Summary: The life and ministry of Jesus Christ
The impact of Jesus on history is eloquently captured in a short literary piece entitled One Solitary Life. Perhaps you’ve heard it before. It reads this way:
“Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the Child of a peasant woman. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of His Divine manhood. While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a Cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth while He was dying—and that was His coat. When He was dead He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Such was His human life—He rises from the dead. Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today He is the Centerpiece of the human race and the Leader of the column of progress. I am within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that One Solitary Life.”
The third article of our Shiloh doctrinal statement speaks of the life of Jesus Christ. We read the article earlier as a congregation at the beginning of our service.
This morning I would like us to consider the words and works of Christ as portrayed in the Gospel of Luke. Please turn with me in your Bibles to Luke chapter 1.
Jesus is described in One Solitary Life as “the Centerpiece of the human race.” As Christians, we would describe Jesus as “the Centerpiece of our faith.” Christ is the foundation of Christianity. He is at the very heart of all that we believe. Having said that, it would be impossible for me to convey all that should be said about Christ in only 30 minutes. So permit me this morning to give you an overview—a thumbnail sketch—of Jesus Christ our Lord. I believe that the life and ministry of Jesus can be summed up in 4 statements. First, …
1. HE CAME TO US
We start in Luke 1:26, reading these words: “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 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.’”
We mentioned last Sunday morning that the Bible teaches the doctrine of the Trinity. That is, that there is one God in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And God the Son came to earth as a man, being born of Mary.
Now, the Old Testament prophesied the birth of Jesus Christ. For example, the prophet Isaiah predicted He would be born of a virgin. And He was. Look at verse 34: “‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’” The prophet Micah predicted Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. And He was. And we read in 2:1: “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. 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.”