Summary: Some reasons we should praise God
Jesus, The Dayspring From On High
A. In Luke 1, Luke introduces us to a man by the name of Zacharias, the husband of Elizabeth, and also the future uncle of Jesus. Zacharias and Elizabeth were both getting old, and they had never had any children.
B. Zacharias was working one day in the temple, burning incense to the Lord, when an angel of God appeared to him and told him about a son that he would soon have. The angel told him to name the boy John and then said that this son would:
1. Bring them great joy
2. Be great in the sight of the Lord
3. Be filled with the Holy Spirit
4. Be instrumental in bringing many people to salvation
C. Zacharias was filled with amazement at the pronouncement and began to ask the angel many questions. The angel heard these questions for what they were: questions of doubt; so he told Zacharias that he would be dumb, that is, he would be unable to speak again until John was born.
D. John spent the next several months waiting for this event, and when at last it came, Elizabeth’s friends and family began to try to pick a name for the baby. When he was eight days old, they finally decided to call him Zacharias, after his father, but Elizabeth tried to tell them that their name was no good. His name would be John.
E. The women were insistent that John was not a good name, but finally Zacharias took up some paper and something with which to write and wrote these words, "His name is John." At that moment, Zacharias’ speech returned to him, he was filled with the Spirit of God, and he began to praise God with the following prophecy from verses 68-79:
F. Read the text. What a celebration of the birth of a son! We have reason to celebrate as well. This morning I want to give you some reasons why we should be celebrating the birth of God’s only begotten Son.
I. Because He is the Dayspring from on High. (78)
A. The word Dayspring is a word that means "sunrise; the rising of the sun, daylight or dawn."
1. The word brings to mind new beginnings, a new day, a fresh start.
2. That’s what Jesus brought with Him – a new day, a new beginning, the dawn of something great.
B. Isaiah recorded, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach glad tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." Isaiah 61:1-3
C. Jesus was and is the hope of mankind. He is the Light of this world – the Dayspring – the Sunrise from on high. Malachi 4:2 says, But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall."
D. When Luke says Jesus is the Sunrise from on high, he is literally speaking about the Sun of God. John 1:5-9 says, "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
E. You can celebrate Jesus today because He is the Dayspring – We’ve all heard the song, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are gray."
II. Because He came with divine purpose. (79)
A. First we notice that the world in which we live is dark. I don’t have to convince you of the black heart that exists in America today. We live in a wicked and dark world.
1. Every phase of our world, of our culture is dark. Our government is shrouded in darkness, there is a dark cloud of pride and humanism hanging over our educational system, and a dark cloud of selfishness and prosperity has invaded our churches and homes.