Summary: This time of the year is one of great celebration. In our lesson we will discuss the reason and joy of the birth of Christ. We will note also, like the title suggest, that many sincere believers are "going home without Jesus."
1. Going Home with Jesus
2. Going Home without Jesus
3. Going Home with Jesus
1. Our lesson today is to discuss the theme, “going home without Jesus.” Before noticing our theme, we will first consider that this couple would be going home with Jesus. Joseph and Mary would journey to Bethlehem to register for the purpose of taxes. Luke points out that “Mary was great with child” as Joseph and her made their journey some 80 miles from Nazareth, to their hometown - Bethlehem. We will confine our lesson to the text taken from Luke Chapter 2. I would suggest to you, there are many “going home without Jesus.” It will be in this city that the Saviour would be born. Many call this time of the year, the "Christmas season." We are not really sure that this was the time that Christ was born. But, we are thankful that Christ is "the reason for the season," and for the joy His birth brings to all mankind.
2. First we will discuss, going home with Jesus. The parents of the soon to be born child were journeying to their home town of Bethlehem. The mother was great with child. Bethlehem was the Prophetic city where the Savior was to be born. Joseph and Mary sought for a place to lodge and prepare for the birth of her “firstborn Son.” There were kin folk there, but they could not seek them out for lodging. How do you explain her condition – not yet being married to Joseph? She was going home carrying Jesus. They would find at their arrival, there was “no room in the inn.” God provided lodging for His Son’s birth in a stable – not a palace. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes – not a robe of silk and royalty. He lies in a manger – not in a bed of kings. The Son of God had no announcement of his birth from decree – but from a chorus of angel telling the shepherds nearby that a child was born – who is Christ the Lord – in Bethlehem.
3. Second we will discuss, going home without Jesus. We find the family of Jesus completing their annual visit to the city of Jerusalem during the Passover; going home without Him. They had traveled a full day’s Journey only to learn that Jesus was not with them. The family had left the child behind in Jerusalem. They were going home without Jesus. We cannot imagine the worry and fear that went through Mary’s heart. God had given the child to her for safe keeping – and now she has lost Him. Joseph no doubt remarked when Mary asked of the child’s whereabouts, “I thought he was with you.” Just like many fathers would today, Hu? They would return to Jerusalem and find Him in the temple – sitting in the midst of the teachers and leaders, both listening to them and asking them questions.
4. Finally, we will discuss again, going home with Jesus. The family took Jesus to the city of Nazareth; where he would be raised until the time of his ministry and manifestation to the world. Luke would say, “Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” In Luke’s account in Chapter 2; we find the conditions of Jesus birth and early childhood history. Not much is said regarding Him but that He increased in wisdom and stature, and in the favor with God and men. Let's consider our first thought – “going home with Jesus.”
BODY OF LESSON
I GOING HOME WITH JESUS
A. Caesar Augustus. “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the entire world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city,” Luke 2:1-2. “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:),” Luke 2:3-4. They were both from the city of Bethlehem – the city of David. Many consider this time period - Christmas today. We cannot be sure that this is in fact the time period of Christ's birth. We are happy however, that we live in a nation that reverences this great event in history.
B. The reason for the trip. “To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.” How do you explain to the family her condition? That she is great with child – but it is not mine! Whose child is it? It’s God’s Child – conceived by the Holy Ghost. Who told you this? Are you still marrying her? What else has she done? To a normal family, the questions would be unending.