Summary: Christmas Series
Jesus is Coming…To Shake Things Up
December 4th, 2005
Intro: Last week we began a series called Jesus is coming and this week and in the coming weeks we are going to look at the Christmas story and what it meant to different people and how it affected their lives both at that time and their futures. Last week we looked at the fact that Jesus came just as the prophets foretold. He appeared where they predicted and was born how they predicted and became all that they said he would be. But, even with advanced billing and publicity, the majority of the Jews missed His coming because He didn’t fit the role of King and Messiah that they had pictured in their minds.
In the next three sermons, we’re going to get to the more traditional Christmas messages. We’re going to talk about Jesus coming to bring hope, good news, and blessing. We’re going to look at the more traditional characters of Mary and the Shepherds. But today, we’re going to look at something very different. We’re going to look at one character and a group of characters that aren’t so much fun to look at. We’re going to look at what this birth, this coming of the King of the Jews meant to the Pharisees and to the current ruler of the day, King Herod. Each would find their authority challenged. Each would find everything that they worked hard for threatened. See, Jesus came to bring peace and blessing and good news and love, but Jesus was also born to shake things up. He would be at the time and remain today the single most controversial figure in the history of civilization. The world was at rest and a baby came to shake things up. God had waited for the perfect moment to send his son.
Disney Land Illustration
My parents were right. The trip was better and more enjoyable because we waited for the right time to go. We, as kids enjoyed it more, and they, as parents were able to enjoy it more. It was worth the wait in the end but during the time we were waiting, it was hard. It was something that we really wanted and we were really looking forward to. Have you ever wondered why God waited so long to send His Son? There is a huge amount of time that passes between the Garden of Eden and the first sin of man that separated us from God, and the birth of the baby Jesus, what was God waiting for? Well, he was waiting for the perfect time.
Galatians 4:4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
When the time had fully come! The greek word that Paul uses here is playroma and it literally means in all fullness. It’s the idea that nothing else could possibly be added that it was the right time; there was no other event that could have taken place that would have presented a better time. All of what God had been orchestrating for centuries to put into place so that his Son could accomplish what it was that needed to be done, all of that was ready. The time was right, the time was perfect. People had been waiting and asking, is it time yet? What is God waiting for? Sounds like some of us today, wondering when God is going to move, when God is going to provide relief. There’s an answer to that question, He’ll move at just the right time. And here you see that in the fullness of time, in the perfect moment, God sent His son.
Last week we talked about the long period of silence that the Jews had gone through. A period of 400 years where there were no prophets, no Scripture was written, and God was silent. We looked at some of the world events that took place during that time, it was through these events that God was preparing the world for the coming of His Son. He was preparing the world so that when Jesus arrived, His message could be spread effectively throughout the world.
There were a two major reasons why this was a time like no other in history, when the coming of the Messiah with a fresh word from God would literally change the world.
First, the years of Greek rule had produced a
1) Universal language. The Greeks had conquered much of the known world.
a. Over 90% of the people on Earth at that time spoke, wrote, read, or understood Greek.
b. A universal language would aid the spread of Christ’s Message and the early gospels that documented Christ’s life and ministry were written in Greek and could be read and understood by the vast majority of the people.