Summary: The birth of Jesus is a tiny part of the plan of salvation and yet it is a gigantic step in that it accomplishes the incarnation. Have we gotten the priorities reversed in the church as well as in society?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
“Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
The Tiny Giant - today let’s take a look at the enormity and the smallness of what we will be celebrating on Thursday, Christmas Day.
Let’s take a look at the characters involved in the account of Christmas found in the Bible
(Know these characters well enough so that you can give a brief account of their participation in the Advent Narrative)
Zechariah (father of John the Baptist - forerunner of the Messiah)
Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist - forerunner of the Messiah)
Mary (angel appearances 1)
Joseph (angel appearances 4)
Shepherds (angel appearances 1 + a heavenly host)
Anna, daughter of Penuel - she was a prophet
Magi (angel appearances 1)
There are 260 chapters in the NT - four chapters are devoted to the birth of Jesus and the surrounding characters and events.
Zechariah, Elizabeth, Joseph, the Shepherds, Simeon, Anna and the Magi are only seen in these four chapters of the New Testament and are never mentioned outside of the Gospels. The story of the birth of Jesus is only mentioned in Matthew and Luke.
Mary is only mentioned outside of the Gospels in one verse and that only states that she is at a certain location.
The last we see of Mary
“These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
In all of the other 256 chapters in the New Testament there are no references to the birth of Jesus or any of those involved.
The birth account is actually only reported in two of the four Gospels.
So, just what are we trying to get at here?
In this one event we have a tiny giant!
We have the birth event (tiny) and the incarnation (GIANT).
Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger (tiny)
Jesus is God AND man (GIANT)
Luke 2:8-12 says
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.’
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
What is the tiny phrase in this verse? (You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.)
What is the giant phrases in this verse? (a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.)
But, the Christmas narrative is important.
Does anyone know what this is? (Picture of a tractor hitch pin)
It is a tractor hitch pin. Pretty small isn’t it? Pretty important isn’t it?
Let me give you an example of how important it is!
New Holland NH 76 baler (describe - from the 1940's - baler with it's own engine - it can do everything needed to make bales of hay but can't get to the field)
Old Allis Chalmers tractor (describe - it can drive all over the hay field but it can't make bales)
What was needed in order to bale hay? A hitch pin!
In the beginning, when humanity had fallen into sin God gave us the Law and
He gave us hope of a reconciliation, a salvation that would take place one day
God gave us the moral law - the Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments showed us that we were far from God
God also gave us the ceremonial law
The ceremonial law was a foreshadowing of the promised future Messiah
The moral law condemned us by our own actions
The ceremonial law however was still unable to give us complete reconciliation with God
God had a plan - reiterate John 3:16-18
God sent His own son!
Jesus was fully human - Matthew 4:4
“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Jesus was fully God - John 14:9
“Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?’”