Summary: In this lesson we marvel at the story of Jesus’ birth and then discuss its significance.
A. The story is told of 4 expectant fathers who, years ago, were in a hospital waiting room while their wives were in labor.
1. A nurse came in the room and announced to the first man, “congratulations, sir, you’re the father of twins.” What a coincidence,” the man said, “I work for the Minnesota Twins.”
2. In a little while, the nurse returned and said to a second man, “You, sir, are the father of triplets.” “Wow,” said the man, “What a coincidence, I work for 3M corporation.”
3. A few minutes later, the nurse came back. To the third man she announced that his wife had given birth to quadruplets. “Don’t tell me,” she asked, “Another coincidence?” Regaining his composure, the man said, “I don’t believe it, I work for the Four Seasons Hotel.”
4. After hearing this, everyone’s attention turned to the 4th man, who looked like he was about to faint. He said, “I should never have taken that job at 7-Eleven.”
B. Every birth has its share of surprises and wonder.
1. I have been blessed to witness the birth of all three of our daughters, and what an amazing and humbling experience that was.
2. God bless you ladies for what you undergo in that process! Amen!
3. Praise God for the miracle of reproduction (conception, gestation, and delivery)!
4. As filled with joy and pride as we parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are when a baby is born into our families, just think how God felt that day when His One and Only Son was born.
C. In our sermon series, “Devoted To Jesus,” we have been trying to see Jesus more clearly, understand Him more deeply, and follow Him more completely.
1. We have tried to understand something of His eternal qualities (Alive before His earthly life).
2. Last week we wrestled with the question, “Why was Jesus Jewish?” Why did God choose to bring Jesus into the world through the Jewish people at that time and place in history?
D. Today we want to take another look at the birth of Jesus.
1. One of the challenges we face is familiarity. We all know the story, right?
2. We’ve seen hundreds, if not thousands, of Christmas cards, and manger scenes.
3. We’ve sung the carols of His birth and scene the Christmas specials on TV.
4. So how can we look afresh at this well-known story?
5. We need to return to the text, and try to put ourselves into that time and place.
6. We need to realize that these were real people, no different from you and me.
7. As glorious and wonderful as this event is to us, it was a troubling and complicating one for them.
I. The Story
A. Picture a young couple in their mid to late teens, living in Nazareth of Galilee.
1. They are both from common backgrounds, and their families have probably known each other all their lives.
2. Unlike our modern romance and courtship experiences, their marriage had probably been pre-arranged by their parents many years earlier.
3. But, none the less, Joseph and Mary were excited about their engagement and looking forward to their wedding.
4. Both were spiritual people; faithful Jews; upstanding citizens, by every indication.
5. So into this happy and idyllic picture comes a surprise; an unexpected intrusion.
B. Luke 1:26ff tells this part of the story.
1. In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." (Luke 1:26-28)
2. This kind of thing has never happened to me before, and my guess is that it has never happened to you either. Nor had it ever happened to Mary before.
3. So we can understand why Mary was greatly troubled by this experience. She was terrified.
4. That’s why the angel proceeded to say to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." (Luke 1:30-33)
5. Wow, Mary thinks! I’m going to have a baby boy, and He is going to be a King!
6. But wait a minute, She remembered an important point, “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” (Lk. 1:34)