Summary: On the first Christmas God chose a strange way to save the world!
What a Strange Way to Save the World
December 15, 2002
If there was one word that could be used to describe the first Christmas; it might be strange. That’s right I said strange. Take just a moment to think about the people and places that are involved in the first Christmas and you just might agree.
Joseph was an ordinary man of trade. Mary was just a typical teenage girl. The shepherds were simple men of simple work. The stable was just a place to keep animals and store hay. Even the animals were nothing to brag about. It would seem that there was nothing special about all of these things.
However, when God steps into the picture and changes everything, it does seem strange. In all honesty, both Mary and Joseph seem like unlikely parents for the Messiah. It is strange that God chose them. The shepherds seem like unlikely messengers of good news. It is strange that God chose them. The stable seems like an unlikely place for a celebrated birth. It is strange that God chose that place. The strangest of all is the fact that God chose to send us His Son on that first Christmas.
This morning we are going to examine the strangeness of Jesus coming because God chose a strange way to save the world.
I. Jesus becoming flesh seems strange (John 1:14-18)
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ " 16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
A. Jesus was divine
1. Jesus is everlasting
Jesus existed before creation came in to being. Jesus was there before the stars, the heavens or even light. He is timeless and eternal. He was around before creation came into being and will be around long after time no longer exists
2. Jesus was with God
Jesus had a place with the Father and the Holy Spirit in heaven. Jesus belonged in heaven and that was his place.
3. Jesus was creative
Jesus was an active agent in the work of creation. He took a role in the work of creating the whole universe and from His hand creation came into being.
B. Jesus became flesh
1. The meaning of flesh
a.) The Hebrew teaching was that flesh was sinful, flesh was corrupted, flesh was depraved and flesh would end in death and destruction.
b.) In essence, flesh was everything that God was not and clearly since humanity was made in the image of God; it was a corruption of the very image of God
2. Jesus becomes human
a.) When Jesus became flesh something truly amazing happened! The immortal took on mortality. The creator became a part of creation. The One who was always with the Father and a part of the Father was now separated from the Father. Jesus became everything that he was not. Why?
b.) Jesus came so that we could share His immortality. Jesus came so we could see the image of God restored in us. Jesus came so we could have a place with the Father.
What a Strange Way to Save the World!
II. Jesus coming to us seems strange (Matthew 1:23)
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" --which means, "God with us."
A. Jesus moved into the neighborhood
a.) Jesus came into this world to be with us
1.) Jesus did not come to judge the world; even though He could have and we deserved it. Jesus did not come into the world to show us all of our wrongs; even though He could have and we deserved it. Jesus did not come to condemn the world; even though He could have and we deserved it. The mission of Jesus was simple to be with us
2.) In order to be with us and have us understand Him; He had to come to us. Jesus had to become one of us.
b.) The further meaning of John 1:14
1.) John tells us that Jesus made His dwelling among us
Jesus didn’t just come and stay for a short visit. The meaning of the word dwelling means that he pitched a tent with us. Jesus made His home with us, so that we might one day make a home with Him