Summary: I received my gift in November, 1951. I was nine years old and I was in a small church in Kansas City, Kansas called the Rosedale Tabernacle. I listened to the sermon and there was nothing special about it that I can recall, but when the invitation was
What Do You Really Need for Christmas?
Text: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)
There is a poem by an unknown author that I would like to read to you. It goes like this:
If the world had needed an educator,
God in His mercy would have sent us a Great Teacher.
If the world had needed a financial manager,
God in His mercy would have sent us a Great Economist.
If the world had needed more entertainment,
God in His mercy would have sent us a Great Actor.
If the world had needed a revolution,
God in His mercy would have sent us a great Leader.
But what the world really needed was a Savior,
So God in His mercy sent us Jesus!
This is the thought that I would like for you to mull over this morning: I believe a look at this poem when read in the light of scripture will show us the gift each of us need to give and receive this Christmas season.
Many claim that education is what we need the most; but “If the world had needed an educator, God in His mercy would have sent us a Great Teacher.”
Education is wonderful, however the fact is that education fails to meet the deepest needs of individuals and society. Some scientists report that information that is available to the public used to double every 30-50 years, however, since the internet was created and become so commonplace, it now doubles every 2-3 years.
• The books in all the libraries of the world.
• Out of print books.
• The magazines past and present.
• The multitude of term papers written by students.
• And there many are other forms of dispensing information.
It used to take 30-50 years for publicly accessible information to double; now all of the information stuff in the world doubles every 2-3 years. Leading educators say we are in the midst of an information onslaught. Not only is information booming; so is education! More people are educated around the world today than have ever been educated in history; yet the moral and physical condition of our world is declining.
If education is the answer to all our problems, why does America have the highest crime rate in the world? If education is the answer, why do some of the world’s most educated people struggle with substance abuse? If education is the answer, why are so many educated people still depressed and unfulfilled? A good education is truly important, but the greatest need for individuals and society is not a good education or a great teacher-OUR GREATEST NEED IS A SAVIOR. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all in favor of education and Jesus was too.
I know that Jesus was educated, because Luke wrote, “Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 6:42-49) This is the account of when Jesus was twelve; He was already teaching the teachers. He was able to understand, question and teach those who were much older than He was.
I am confident that Jesus received a good education as he grew, because it was common for Jewish boys to go to school and be educated. As Jesus grew He got even wiser. That’s the thought behind Luke 2:52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” There is no doubt that Jesus was an educated man; He was educated by human teachers and the Holy Spirit. Jesus was even a teacher Himself. Throughout the New Testament Jesus is addressed by His followers as Teacher or Rabbi.
He also identifies Himself as a teacher. Listen to what He said in John 14:23-24, “Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”