Summary: How God has worked is how He is working and how He will work. To understand this is to begin to weed out of our life the merely good and concentrate on what God has for us.
Ernest Hemingway was one of the great American writers that changed the way writers wrote and readers read. According to him, the value of a book was in proportion to how much good material you are willing to cut from the manuscript. If, for example, in the last draft of the manuscript one sentence seemed to pop out from all the rest, he immediately cut that sentence from the manuscript.
The reason was that the book was not one sentence but rather the entire book. Surrender the good for the overall best.
We have been enchanted by “the good” and consequently have missed “the best” God has to offer.
The good always looks good at the time but given enough time when you look back you discover it really was not good enough. Most people, however, are willing to sacrifice the best for a bunch of good.
If we are ever going to do our best for the Master we must learn how to weed out “the good” from our life. This is rather difficult. We need to understand what God is doing. This is an ongoing process.
We cannot understand everything about God but we can appreciate those things He has revealed. How God has worked is how He is working and how He will work. To understand this is to begin to weed out of our life the merely good and concentrate on what God has for us.
I want to use the events in these first two chapters of Luke and put together a little parable. We are all familiar with the events recorded here because every Christmas time we go over and over them.
I want to look at it from a different angle today. I want us to see that this is a parable of how God works in our world.
The parable is simply a story or series of stories that have some moral or spiritual teachings or implications. If you keep this in mind as we look at these two chapters there begins to float to the surface the very wonderful truth of how God invades our world and works in our world and through our lives.
Not everything in a parable has significance, so I just want to lift out of this passage those things that flow together on this topic of how God works in our world.
The events surrounding the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ reveal to us in a very wonderful way how God works in our world. Many people have a variety of ideas of how God works and most of it is speculation. We need to come to grips with all of this from God’s perspective.
In this parable as I envision it, are two primary sections. There is the supernatural element and then there is the ordinary, human element. These two must go together or we simply end up with a caricature of how God is working in our world today.
Let me repeat, if I know how God is working in our world I will begin to understand and appreciate how He is working in my life individually. This is crucial for my spiritual growth and development and to be used of God in the world that I am in right now.
I. The Supernatural Element
In the first two chapters, we cannot help but notice the proliferation of angel activity. (1:11-20; 1:26-38; 2:8-14).
People have tried explaining Angels and angelic activity and have come up with many off-the-wall ideas. I am not sure we can really explain what an Angel is or what an Angel does. It would be a very fascinating study to go through the Scriptures and note the angel activity.
Suffice it for us today to say that the angel activity in these two chapters represents the supernatural element. It is God working above and beyond human ability and even contrary to it.
It is very hard for us to understand that God really does not need us. There is an entire world above and beyond our world, which one day we shall enter.
The beginning of God’s work is always supernatural. Many have misused and abused the word supernatural. They have called things supernatural, which really are not supernatural.
Supernatural means that there is a work that is above and contrary to nature. This is always where God begins. He never begins on our level but he comes down to our level.
God always initiates this work. Never man.
Look at these angelic movements in these two chapters.
1. Zechariah… The Angel invades, supernaturally, his world with a message from God. This message originated with God and could only be fulfill by God. In Zechariah’s case, his wife Elizabeth was beyond the age of bearing children. For the angel to tell Zachariah that his wife is going to have a baby was beyond the realm of human possibility.