Summary: this Christmas may this message help us know that Jesus brought Hope into this sin filled world and encourage us to find Hope in Him.
CHRISTMAS FROM THE FOUR GOSPELS
The Birth Of Hope
A. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Ephes. 2:11-13
1. Having no hope – what a depressing phrase
a. It is the reason many seek counseling, they have no hope, they see no way out
b. Many despair of life and some even take their lives because they have no hope.
2. No hope – it would be a sad day, in deed, if we could not find hope – but don’t despair
a. In this season of Christmas we celebrate the one who came to give us hope – in fact you might even say that in the manger we see the Birth of Hope!
b. The birth of Jesus Christ, the long awaited Messiah came that we might find hope – that we might be drawn back to God
3. As Paul wrote, But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (v.13)
B. This morning I want us to look at Hope – Hope with a capital “H”
1. Our scripture passage for this morning is Luke 2:1-18
2. It this passage we can gain a wonderful look at The Birth Of Hope – We will look at
a. The Essence Of Hope
b. The Substance Of Hope
c. The Proclamation Of Hope
May God grant us a hope that goes beyond this world – one that spans the eternal ages, as we find it in the one whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas – Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior!
As we consider the Birth of Hope, let me begin this morning by looking at
I. THE ESSENCE OF HOPE, Luke 2:1-7 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. This essence begins with
A. The Prediction - I love the words, It came to pass…. (v. 1)
1. For years prophets of God had spoken concerning the coming Messiah
2. Three of which have direct bearing on our topic this morning
a. First, this hope would be of the lineage of David, found in 2 Sam 7:12 and Micah 5:2
b. Second, this hope would be born of a virgin, stated in Isa 7:14 c. Thirdly, He would be born in Bethlehem, Micah 5:2
3. These predictions, some almost 1000 years old, were brought to pass with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem that first Christmas morning!
B. Then there is the Passage, the trip to Bethlehem - And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. (vv.4-5)
1. The Decree from Cyrenius was God’s way of placing His servants where He wanted them, when He wanted them
2. The distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem is about 70 miles as the crow flies – figuring 20 miles a day and depending on the route, it could have taken anywhere from 4 to 7 days
3. For a pregnant woman, close to her delivery date, this would have been a hard trip and could have induced labor
4. But we must remember God is in charge of not only the heavens and earth, not only of rulers, but of the womb also, & His timing is always impeccable!
C. And this brings us to the Person, the real Essence of Hope: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.