.7