Summary: The coming of Jesus in that manger in Bethlehem didn't just bring peace and joy for those who would follow him. He brought a great sword, a dividing factor that sitll manifests its presence in our world every single day.
What a Difference One Little Baby Has Made
Christmas Message – 2014
By Rev. James May
Let us begin this morning by reading just three verses in the Gospel of Matthew. In these verses we are given the first glimpse of what kind of difference the birth of a baby boy, in a manger in an obscure little town in the hill country of Judea would make.
Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Matthew 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Matthew 2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Every one of us has seen a newborn baby lying in its crib, or being held in its mother’s arms. I don’t ever remember looking into the face of one of those babies and thinking, “What a great threat to the peace and prosperity of the world this baby is!” Looking into the face of my own newest grand-daughter who is now only about 4 months old, I do not look into that face of innocence and think to myself, “I have to watch out for this kid, because one day she’s going to be the greatest threat in my life.”
No, we all look into those faces of our newborn children and grand-children and think to ourselves, “What a beautiful child; and oh how proud we are that they are now and forever, a part of our family!” Any normal human being would gaze upon that baby and think, “Here is a new and precious life. Here is a child that has all of the potential in the world to do great things and to become someone who will make a difference in this world.” We look at that baby realizing that within each one that comes into this world there is a seed of greatness, for it is Almighty God in Heaven who has given a new life, created another human being in His own image and blessed us all with the chance to expand the love in our hearts to include someone new.
How anyone could ever cast aside a baby as though it means nothing; or how anyone could ever purposely harm a precious child is beyond me. All of us here knows that this is not normal, but those who would do such things are under the influence of Satan.
It is the power of the sin nature and the overcoming powers of darkness that would cause anyone to do such things. The murder of innocents, whether in the womb of its mother, or after it has been born into this world is the result of sin in the heart of man; sin and evil that is inspired by the devil himself.
Over 2000 years ago there was a baby boy that was born in a stable and laid in a manger. His birth had been foretold for thousands of years, and the circumstances of his birth had been prophesied right down to the smallest detail. Obviously, this little baby, lying in a manger of hay and wrapped in swaddling clothes carried a greater significance than any other baby that would ever come into this world.
Before this child was conceived, the angel of the Lord had come to his mother and told her that she had been chosen to bear the child that would come. This young woman, chosen from among all of the young women of Israel, was to be blessed and highly favored by becoming the mother of Jesus, the very Son of God. No, she was not without the sin nature, for she had been born under the same curse of sin that every other woman had. She was not holy above all others, but she was a willing vessel and was faithful to the worship of the God of Israel.
God the Father, in His sovereignty, chose Mary to bring Jesus into the world, and Joseph to be the ones to raise Jesus. Mary conceived Jesus by the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit. This is the only instance of a virgin bearing a child in all of human history, because the Son was to be born, would not come into this world bearing the sin of Adam from his birth. Jesus came as a perfect, holy, innocent child and would never sin during his entire life. No other child has ever, or will ever, come into this world with those qualifications. No other human being could ever be offered as the perfect sacrifice to take away every sin of every man that would believe upon him.