Summary: Discussing the events surrounding Jesus’ coming so that there can be no mistake as to who Jesus was and is.
THE CHRISTMAS LESSON
This is a sermon I preached December 20, 1970. I don’t keep copies of my sermons because I’m always more interested in the future than the past. Dr. Towns found this in his file. This sermon was originally typed and printed on 8 1/2 X 14, the format I used to send out copy to my radio listeners.
John the Baptist, when he saw Jesus, said to the crowd of people: “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Rev. 13:8 says of Jesus: “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Jesus came into the world as our Saviour from sin. The events surrounding His coming are set down in detail so that there can be no mistake as to who Jesus was and is. God the Father announced His Son’s coming into the world.
I. BEFORE THE EVENT TOOK PLACE, GOD SENT OUT THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF HIS SON’S BIRTH.
A. God foretold to the Devil His Son’s coming in the Garden of Eden. Gen. 3:15.
Warring between the Devil’s children and the woman’s child was to take place. Jesus is the only person ever to be born of a woman’s seed. No human father had a part in the coming of the Lord to the earth; Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35.
B. God prophesied through the Prophet Isaiah that His Son was to be born. Isa. 7:14.
The meaning of the name, Emmanuel, is “God with us.” Matt. 1:23.
C. God declared to Mary that she was to bear the Son of God. Luke 1:35.
D. God proclaimed His Son’s coming to Joseph, the future husband of Mary. Matt. 1:20.
The angel of the Lord set Joseph’s mind at ease concerning the coming of the child that was to be born of Mary; He announced Jesus’ identity. Jesus’ name was given to Joseph, also.
II. AFTER THE EVENT TOOK PLACE, GOD SENT OUT THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF HIS SON’S BIRTH.
A. Angels were sent from God to some shepherds in the field. Luke 2:8-20.
1. There were several different types of shepherds. One type was the shepherd who lived in a tent and moved about, changing the location of his family each time it was necessary to move his flock to better pasture land. Another type of shepherd was the servant or the hired shepherd who took care of the flocks for a wealthy sheep owner who lived in town. A third type of shepherd was the man who was permanently settled, who cared for his own sheep and kept his flock in a sheepfold whenever he was not out in the fields with them. Sometimes several flocks were kept in the same sheepfold. The sheep recognized only the voice of their own shepherd, so he was the only one they would follow out to grazing and water. Perhaps the shepherds who heard the angel’s message at night were hired by wealthy sheep owners. These particular shepherds worked the “Night shift” watching the sheep.
2. Imagine the setting before the angel’s appearing to the shepherds. No doubt the night was lighted only by the stars and moon. No artificial light was present except perhaps a fire lit to keep away the wild beasts who would be on the prowl by night. The night was still--no sounds of super highways, no blaring of horns or screaming of sirens to break the stillness. In this setting there was opportunity for a man to be quiet and to meditate upon the Word of God and to discuss quietly the promises of God with his fellow workers. We need to teach our pupils that it is good to daily find a place of quiet, if for only a few moments. We need this time for Bible reading and prayer. There are many instructions that God wants to give us, promises that God wants to make to us, comfort that God wishes to extend to us, teachings about Himself that God wants us to know, and we need to give Him our undivided attention.
3. Imagine the sudden appearing of the angels to the shepherds. We probably cannot imagine how beautiful the “glory of the Lord” must have been. The sudden appearing of the angel of the Lord along with the glory of the Lord was very startling and, therefore, frightening to the shepherds. The angel saw their fright immediately and set them at ease so that he could make them understand the message that he had for them. Then it was as if the heavens could not contain their joy at the joyous announcement of the Saviour’s birth. A great choir of angels came to give a most wonderful selection of choral speaking. They said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”