Summary: The second of a four part series with focus on the birth of Jesus


John Maxwell


In Luke, chapter 2, we have the story of Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem and the birth of the Christ child. I would like to talk to you about God and His timing this morning, and how Christmas, more beautifully than any other story, teaches us about how God does all things very well in His time.

In Luke, chapter 2, beginning with verse 1, "Now, it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was the governor of Syria when all were proceeding to register for the census, everyone to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem because it was of the house and the family of David, in order to register along with Mary who was engaged to him and was with child." I want to call your special attention to verses 6 and 7, "And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth and she gave birth to her first born son. And she wrapped Him in cloths and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn."

Now, in your sermon section in Galatians, Chapter 4, Paul says, "But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law and order that he might redeem those that who were under the law that we might receive the adoption as sons." If Christmas is about anything, Christmas is about God’s sovereign timing in the lives of mankind.

The Ecclesiastes writer in chapter 3 says some very interesting things about God and his timing. Just listen carefully, "There’s an appointed time for everything and there’s a time for every event under heaven. A time to give birth and a time die. A time to plant and a time to uproot that which is planted. A time to kill, a time to heal. A time to tear down, a time to build up. A time to weep, a time to laugh. A time to mourn, a time to dance. A time to throw stones, a time to gather them. A time to embrace, a time to shun embracing. A time to search, a time to give up as lost. A time to keep, a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, a time to sow together. A time to be silent, a time to speak. A time to love, a time to eat." He just goes through and tells us about the seasons. And then in verse 11 he says, "He has made everything appropriate in it’s time. And He has set eternity in the heart of man." That’s an amazing statement. The Ecclesiastes writer says, God has made everything appropriate in it’s time, showing that God is aware about everything even the very moments of your life and my life. I mean he knows the seconds of our life. Everything appropriate in its time.

Such infinitesimal care and details and yet, in the same sense the same God who knows every moment of your time and my time has set eternity in our heart. It’s a picture of God knowing the very smallest minute details of our life and being in control of them in his sovereignty. And it’s a picture of God saying, in the same sense I have set eternity in the heart. It’s the big picture the small picture all together.

Now, how does that relate to Christmas? Look at Luke, chapter 2, verse 7 for a moment. The first part of verse 7, it says, "She gave birth to her first born son. This was a very human person, Mary, giving birth to a very human body, Jesus." This speaks of the humanity of Christ. A human mother, a human baby. Humanity. Look at Galatians, chapter 4, the very first part very middle part where it says, "And God sent forth his son." That’s divinity. A divine Father, God being born in the flesh. These two verses give us the theology of the incarnation of Christ which is God becoming flesh. Human, yet divine. Divine and human. The Son of God becoming the son of man that we who are the sons of man can become the Son of God. It’s an incredible theme and nobody gives a better description of that theme than Luke does in chapter 2 and Paul does in Galatians 4.

Look back at Luke, chapter 2 for a second in verse 6, the latter part of verse 6, this speaks of the timing of God and the pregnancy of Mary. "The days were completed for her to give birth." In other words, the 9 month period was taking place. The timing of God, again, in the very details of everyday life. Look at Galatians, chapter 4, the beginning part, "And when the fullness of time had come." This is the timing of God in the eternal plan. God being able see us in our moments and God being able to see us in the whole scope of eternity. It’s an amazing God that we serve.

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