- 400 years of silence. Where is God?
- 200yrs of war > 30yrs of Pax Romana. Who needs God?
- The mundane beginning of the most elaborate birth narrative in Scripture.
Read Luke 2:1-7
- We need a Sovereign Messiah who can rescue us from our bondage to sin.
- We need a faithful Messiah who will follow through where we (and others) have failed.
- We need a humble Messiah who will meet us in the depths of our brokenness and lift us out of our despair.
- A Sovereign Decree (1-3)
- A Faithful Lineage (4-5)
- A Humble Birth (6-7)
A Sovereign Decree (1-3)
- 1 “All the world” = Roman occupied territory. The proud hyperbole of Rome. Nero considered savior “of the world.”
- 2 Josephus dates Quirinius’ census in 6/7 AD. Solution:
- ESV Footnote “when” or “before.”
- Josephus’ dating could be wrong.
- Which Quirinius?
- Which registration? Census/Taxes.
- Notice Luke’s attention to historical detail. It stands in contrast to other religious texts.
- The historical data is either lacking or completely false. Nothing supports the history recorded in the Book of Mormon.
- God works out his sovereign plan by orchestrating the will of the most powerful people in the world.
- We have a Messiah who is Sovereign. He directs kings and rulers—including those who set themselves up as god. God ordained a Roman census > Jesus.
- We need a powerful Messiah because our bondage is great and He alone brings freedom.
God’s sovereignty is the ground of his faithfulness.
A Faithful Lineage (4-5)
- The faithfulness of God is a constant theme of Scripture. Abraham > patriarchs. Every prophet, priest, and king that followed. God was faithfully fulfilling his promises.
- The covenant implies mutual commitment. To keep the covenant God would have to change the heart of his faithless people.
- So many prophecies find fulfillment in a Christ who came in the way no one was expecting?
- Even John the Baptist had to assuage his doubts by sending disciples to question if Jesus was truly the Messiah.
- Tensions were high.
- The climax of history was culminating in this moment.
- We need a faithful Messiah who can overcome all of our doubts and fears, and provide us with the only hope of salvation.
- God was faithful to fulfill his promise to David by sending his Son. Because God is faithful we trust in his plan.
Progress: Powerful > Faithful > Humble…
A Humble Birth (6-7)
- “Inn” (guest room, lodging place) possibly a two-story structure, people upstairs and animals downstairs.
- Stark contrast with the glory of birth announcements and actual birth.
- Why must Christ descend so low (to the point of death)? Paradox of Christian faith. The way up is down.
WLC Q.47: How did Christ humble himself in his conception and birth? Answer:Christ humbled himself in his conception and birth, in that, being from all eternity the Son of God, in the bosom of the Father, he was pleased in the fullness of time to become the son of man, made of a woman of low estate, and to be born of her; with divers circumstances of more than ordinary abasement.
- Christ’s humiliation began at conception and continues in his birth and climaxes in his death.
- The humiliation of the Messiah means we have a sympathizing Savior who meets us in our moments of greatest weakness and says, “Come to me!”
- The fact that God can send his Son with such humble conditions, heightens our trust and compels our willingness to submit.
- God reached down to the lowest realms of the earth to place his Son in a position that would require complete obedience to save people from every status level. Your lot in life doesn’t get any lower than your Creator’s place of birth.
- Because Christ is humble we can die to ourselves.
- The sovereignty of the Father and the humility of the Son are on full display in this passage.
- We have all of this baggage that we are carrying. And each day we go on another trip and add another piece of luggage on our back. We walk around weighed down by sin and ungodly desires.
- God sends his Son—faced with the same temptations—to enter this world under a heavy weight and return to heaven victorious. The manger has Golgotha for a backdrop. Jesus was born to die. And in his death—he defeated everything that holds us captive.
- On the cross, God hurled all of the luggage you are carrying at his Son. And his Son not only felt the consequences of sin, he became sin for us! He was united to your lust. He was united to your pride. He was united to your bitterness and envy. But rather than indulge the guilty pleasure that sin temporarily offers—Christ was crucified, putting to death EVERYTHING!
- It’s as if all that luggage you’re carrying can be brought down from upon your back. And were you to open it you would find nothing inside. But written on the inside cover would be the following: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”