Summary: Relating two aspects of the birth of Jesus Christ; the ordinary and the extraordinary.
Intro: -Read John 3:16-18
-Sometimes it is true that we remain insensitive to how much someone else loves us, until we have failed them. Only then, to discover that it makes no difference at all in their love for us. Their love, therefore, becomes a kind of love that is neither deserved nor owed. Yet, it immediately and unceasingly sets itself to the task of healing the violated relationship caused by our failure.
Such were the circumstances through which we were made aware of how much our Father in Heaven loves us. The continuing level of our unfaithfulness served only to accentuate the continuing intensity of His love, until that love became incarnate. Incarnate is a word that describes the element of being “embodied in the flesh; in human form.”
In relationships, a point arises when it no longer works to tell a person you love them. In Jesus of Nazareth, God came among us to woo us away from our unfaithfulness, by loving us with a love that had to be made flesh for that love to be made known. And so John says in the first chapter of his Gospel, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14). The Word became Flesh
We have recorded in the Bible two accounts of this Word becoming Flesh. Onne account is written by Matthew and the other by Luke. Let’s read the birth stories together. Go ahead and turn to Luke 2 and when you have marked that, turn to Matthew 1 and we will read Matthew’s articulation first. (Read Matt. 1:18-2:1-12 then Luke 2:1-20).
You may or may not have noticed that these two birth stories are somewhat different. Matthew, for example, records an angel of the Lord visiting with Joseph. While Luke highly illustrates how the angels visited with the shepherds. Luke offers names such as the Christ and Lord, while Matthew stresses the name Immanuel. And there are many other differences that we could make note of, but instead, I would like to draw your attention to another aspect of both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke.
Both of these Gospels place a genealogy immediately before the birth account. A genealogy? Have you ever read a genealogy, especially one that did not pertain to you or your family? They can be rather boring, unless you have a specific agenda for reading and researching one, but these two genealogies are quite different from the typical genealogy that we may think of today. And despite that these two genealogies concern the same person, Jesus Christ, it is interesting that there exists a few substantial differences between the both of them:
1. When you read them, you will notice that Luke’s genealogy is in reverse order of Matthew. Luke begins with Joseph and traces back to Adam, while Matthew begins with Abraham and comes up to Joseph.
2. Luke relates Jesus’ connection to all of humanity. Matthew relates Jesus’ connection with the Jews.
Keep those differences in mind for a moment and we will come back to them in just a moment.
We need to be aware that there was no insufficiency in Christ’s Humanity or Deity. There was no insufficiency in Christ’s Humanity, 1 Peter 2:22 states, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in Him.” And there was no insufficiency in Christ’s Deity, for John 14:9 relates the words of Jesus Himself as saying, “....Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father...”
Therefore, if Christ was totally sufficient in all purposes in His humanity and in
His Deity, then maybe we can draw something of major importance from the genealogies of Matthew and Luke. And what we find I shall present to you in two words:
Let’s first talk about this concept of Ordinary. How many of us would say that
are ordinary citizens, with normal, ordinary jobs. We are just like the average joe. We drive an ordinary automobile, eat ordinary food, we never see anything out of the ordinary. And that suits us; we are comfortable talking about the ordinariness of our lives. However, can we affix the term ordinary in relation to God and keep that same degree of comfort?
It seems that we one attempts to bring God into the ordinariness of life, this is difficult for people to accept. 1 Corinthians 1:18 proclaims, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.....” In other words you mean to tell me that God Almighty was executed on a cross in the early first century. Wasn’t that the ordinary form of capital punishment of the Roman Empire and many other kingdoms. Listen to this observation Malcolm Muggeridge explained with the speculation of the scenario of Christ’s birth in our post-modern world, “.....in our day, with family-planning clinics offering convenient ways to correct “mistakes” that might disgrace a family name, “It is, in point of fact, extremely improbable, under existing conditions, that Jesus would have been permitted to be born at all. Mary’s pregnancy, in poor circumstances, and with the father unknown, would have been an obvious case for an abortion; and her talk of having conceived as a result of the intervention of the Holy Ghost would have pointed to the need for psychiatric treatment, and made the case for terminating her pregnancy even stronger.” It is difficult for us to picture the God who created the Sun that gives us heat, the seas that give us boundaries, the air that fills our lungs with life, that this God is ordinary. Although listen to what Philip Yancey, in his book, The Jesus I Never Knew, says, “.....it seems that God arranged the most humiliating circumstances possible for his entrance, as if to avoid any charge of favoritism. I am impressed that when the Son of God became a human being He played by the rules, harsh rules.....”