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Summary: This message is about the season of hope in Christ that is right in our midst that can be hidden in the difficult or buried in the familiar.

It’s interesting the way we approach our birthdays, birthdays of our children, spouses, friends etc…

Consider the first birthday of your child, or grandchild…HUGE!…All the trappings, gifts, invitations, photos…(and the baby has NO idea what’s going on!)

Seems as though the celebration is really for us! To remind us of the gift of life that has been given to us as family…

And then later as they grow, it dawns on them…they begin to anticipate the attention, the gifts etc…

Even later, as you age…they can be a reminder of your age…30 was hard, 40 was interesting and 50? Half a century….wow!

My wife likes to use the term birth month now…has expanded the celebration!

So the season of Christmas is upon us..the celebration, the memories…and most of all…the hope….

1 Timothy 1:1 (NIV84)

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

I want to take the story from the narrative of Matthew and some truths in the recounting of the birth of Jesus that are still alive and full of hope today for us…

Matthew 1:1 (NIV84)

1A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Matthew 1:17 (NIV84)

17Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.

First of all, the genealogy…I’m not going to go into detail on that, it’s pretty well laid out…but I do want to point out something that struck me as I was praying and considering it.

In the study of biblical numerology, the number 14, means a double measure of spiritual perfection…look it up….7 is perfection x 2….double…you get it…

It also represents deliverance/salvation…

Point?

It speaks of God’s character @ the perfect time/place of God’s intersection into humanity to bring about salvation and deliverance…

Matthew 1:18–24 (NIV84)

18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:

23“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”

24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

With anything else, we can be so familiar with something, even the birth story, that we can lose the wonder of it…expound…

VS 24 speaks of Josephs being obedient!

Many times the wonder of what God wants to do can hinge on our willingness to be obedient!

I’m sure God could have done an end run on Joseph should he have chose to disobey…but the story would certainly have been different!

Matthew 2:1 (NIV84)

1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem

Expound on “during the time of King Herod”…

Skirting over this passage, we can miss how terrible the time was “under King Herod”…

Herod the Great was part of a family of “herod”….Idumean origin…not originally Jewish but had converted…

Herod meant “hero-like” and he was anything but…

Strangles his own wife, responsible for the death of two of his own sons in their infancy…basically a mass murderer…

On his deathbed he ordered the execution of a number of his nobles to ensure when he died there would be mourning in the land…

1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod,

Point?

The salvation of God through Jesus can come at anytime, anywhere…God is always willing to intersect, intervene His Kingdom with the earth…

We can gloss over the wonder of the season, but also neglect to understand that it was an incredible trying time of difficulty and oppression…And God still showed up!

Magi from the east came to Jerusalem

Magi (educated, learned, astrologers, rich i.e. Gold, frankincense, myrrh)

They came seeking and searching…

Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV84)

29But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

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