Summary: The baby Jesus is saved from a horrific end due to faithful obedience of Joseph and Mary.
The Savior is Safe!
Preached at the Laurel Church of Christ
On December 15, 2002
CIT: The baby Jesus is saved by the foresight of God and the obedience of Joseph and the wise men.
MOT: Even Jesus was not immune to suffering and the attacks of Satan.
CAA: The Laurel church should be motivated to continue their life of obedience.
Thesis: Salvation is found in the pure motivation of obedience to the Lord’s will.
I. There was a contest held at a local school one Christmas season a few years ago in east Texas.
A. One of the prizewinners was picture drawn by a nine-year-old boy showing three men offering gifts to the baby Jesus.
B. What made the picture unique is how the three gift presenters arrived – there was fire truck on the side of the picture.
C. The principle asked the boy about his decision to draw the truck and the boy, in his heavy East-Texas accent was quick to reply: “Well, the Bible says the wise men came from a-far.”
II. The story that Matthew continues to tell in chapter 2 is one of intrigue, deceit, suffering, and obedience.
A. It seems to me that it would make a good popular movie.
B. Let’s read Matthew 2:13-23
III. Danger for anyone but especially a small child is very real. A parent for at least the first couple of years is battling to keep the child safe.
A. Today we place outlet covers in all of the electrical plugs.
1. We put childproof locks on all of the cabinet doors to keep them safe.
2. We keep a close eye on them to keep foreign objects out of their mouth, and list goes on and on.
3. As parents it is our duty to protect our children from impending danger.
B. Surely at this time in Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary are worried about the protection of their newborn son.
1. Especially concerned about his safety because this is no ordinary boy, this is the Messiah everyone has been waiting on.
2. Enough time has passed that the parents of Jesus have found a place to stay other than the barn.
3. For some weird reason, I always understood the wise men to come to the manger not a house, but according to the Bible they found them at a house (v.11)
C. Let’s look to see how our Savior was saved.
I. Joseph’s obedience to God (13-15)
A. Obedience is really very simple
1. As one child put it.
a. I have figured out how to not get in trouble with mom
b. When she asks me to do something.
c. I do it.
2. If only we could realize just how simple obedience is to God, when God asks you to do something. Just do it!
3. So instead of arguing about obedience our society argues that God doesn’t have any rules that have to be obeyed.
a. Our rules are made on a one by one basis, and it is up to me what I do.
b. A good example of this is the slogan of the Outback Steak House…”No rules – Just right”
c. I suspect that if you showed up and didn’t wait for the hostess, took a table ahead of people waiting, ordered something not on the menu, then walked out without paying your bill the manager would think differently.
B. Fred Craddock, in an address to ministers, caught the practical implications of an obedient life to Christ
1. “We think giving our all to the Lord is like taking a $1,000 bill and laying it on the table - - ‘Here’s my life, Lord. I’m giving it all.’
2. But the reality for most of us is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the $1,000 dollars for quarters.
3. We go through life putting out 25 cents here and 50 cents there.
a. Listen to the neighbor kid’s troubles instead of saying, ‘Get lost.’
b. Go to a committee meeting instead of doing what we want to do.
c. Giving a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home instead of hanging out with our friends
d. Usually giving our life to Christ isn’t glorious.
4. It’s done in all of those acts of love, 25 cents at a time.
5. It would be easy to go out in a flash of glory; it is harder to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul.
C. Joseph is an example of giving a little here and a little there.
1. The first episode with an angel was to stay engaged to Mary
2. The second episode was to protect his adopted son, the son of God