Summary: Favorite team. Favorite shirt. Favorite food. But a favorite Jesus? What if we miss Him because He doesn’t show up in our favorite way?
Pt. 1 - Infant Baby Jesus
I have a lot of favorite things in life. I have a favorite pizza. I have a favorite car. I have a favorite football team. I even have favorite people. And for all of his laughable and stomach turning theology, like Ricky Bobby most of us have a favorite Jesus too.
For many we are right in the middle of season that celebrates our favorite Jesus. We glamorize and sanitize the nativity scene and wrap our selves up in the concept of a sweet, 8 lb. 6 oz, golden diaper, little bundle of baby God. There are some major issues with this the first and foremost being what do we do when Jesus moves out of, beyond or no longer fits the mode of our "favorite" form for Him?
We suddenly find ourselves living in John 5:37 - "And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form,"
In other words, when God fails to fit the form that we have designed for Him we fail to recognize God’s voice and presence. Or put in the redneck, but deep theology of Ricky Bobby’s smokin’ hot wife Carley when she said, "He did grow up!"
We cannot put the favorite box on Jesus that causes us to miss Him as God when He grows up! Scripture is clear, Carley was unknowingly almost quoting Scripture at that point.
Luke 2:52 tells us that Jesus, ". . . grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
So my question to you is "What is your favorite Jesus?" Over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas I want us to look at three different Jesus’ and realize that each stage whether our favorite or not reveals truth to us!
(By the way as much as I love Christmas the Tiny Infant Jesus is not my favorite Jesus!"
18-19The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t know that.) Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced. 20-23While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: "Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—’God saves’—because he will save his people from their sins." This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term:
Watch for this—a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son; They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for "God is with us").
Luke 2:4-7 - So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant. 6-7While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.
Matthew 2:7-12 - 7-8Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when the birth-announcement star appeared. Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem, and said, "Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I’ll join you at once in your worship."
9-10Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time! 11They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh. 12In a dream, they were warned not to report back to Herod. So they worked out another route, left the territory without being seen, and returned to their own country.
III. Infant Baby Jesus Truths
Although He isn’t my favorite Jesus there are truths that we must learn from Jesus as a baby!
A. Baby Jesus teaches salvation can be hard to discern and even harder to accept.
Notice what Matthew tells us . . . Joseph didn’t discern that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit! In fact, when you continue to read it sounds like he was just being a good guy and was going to take care of Mary, but he was trying to find a way out. Do you blame him? He has waited his whole life for the big day. He has kept himself pure. Resisted temptation. Now his bride to be can’t wear white and will have a baby bump during the wedding. In fact, according to law Mary should be put to death. Not exactly easy to discern or even accept salvation is coming through this life altering, embarrassing, neighbors are going to be talking event.