Summary: Celebrating the birth of Jesus is appropriate and good, but we must not forget the life-altering habits that should follow!
Unlike some of my previous Luke 2 sermons, this focuses primarily upon verses 17-20.
1. It seemed the whole world was waiting breathlessly for the birth of this baby.
This baby is Prince George, firstborn son of Prince Harry and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. It is impossible to exaggerate the attention this birth received--before, during, and after. [Sam McCormick].
2. Almost two years ago, we became grandparents for the first time, and we expect to be grandparents for the second time in less than two months. Babies are exciting. We are awaiting the birth of Randy and Jennifer Miller’s twins.
3. But having a baby is not the same thing as rearing a baby well. It is in the diaper changes, the terrible twos, or the challenges on junior high — the trenches of parenting — where parents prove their worth.
4. Many of us like to put up Christmas decorations, but who likes to take them down? There are some residual responsibilities after Christmas.
Main Idea: Celebrating the birth of Jesus is appropriate and good, but we must not forget the life-altering habits that should follow!
I. SPREADING the News (17-18)
A. Meeting Jesus would be the DEFINING event in the lives of these shepherds.
1. They illustrate the truth that “blessed are the poor” and “blessed are the poor in spirit.” Shepherds near the bottom of the totem poll of free persons.
2. The Magi illustrate that with God, all things are possible: even a rich man can go through the eye of a needle.
3. But arrogant Herod, who could have met Jesus had he been humble, tried to destroy Him instead.
4. I met Jesus at the age of 17. I knew a lot about Him, but I thought like most people without the Lord — as long as I watched myself …
B. They SHARED the good news of the birth of Jesus with others.
1. We don’t know the impact of their sharing; were some of Jesus’ disciples the result of their testimony?
2. An era in which Messiah was expected; Israel was under Roman oppression, Daniel’s prophecy provided the rough time frame for the Messiah.
3. A number of false Messiahs arose, so what the shepherds shared may have raised some hopes, but then they were camouflaged by rumors.
4. We are encouraged in Scripture to witness, but we are nowhere held accountable for the results of our efforts. We water/sow, God =increase.
5. Marylu was a waitress at a Walgreen’s restaurant. Two of the bus boys were Christians, and witnessed to her. They gave her a copy of Billy Graham’s book, “Peace With God.” She came to accept Jesus as her Savior.
C. It is good to share your TESTIMONY, even if you don’t have all the answers.
II. PONDERING in the Heart (19)
For some people, the ide of reflective, mediation on God’s Word and His work in our lives, and contemplation are the equivalent of Chinese water torture. In an age of constant entertainment, we are losing depth of person and spirit.
Sometimes we are so tired, stressed, and blitzed that we just want to plop on the couch and turn on the TV. Sometimes we are better off biting off less.
A. Our relationship to Jesus is something we must MULL over.
1. We you learn a fact, you store it away and then learn others.
2. But when you love a person, you rehearse and contemplate repeatedly.
3. Is Jesus a Person to know and relate to, or merely a fact to learn?
4. Some forms of Christianity claim to believe in salvation by faith alone but really imply salvation by knowing the information alone. (personal commitment to an ongoing relationship).
B. Mary would need to HANG ON to these truths in the future.
1. Jesus mother and brothers thought he might be out of his mind at one point (Mark 3:21, 31).
Mark 3:21, 31, “And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”… And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him.
2. Matthew 13:53-56, “And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”
C. She had other INPUT to warn her of the trials she would face.