Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God sent Someone on a secret mission. The operative’s arrival had to be kept a secret from at least three groups of people or all of humanity could be in jeopardy. Yet the secret was let out to a select few. Who were they and why they were told of the mis

(WWII resistance snuck into France—they must arrive undetected)

It is an ordinary evening in Palestine. Whether December or April, it doesn’t matter. Skies are dark and hearts darker. Though the people can’t see it, a blanket lies over the land called “Beautiful.” Were it visible, the people would have run in stark terror. The cover is made up of demon hoards—an invisible force field of evil with one intent—an intelligence and search and destroy mission of unprecedented importance—to detect and destroy the Messiah.

On that night there is also a gathering of another sort. Perhaps undetected by the demons, a phalanx of angels nears our dimension. For nine months something had been brewing, growing—the deepest state secret heaven ever conceived. A secret agent had been dispatched on a mission so vital that the fate of the universe held in the balance. If word had gotten out, if even one angel had breathed a word to the wrong person—all would be lost forever.

But the secret was safe. An eternity in the planning, centuries of preparation, and nine months of gestation—a Rescuer would be born. As we know, it was a huge success. No one knew ahead of time as this agent of life infiltrated territory fully controlled by the enemy and destined for hell. This Rescuer, this secret operative, would be completely vulnerable but would hide in plain sight.

The question for us isn’t whether He was born, but why no one saw Him coming. There were three main groups of people that this secret had to be held from—in addition to Satan they were the religious leaders of Israel of that day, and it’s political leadership.

Who Didn’t See Him Coming

Religious Leaders Matthew 12:22 – 32

The Messiah threatened to undermine a carefully orchestrated system of controlling the population.

If anyone had been counting they could have known that the Messiah was just around the corner in 4BC. Daniel 9:24-27 had relayed an angelic message that 483 years after the decree to restore and rebuilt Jerusalem, Messiah the Prince would come. They were looking for a Messiah, just not the one portrayed in Scripture. They wanted a political solution to a spiritual problem they didn’t even know they had. And once they did see Him, they rejected Jesus. Had they known of His coming they would have done anything to stop Him before He had the chance to show Himself on Palm Sunday during the Passion Week.

Political Leaders Matthew 2:16 – 18

The Messiah was a perceived threat to power—a new king who would force a takeover. This wasn’t actually the case, not yet anyway, but as they say “perception is reality.”

The political leaders in Israel would have killed Jesus (and tried to) before He had a chance to give Himself. Herod, once he found out about the birth of the Messiah sent a hit squad to kill every child in Bethlehem under 2 years old. Had it not been for a dream to Joseph, the Messiah would have died before it was time.

Satan Revelation 12:13

Satan would have done anything (and did on multiple occasions) to stop the line of the Messiah from culminating in Jesus. Numerous times Lucifer had the line of Messiah almost snuffed out. He did it with David on the run from Saul, with Atheliah in 2 Chronicles 22 (Joash)—and many other times. And time and time again the line was rescued by a sliver—that line that led from Abraham to Mary remained intact.

Satan knew all the prophecies and knew a Messiah was coming. He could do the math and may have been watching carefully during the period leading up to the birth of Jesus. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons Jesus was born to a nothing girl from a nothing town—and even then God moved them at the last minute to somewhere else. It was cloak and dagger on an immense scale.

Back to France, some knew of the arriving infiltrators. They needed help. But each got only part of the story so no one could give away a true identity or location. In the case of the coming Messiah, God was not completely silent about the coming of the Messiah, just veiled enough in the details to throw off His enemies. Some were given just enough information to play their part, but not give away the plot to save humanity.

Who Did See Him Coming

Prophets (uncclear - saw from afar 1 Peter 1:10-12) Isaiah 53:3 (man of sorrows acquainted with grief).

Joseph (uncomfortable with the unknown, he obeyed God) Matthew 1:18 – 25.

Mary (uncertain how God would accomplish it, gave herself as His servant) Luke 1:26 – 38.

Shepherds (uncontrollably afraid, but rejoiced and hastened to see the Savior after it had already happened) by a revelation of God Luke 2:8 – 20

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