Life Lessons from Bethlehem
December 16, 2007
Of all the events that have shaped human history, one moment stands above the rest. The moment was not filled with fanfare or frills but fantastic nonetheless. It is a moment when the temporal and the eternal came together. It is a moment that seems so utterly absurd that it could not be real but it was. It is a moment too good for this world because it was touched by the next. It is a moment when two worlds came together to create a hope that has never died. It was the day when God became a man.
What was this moment? The birth of Jesus called the Christ. The reason we celebrate Christmas. What lessons do we learn about life in this one amazing moment in time?
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register. 4 So Joseph also 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. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:1-7
What do we learn about life from that stable in the backwater town of Bethlehem?
There are a number of priceless things.
Nothing is Impossible for God
For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37 The words of Gabriel to Mary
The human and the divine merged in one being. God had become a man, born to a virgin. It was impossible in the realm of the physical world. The virgin birth was impossible in the abilities of humanity. This was impossible in the mindset of the world. Just as the angel said to Mary, nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). Impossible does not exist in the vocabulary of God. There is no such thing as impossible for God. The virgin birth is just another reminder of what God is capable of doing. We need to call the virgin birth what it is, a miracle. In fact, for the New Testament it is the miracle. Think about it, if there was no virgin birth, none of the other miracles of the New Testament are true.
Theological truths that must begin with the virgin birth
Jesus could not be God – No eternal promises
Jesus dying is nothing more than historical fact – No atoning sacrifice
Jesus could not have experienced the resurrection – No reality of heaven
Jesus could not be the savior – No hope of salvation
Jesus could not be the Messiah – No fulfillment of prophecy
The virgin birth must be the central miracle of the New Testament, absolutely everything else depends on it. It is the link that holds the chain between heaven and humanity together. What we may think is impossible is child’s play for God. Do you honestly think that the God who made all things, can’t enter His creation? Do you think God would make us and then leave us alone? Do you think that a loving God could not show us the depth of His love?