Summary: Part 4 of our study looking at the extra ordinary man, Jesus. This week we shall look at the preperation for His birth
How many of us here have had children?
If we haven't had children, how many of us have been close to someone who has had children? Maybe a sister or something?
Now, can you remember what it was like from the time you found out about the pregnancy to the time the baby was born? I know for us, when we found out about little Nicky it was all about preparation.
Where shall he be born? In Anjung or somewhere else? Which hospital shall we go to? What doctor shall treat Monnica? What will happen to the school? How much time off before and after shall she take off?
And when we found out we were having a boy we started getting things ready, some clothes, blankets, cot, bottles and all that kind of stuff. I'm sure you will agree there is a lot of preparation to be done before a baby is born.
But the preparation doesn't begin until the pregnancy is confirmed. I mean, we going out for a few years before we married, and married another 2 before we decided to have a baby, but we didn't buy a cot or bottles or any baby related thing until we knew Monnica was pregnant and everything was ok.
But for Jesus, everything was different. While for us the preparation begins at pregnancy, with Jesus the pregnancy came after ALL the preparation had been made! And there was a lot to prepare!
There were many promises, many prophesies made and the Son of God, the Messiah, Jesus had to fulfil them all! There was much to prepare!
From the moment God had proclaimed judgement and promised a Saviour He was working in history, moving over kings and kingdoms, raising up and tearing down Empires! Moving these people here and those people over there, and spreading those people He spread everywhere! All in preparation for this day and the birth of this man!
And He began with the Jews! God had chosen the Jews, chosen Israel to be 'a kingdom of priests, a holy nation' (Ex 19:6) to be His people! They were to be an example to the pagan nations around them of God's goodness and blessings and be a channel of blessing to the other nations.
And they have a rich history testifying to the mercy and goodness and grace and blessing of God! The Exodus account is a prime example of this; it was known by all the nations around and is remembered and celebrated even today!
But they failed! Due to almost constant rebellion and disobedience and idolatry, the judgement of God fell upon this nation and in 587 BC, Nebuchadnezzar had captured and carried Israel off into captivity to Babylon. And from here they were cast out and spread across the whole known world!
But when they went and where ever they went they made it known to everyone that they were worshipers of the one true God, Jehovah. And to the nations into which they spread, the pagan, multi god worshiping nations, they made known their God and His plan of salvation through His Messiah!
So for nearly 600 years all the nations around Israel would have known about the coming Messiah, whether they believed it or not, they would have known! And the wise men who brought gifts are testimony of that fact! They came from the east, from Babylon probably!
And as the Babylonian empire rose and fell, another empire came into existence, that of Alexander the Great! And his motto was 'One language, one nation!' And as he swept across much of the known world he brought Greek culture and thinking and more importantly the Greek language became the common language.
The Old Testament was translated into Greek and the entire Empire would have spoken in this one language! So by the time of Jesus' birth, unlike any other time, EVERYBODY would hear the good news of His coming!
And after the Greeks came the Romans! And through the Romans God brought peace! Not only did they establish peace, but with their great army they maintained it! This meant that it was safe to travel and move from city to city or town to town.
And along with this peace, the Romans brought good roads! Have you heard the saying 'All roads lead to Rome'? All through the Roman Empire there were these great, sophisticated, often patrolled roads which made the spread of the Gospel much, much, much easier than ever before! It made Mary's journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, some 100 miles, that much easier and doable!
And finally, with the Romans came a deterioration in morality and religion which left the people longing and hungering for redemption!
And into this world Jesus was born!
A time like no other! ALL the people knowing the Messiah was coming, ALL the peoples spoke a common language so all could hear and read of Him, with the peace and system of roads that the Romans brought, people could just spread out quickly and easily with the news of Jesus! And with such moral decay, people were ready for a Saviour!