Summary: In this message we will look at some things about the Christmas story that are surprising...
"THE BIRTH OF JESUS"
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost Christmas, but it is. Let me give a top 10 list about the closeness of Christmas...
YOU KNOW CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE WHEN:
10) There are more pine needles on your carpet than on your tree
9) The credit card is smoked along with the turkey and ham.
8) It’s A Wonderful Life has been shown for the 13th time
7) A trip to the mall and back is more challenging then the Indy 500
6) The Salvation Army bell ringers start accepting credit cards
5) You are pulling an all-nighter because of the words, "Some Assembly Required"
4) Your Christmas list is written in black while your check book balance is written in red.
3) Santa’s belly is not the only thing shaking like a bowl full of jelly.
2) The NFL referees are not the only ones giving away games
1) The infamous fruitcake returns from it’s 12 months of hiding.
[READ LK 2:1-20]
A chauffeur had driven the chemistry professor to dozens of speaking engagements. He’d heard the same canned speech scores of times. He said on the way to another engagement, "Professor, I believe I could give your speech myself; I’ve heard it so often." The professor said, "I’ll bet you $50 you can’t." "You’re on," said the chauffeur.
He stopped the car and the two exchanged attire. They came to the banquet. the chauffeur dressed in a tuxedo, sat at the head of the table and was introduced. he stood up and gave the speech verbatim. There was a standing ovation when he was finished.
The emcee got up and said, "You know, we are so fortunate to have such a fine resource with us tonight, and since we have a little extra time, let’s have some questions and answers. The first question was asked and the chauffeur stood there dumbfounded, clearing his throat in nervousness. Finally he said, "That’s just about the dumbest question I ever heard. In fact it is so dumb I bet even my chauffeur could answer that question."
How many times have you heard the Christmas story? I’m sure many could come up here today, and tell the story.
Mary’s unexpected pregnancy. Joseph’s perplexity. Visits by angels. Caesar’s tax. The trip to Bethlehem. Born in a stable. We’ve heard it many times. Most of you can even answer the tough questions like , "Did the wise men really see Jesus in the manger? did the star really appear over the stable? and just how many wise man were there? And that’s good. There is tremendous value in knowing the facts.
C.S. Lewis said, "we don’t need to be told new ideas so much as we need to be reminded of old truths.
I want us to look at the Christmas story today with fresh minds. Too put ourselves, into the sandals of some of those first century people. And to imagine how utterly amazed they were at some of the events that transpired. They had been anticipating the coming of the Messiah for thousands of years....they had it fixed in their minds exactly how His Kingdom would come, and WHAT HE and His Kingdom would be like... But things did not happened as expected...
As a matter of fact, probably nothing that the average Jewish person thought would happen, actually did. There were many surprises in the Christmas story.
One reason we need to look at the story fresh is because familiarity often breeds contempt... Now I’m not saying that we have contempt for Christ, but rather that we have heard the story so much, that we tend to think that it really no longer has anything to offer us. We think we see the whole picture clearly, but many times we don’t..
Just like the little girl who came home from Sunday school triumphantly waving a paper. "Mommy!., my teacher says I drew the most unusual Christmas picture she has ever seen!"
The mother took the picture from her little girls hands -- she studied it for a moment and she too concluded that this was the most peculiar picture of Christmas she had ever seen.
"This is wonderfully drawn, but why do you have all of the people riding in the back of an airplane?" The mother gently asked.
"It’s the flight to Egypt," the little girl said, with a hint of disappointment because the picture’s meaning was not immediately obvious.
"Oh" the mother said cautiously "Well, who,is the mean-looking man at the front?" "That’s Pontius the Pilot," the girl said now visually impatient.
And here you have Mary and Joseph and the baby" the mother volunteered. And studying the picture silently for a moment, she summoned the courage to ask, "But who is the fat man sitting behind Mary?"