Summary: Matthew 1:18-25 declares 3 ways that the virgin birth impacts my life.
A Shocking Birth
Series: Beginnings of a Legacy
December 6, 2009
This morning I want to quote from one of the great theological minds of our time… Dr. Seuss! As a kid, (I don’t know about you), but I used to love reading his books and especially looking at the pictures… books like “The Cat in the Hat”, “Green Eggs & Ham”, “The Foot Book” and other classics. With Christmas coming up, I want you to gather around & listen to what Dr. Seuss writes in one of his best books… “On Beyond Zebra”… I think he’s hit on some pretty profound spiritual truths here! READY???
“Said Conrad Cornelius O’Donnell O’ Dell, my very young friend who was learning to spell…The A is for Ape, the B is for Bear, the C is for camel, the H is for Hair… the M is for Mouse, the R is for Rat… I know all 26 letters like that. Through to Z is for Zebra, I know them all well, said Conrad Cornelius o’ Donnell O’Dell. Now I know everything anyone knows from beginning to end, from the start to the close, because Z is as far as the alphabet goes. Then, he almost fell flat on his face on the floor when I picked up the chalk and drew one letter more. A letter he had never dreamed of before. And I said, “You can stop if you want with the Z and most people stop with the Z… but not me! In the places I go, there are things that I see that I never could spell if I stopped with a Z. I’m telling you this cause you’re one of my friends, my alphabet starts whwer your alphabet ends.
My alphabet starts with this letter called “YEZZ”, it’s the letter I use to spell “yezzametezz”. You’ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found, once you go beyond Z and start poking around. So, on beyond Zebra explore like Columbus, discover new letters like ‘wum’, which is for ‘wumbus’… my high spouting whale who live high on a hill, and who never comes down till it’s time to refill. So on beyond Z, it’s high time you were shown, that you really don’t know all there is to be known!”
(That’s all we have time for this morning, but if you want to hear the rest of the story, you can see me afterwards and I’ll arrange for you to have a private reading around bedtime!)
So let’s go on this journey this morning alright? It’s a journey “Beyond Zebra” because it’s the only place you’re going to find the true Christmas! On that very 1st Christmas, God added a new letter to our alphabet when He engineered the virgin birth. Just like we’ve been given 26 letters in the alphabet to spell words with… we’ve also been given certain mental slots or categories where we put all the knowledge and experiences in life. For example… when I say the word ‘dog’… you automatically file it away in your ‘dog slot’ and a mental picture flashes in your mind of a basset hound, or a bull dog, or maybe some famous dog like the Taco Bell Chihuahua. But when I say the word, ‘wumbuss’ or ‘yezzametezz”… you don’t have a slot like that because (unless you’ve read the book)… you don’t know what one looks like! When it’s outside of our known parameters… that’s when we have to go, “Beyond Zebra”. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is out there… beyond Zebra!
It was an historical event in a category by itself! It never happened before or since… and will never happen again!
It started out normal enough… but it quickly got out of hand! Let’s read about it in Matthew 1:18-25…”Now this is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, her fiancé, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly. 20 As he considered this, he fell asleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All of this happened to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: 23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning, God is with us).” 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded. He brought Mary home to be his wife, 25 but she remained a virgin until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.” -Matthew 1:18–25 (NLT)