Summary: The marvelous gifts that God gave to us on that first Christmas
(Based on a series by Paul Snoddy, Tri-Village Christian Church, Pataskala, OH)
SERIES: “GIFTS UNDER THE TREE”
TEXT: MATTHEW 1:18-25
TITLE: “PEACE – THE MYSTERIOUS GIFT”
INTRODUCTION: A. In a Peanuts cartoon, Lucy and Charlie Brown are talking. Lucy says, “I hate the
world. I hate everyone. I hate everything about this world!”
Charlie Brown looks at her for a moment and says, “I thought you said you have an
Lucy replies, “I do have an inner peace but I have an outer obnoxiousness.”
1. Peace is not something that comes from around us.
--Rather it is something that God puts within us
2. Jesus Christ came not to just be born into this world but to die an atoning death so
that we could have a peace that passes all understanding.
B. Even though we’ve been at war in Iraq for several years now, it’s still disheartening to
hear about the deaths of our military personnel over there.
1. There’s a huge controversy currently happening between rival political forces and
fueled by the media concerning the importance of an announced pull-out schedule.
2. Those that support the schedule promote the idea that with a determined date to pull
our forces out of Iraq that then we will have peace.
3. Peace doesn’t come from the outward circumstances.
--It comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
4. If we truly want to find peace not just at Christmas but for the rest of our lives, we
have to discover the peace that passes all understanding and that only comes
thorough knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
C. Last week, we looked at the events recorded in Lk. 2:8-20
1. It concerned the angel who appeared to the shepherds and made a grand
announcement about a savior being born who is Christ the Lord.
2. One of the last things the angel said to the shepherds was “Glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
3. The only way we can have lasting peace in our lives is to know that God’s favor
rests upon us
4. The Bible says that when we’re in a relationship with Jesus Christ that the Holy
Spirit not only rests upon us, He also lives within us.
--It’s through the Holy Spirit of God that we can have the peace that Christ offers
to every one of us.
5. Is. 9:6 prophesies: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the
government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
--There are four ways that Jesus Christ brings peace into our lives in spite of what
is happening around us
I. PEACE IN SPITE OF STRAINED RELATIONSHIPS
A. Joseph understood strained relationships
1. He was pledged to be married to Mary and discovered beforehand that she was already pregnant.
2. Mt. 1:18-19 – “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be
married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy
Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public
disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.”
B. You can imagine Joseph’s disappointment
1. Probably a marriage arranged for years in advance
2. Probably didn’t know her very well
3. One of the first things he discovers is that she’s pregnant
4. At first, because he was righteous he didn’t want to bring her to public disgrace so he wanted to
divorce her privately until the angel came and explained the situation
--God brought this pregnancy about and this child will be the savior of the world.
a. Joseph was obedient and faithful and married her
b. Joseph probably couldn’t tell anybody. Who would believe it?
--“Uh, hey, guys, this isn’t another fella’s baby. This is God’s baby.”
5. Maybe Joseph family and friends whispered about it behind his back.
C. And yet Jesus wants to bring peace in spite of strained relationships
1. Maybe you got some strained relationships
--with family or friends or co-workers
2. Maybe it’s something that’s been going on for years but you’ve never settled it
a. It’s just below the surface there’s strain
b. You act like everything’s okay but it’s not
3. Maybe somebody needs to be forgiven
4. Maybe it’s something nobody wants to talk about
5. Maybe a good friend has done something or you’ve done something and you know there’s no peace
until the relationship is restored.
6. Even with a spouse, sometimes there’s trouble and there’s no peace in that relationship
D. Sometimes just offering forgiveness is the start to peace