Summary: A sermon to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
A. Today, I want to remind you of “the good news of great joy” that began on the day that Jesus was born.
1. In 10 days, a large part of the world will pause and for a moment will give their attention to Jesus and his birth.
2. On December 25th each year, people’s minds journey back to a manger in Bethlehem.
3. Most people don’t realize that we do not know the exact day of Jesus’ birth, nor do they realize that this day was chosen primarily because of a pagan celebration.
B. What is important is that they are thinking of the Christ, and we need to use that as an opportunity to share the truth about Jesus with them.
1. Most people love to think of the Christ child, but they fail to realize that he grew up, he didn’t stay the helpless infant in the manger, he grew to manhood, was put to death because of his convictions, and is way of salvation.
I. The Story of His Birth
A. When the time had come, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph.
1. The virgin’s name was Mary.
2. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
3. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this must be.
4. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord will give him the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
5. “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
6. The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,” and the power of the Most High will over-shadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth, your relative, is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”
7. Mary answered, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.”
8. Then the angel left her.
B. When Joseph found out that Mary was with child before they had come together, he had in mind to divorce her quietly, for he did not want to expose her to public disgrace.
1. But 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. Se will give birth to a son, and yo are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.”
2. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him ‘Immanuel’ - which means, ‘God with us.’”
3. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him.
C. In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to his own town to register.
1. So, Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
2. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
3. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
D. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
1. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
2. But the angel said to them. “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: he is Christ, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”