Summary: The birth narrative is an amazing account, filled with characters who are almost larger than life. It is easy for them to overshadow the One person who never says a word. The One coming from Heaven to dwell among us.
First Sunday of Advent - Read - Luke 1:1-4 & 26-38
This may seem like a crazy question but how many of you remember Elvis?
Before concerts they would announce to the crowd who was already there that, “Elvis has entered the building.” And the cheers would erupt!
Elvis had not yet sung a note or strummed his guitar or gyrated around the stage but all of his fans knew it was coming.
Can you imagine that after the announcement people would be told to go home, that the concert was cancelled and that they should be satisfied with just knowing that Elvis had entered the building?
Can you imagine paying huge dollars to go to an NFL game in which your favorite team is playing and after the kickoff they declare the game over?
Sometimes Christmas seems like that!
The Christmas Story …(describe from memory each person/position)
Zechariah, Elizabeth and Gabriel
Mary and Gabriel
Joseph and an Angel
Mary and Elizabeth
Mary returns to Nazareth
Caesar Augustus decrees a census
Mary gives birth in Bethlehem in a stable
Angels announce the birth to shepherds who come and worship Him
Joseph and Mary take the infant at the appropriate dates for circumcision
And to the temple to be presented to the Lord
Simeon and Anna prophesy over the infant
Wise men arrive in Jerusalem asking questions
Herod finds the answers and sets a diabolic plan in motion
A star actually points to the exact house where Joseph and Mary are
The Wise Men find the child, give gifts and worship Him
An angel warns the wisemen not to report back to Herod
Herod gets mad and sends a squad of soldiers to kill infants in Bethlehem
An angel warns Joseph to take the Child and His mother to Egypt
The babies in Bethlehem are slaughtered
After Herod dies and angel gives Joseph the “all clear” to return to Israel
Joseph is afraid and heads to Nazareth instead of Bethlehem
The next thing we read is when Jesus is 12 years old
WHAT A STORY!!!
There is so much going on and so many people and angels involved that you can almost forget that It’s ALL About Jesus!
Did you know that the birth narrative of Jesus is only found in two of the Gospels?
That doesn’t mean that it’s not important; it is tremendously important!
God became Man, the God/Man, the Promised One, the Messiah, the Christ!
Jesus, the Messiah had entered the world. Jesus the Christ, the perfect sacrifice was born. He had not yet spoken a word. He had not yet taken a step. He had not yet performed a miracle. He had not yet taught or healed or bled or died, but, He was here!
Galatians 4:4-5 NIV
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.”
Advent - waiting, anticipation - hundreds of prophecies -
hundreds of years of waiting …
It seems like God the Father is sneaking His One and Only Son into the world through the back door!
Private meetings with angels
Angels announcing to shepherds
A carpenter from a despised town - “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
A young maiden - from the same town
After the prophecies by Simeon and Anna - silence until Jesus turns 12 and then more silence until He is about 30 years of age
In the great volumes of Scripture the birth narrative seems like a blip on the screen of history, but, it was just the beginning of a short life of the Son of God on earth that would stand the world on its head.
Just trying to stretch my brain to fathom this is painful.
This little baby - preceded by John - announced by angels - born in the town of prophecy because of the decree of a pagan ruler - born of a virgin - proclaimed by prophets - carried off to Egypt - returned to Nazareth
This little baby Who never spoke one word in this entire birth narrative had spoken the world into existence thousands of years ago.
Job 38:4-7 NASB
” Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it?
“On what were its bases sunk? Or Who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
Hear the power of this little wordless Infant
Psalm 104:32 NASB
“He looks at the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they smoke.”
But … He wouldn’t be wordless forever!
If you have been born twice, physical birth and spiritual birth, it is because of this Silent Savior Baby in a manger.