Summary: Advent 4(C) -- When we look to Bethlehem we marvel at Jesus’ humble birth and rejoice at Jesus’ royal majesty.
LOOK TO LITTLE BETHLEHEM (Outline)
December 21, 2008 --
ADVENT 4 --
INTRO: Sometimes mankind looks for all the wrong things in all the wrong places. Mankind likes to boast about his own wisdom and the ability to have an answer for everything. But human wisdom and thinking will not always reasonably explain or completely comprehend the profound depth of all the mysteries of God. All too often people expect the strength of God to be revealed in the powerful things of this world. This is not always the case. Our human wisdom, reasoning, and thinking often is not the mind of God. "He (God) chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him" (1 CORINTHIANS 1:28,29). This is the point the prophet Micah makes in our text today. We consider the theme:
LOOK TO LITTLE BETHLEHEM.
I. Marvel at Jesus’ humble birth.
II. Rejoice at Jesus’ royal majesty.
I. MARVEL AT JESUS’ HUMBLE BIRTH
A. Verse 2a. Bethlehem was clearly an insignificant, little town. It sat in the region of Naphtali.
1. It was considered small among the people of Judah. Yet this little town would become great.
2. It already had been the birthplace of one king – David. David started out as a shepherd boy.
B. Micah speaks of another ruler coming from this town, verse 2b.
1. This ruler had been promised from long ago. This ruler would be eternal.
2. This ruler would rule over Israel. This ruler was to be the baby Jesus born in Bethlehem.
C. Verse 3a. Israel was not abandoned. But Israel was considered insignificant in the eyes of the world.
1. Israel was not considered a great earthly empire. Mary would give birth everything changed.
2. Verse 3b. Israel’s brothers that return are all believers from all the ends of the earth.
D. Jesus was born in a stone manger in the little town of Bethlehem. Jesus was much more than the son of Mary and Joseph. Jesus came as Savior for all of mankind. Today Israel includes all those who look to the infant Jesus as the word of God, yes the very Son of God, made flesh. By God’s grace all those once outside God’s kingdom are now brought in as members of God’s chosen family. God is far more con-cerned more with the spiritual hearts of men than any physical boundaries of a nation. "Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham…. So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith"(GALATIANS 3:7, 9). Look to little Bethlehem and see Jesus’ humble birth.
E. Jesus was God and yet took upon himself human flesh and blood. With this body Jesus lived, walked, talked, and taught among his creation physically. Time and again Satan tempted Jesus. Satan wanted Jesus to sin – but he did not. The humble birth of Jesus is truly an amazing miracle of God’s plan of salvation of all of mankind. "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness"(PHILIPPIANS 2:6,7). The One who created all things became like his creation (but was sinless).