Summary: It is not the condition of the world around us, but our personal commitment to God and its ratification in my world that really matters.
The so-called experts often tell us how advanced we are in today’s culture. What with the advancement of technology, medicine and medical treatments and all kinds of time-saving gadgets. We have come so far, or so they try to tell us.
The reason we think we are so much advanced today is because we really do not know the history of our world. If you would study world history and the development of our country, you will find that we are no better off today than at any other time in world history. We may have advanced technically, but not morally or spiritually.
For example, with all the developments in medicine, medical treatments and drugs of all sorts, why do people still get sick and better yet, why do people die?
With all the social media advancements, why is this generation the most socially challenged and lonely of all generations? According to secular research, the most stressed age group are those 18 to 33 years of age.
With all the advancements in psychology and psychiatry, why do we still have crazy people murdering people?
We have been told that the solution to all of our problems is in “things.” The more we surround ourselves with “thing” the more wretched we become.
I think Solomon hit it right on the head when he wrote, “Lo, this only have I found, that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions” (Ecclesiastes 7:29).
The real challenges of life never change from one generation to the next. We have been told, “New days call for new ways.”
Again, Solomon understood this very thing when he wrote, “The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It has been already of old time, which was before us” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10).
It is not the condition of the world around us, but our personal commitment to God and its ramifications in my world that really matters.
Nothing we face today or in any future generation but what God’s grace is sufficient. If anything, men and women get worse and worse rather than better despite cultural advance. Our Puritan blood has gotten very thin.
The world that Jesus entered into is relatively no different from the world we have around us. Our toys are different. But that is about all. Nothing can change the human nature but God.
Man is stuck in the horrible cycle of human depravity and nothing he does can break him loose of it. Not all the advancements in education, technology, politics, you name it, can make man better.
This may seem like a dismal view of humanity, but the facts and the reality are on my side. Look at some of the things that have happened in what is supposed to be the greatest and most sophisticated country in the world. There is no sin, no debauchery, no evil that is not found here in the United States of America.
The world Jesus entered into is comparable to the world we live in today. I want to explore this idea as Luke outlines it for us in these first two chapters.
What was, is and what is, will be.
I. The Condition of the World Jesus Entered
There are many similarities in the world that Jesus entered to our world today, but we do not have time to explore the whole picture. Two primary forces governed the world that Jesus entered into.
The first force would be political tyranny. The Roman government had conquered the world and ruled with an iron fist.
“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town” (Luke 2:1-3).
The world was governed by the Roman Empire that crushed every country it came to and brought them under their rule, or as I call it, tyranny.
The purpose of political tyranny is to control people. To put them in bondage and make them slaves. No government can long stand people who are not under some kind a control. They operated by the “under my thumb” rule.
The world Jesus came into was controlled by a pagan government that was in every way contrary to godliness and purity.
Another force in the world the Jesus entered was religious tyranny. Although the Jews were under the control of the Roman Empire, the religious leaders had made a deal with the Roman government to control their own people. Rome worked this way. They controlled the people by controlling the leaders.