Summary: A sermon for the 4th Sunday of Advent helping us to continue discovering that Jesus is God and what Jesus’ purpose is.
Over the last few weeks Christians from many churches have been focusing on being ready, being prepared not just for Christmas Day,
but for the second coming of Jesus.
Our worship time has encouraged us to:
To listen to God, be turned toward God and have our lives totally influenced by God
And to endure and persevere in bringing the Christian and Christmas message to people even when it is difficult or results in us suffering.
And the question some may ask is why?
Well this week we are encouraged to continue discovering who God is.
This partly reveals why.
Discovering who God is not a once off event, but a life time calling for every Christian.
Our focus is on engaging with God and looking at who is God, in particular who God is in Jesus?
Now the question of who is God
takes a second to ask, but a life time to answer is.
It is a question that every Christian is continually encouraged to ask throughout their life.
Throughout your life God is constantly revealing who He is to you.
This occurs through the bible and
through your interaction with other people who have been influenced by the bible.
However we live in a difficult age for answering the question, who is God.
We live in a time where people would rather use their own understanding to develop their picture of God and how he should operate based,
instead of taking the time to allow God to reveal himself, reveal his ways and what offers, and allow God’s approach to life to influence their approach to life.
However understanding God,
relies on us interacting with God.
Like all relationships, our relationship grows and develops the more we interact with Him.
And our starting point is to take notice of the signs from God.
Starting with the signs that the bible gives us….
So lets turn again to Matthew chapter 1, beginning at verse 18.
This appears to be a straightforward passage about how Joseph found out about Jesus, but there is a little more to the passage.
The first sign of who Jesus is occurs in verse 18
This is something we hear every Christmas.
We hear that Mary was with child through the Holy Spirit.
And in verse 20 this is something that God confirms to Joseph.
That what Mary has conceived is from the Holy Spirit.
This highlights that Jesus is someone special.
This is a sign that Jesus is not only human but He is also divine.
Now scripture reveals something incredible about Jesus,
that Jesus is both completely human and completely God at the same time.
This is one the mysteries of God, something which without scripture we find difficult to grasp.
But there is something significant for you and me in Jesus being both completely human and completely God
As a human he experiences what we experience.
He knows how our good, average and difficult times affect us.
But also as God He knows how God thinks and operates.
And he has the power to deal with many issues in our lives, especially the issue of sin.
When Jesus talks that is God talking.
Jesus’ actions are God’s actions.
And so for us to understand God
it is essential for us to look at and listen to Jesus.
Our entire perception of God can only be seen through Jesus.
Consider some of the stories of Jesus.
Like the times when Jesus mixes with and forgives sinners but is often critical of those who want to judge others.
Or the occasions when he instructs his disciples to forgive others not once but many times.
Think about what that means for you!!
What is God saying to you in the actions and words of Jesus?
How does Jesus influence your perception of God?
Verse 20 also reveals another sign that Jesus is special.
Joseph is addressed by God’s messenger as the son of David.
Now the significance of this is seen when we hear some of the Old Testament prophecies.
Likes those from Zechariah chapter 13,
that the Messiah would come from the line of David.
For the Jewish people one of the tests of whether a person may possibly be the Messiah is whether they were a descendant of David.
But you maybe saying hold on a moment Joseph is not Jesus’ biological father.
That is true.
However there is something we need to understand,
by obeying God’s commands of remaining with Mary
and by being responsible for naming the baby as instructed by God
Joseph acknowledges the child as his own.
Joseph takes on the responsibility of earthly fatherhood.
Joseph is culturally and legally seen as Jesus’ father.
And Jesus is connected to Joseph’s ancestors.
Jesus is connected to David’s family