Summary: The surprise of Christmas is that God loved us enough to send us His Son to die for our sins.
The Surprise of Christmas
Text: Luke 2:1-7
1. Illustration: Every year at Christmas, my Mother and I would play this little game of cat and mouse. She would try to keep me from knowing what I was getting for Christmas, and I would do all in my power to find out before Christmas. One year I made her really mad. She had already rapped my presents, and I walked into her room picked each package up and told her what was in each package. It took all of the surprise out of Christmas.
2. However, Mom really didn’t have to go to all of that trouble. You see, there is always surprise at Christmas. Everything about Christmas is unexpected.
a. Jesus comes at an unexpected time.
b. Jesus comes to unexpected people.
c. Jesus comes to an unexpected place.
4. Read Luke 2:1-7
Proposition: The surprise of Christmas is that God loved us enough to send us His Son to die for our sins.
Transition: The first surprise of Christmas is...
I. Jesus Comes At An Unexpected Time (1-3)
A. Everyone Came to His Own City
1. Have you ever heard the phrase "It just so happened..."?
2. When it came to Jesus birth, there was a problem.
a. The prophet Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
b. But Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth.
c. Jesus, the Messiah, was being born to Mary and Joseph, but how do they get him to Bethlehem?
3. It just so happened..."it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered."
a. His birthplace is determined in part by the need to fill out a census — probably a means to register for paying taxes ( Bock, NIV Application Commentary, New Testament: Luke, 83).
b. Or was it the census that determined the place of His birth?
c. In case you haven’t figured it out, I don’t believe that anything just happens.
4. In verse 3 tells us that "all went to be registered, everyone to his own city."
a. Joseph was required to go to his home town to register, and guess what was his home town?
b. It just so happened that his home town was Bethlehem.
c. It just so happened that Bethlehem was the "City of David."
d. It just so happened that the Messiah was supposed to come from David’s lineage, and be born in David’s city.
e. Do you believe that things just happen?
5. What happened was, God needed to get Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem. So do you know what God did?
a. He whispered in Caesar’s ear, "Hey Caesar, you know what you ought to do? I think you should make a decree that everyone in the whole world needs to register in a census, and they should all go to their home town to register."
b. So Caesar says "Hey, let’s take a census!"
c. God acted, as He has always acted in history, to cause His sovereign will to happen.
d. Caesar’s decree went out in God’s perfect timing and according to God’s perfect plan to bring his Son into the world.
B. When We Least Expect It
1. Illustration: Benjamin Franklin in remarks to the Continental Convention, June 28, 1787, says "I have lived, Sir, a long time [81 years-old], and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God Governs in the affairs of men."