Summary: Why did Jesus come to earth the way he did?
Have you ever heard stories on the news that made you go huh?
Stories of people doing strange and somewhat peculiar, if not downright stupid, things?
Those things that make you think maybe Darwin wasn’t totally wrong, but that there are members of society evolving in the opposite direction?
People can try and rationalize the behavior.
Maybe they were tired.
Maybe they were distracted.
Maybe they didn’t think things through.
Maybe they were more than a little under the influence.
Now, and please don’t raise your hands, how many of you have ever done something or said something that would not be considered your proudest moment of mental clarity?
This morning I’d like to start by sharing a few stories I found on the internet and these are not urban legends but were taken from actual police reports.
Redondo Beach, California - After a short chase, officer Joseph Fonteno charged the driver of a white Mazda with DUI. The car had been driving down Pacific Coast Highway with the upper half of a traffic light pole laying across its hood. When Fonteno asked the drunk driver about the pole, he responded: "It came with the car when I bought it."
Boynton, Florida - For their attempt to raise money to attend the police academy, Michael Harrison and Kevin Carter were arrested and charged with armed robbery and murder.
Mount Shasta, California - Joy Glassman, the 60-year-old mother of a firefighter, was charged with five counts of arson. She allegedly set the fires to help her son’s career.
St. Peters, Missouri - A gunman robbed a 711 store, but returned the money minutes later because his car wouldn’t start. Amazingly, the store clerks came out to the parking lot and gave the robber’s car a jump start. Police Officer David Kuppler commented: "We have a very friendly town out here."
But as I think about the story of the nativity.
The story that author C.S. Lewis called the “true myth”.
The story that others have called a true tall tale.
I can’t help but think to myself what was God thinking?
Why did he choose to use an unmarried teenage girl who was a virgin, instead of a seasoned veteran?
Someone with some experience, who knew how to take care of a child.
And why choose a poor carpenter as her husband instead of someone with a little more social standing?
Why not someone who made more money and could provide more easily for his family?
And why in the world have the savior come as what many would consider to be an "illegitimate" child instead of just adopting a child to be his own?
Maybe pick the best behaved one and have them be the messiah.
Why the little town of Bethlehem instead of the mighty city of Jerusalem?
Jerusalem would’ve made it easier to find accommodations than tiny Bethlehem.
And a manger, wouldn’t even a simple house have sufficed?
Even a makeshift tent, a pop-up camper, anything other than a barn with the animals.
Why make the announcement to shepherds in the field instead of in the middle of the town square?
Who’s going to believe a bunch of guys who spend all their days with sheep.
Why no fanfare whatsoever?
No tickertape parade, baby shower or even bubblegum cigars for the savior of the world?
But God knew the fanfare didn’t matter.
He knew that
I. The relationship between God and his people was broken.
The life his children were living was so far from what he’d wanted for them.
There was so much sorrow and hopelessness in the world.
It was a far cry from the Garden of Eden.
Laws had been put in place by Moses and others, but now the old laws there were meant to help people live obediently towards God were doing more harm than good.
All the rules had done was help give the temple leaders and wealthy more reason to look down on those in need.
A reason to call them unclean or sinners or worse.
A reason not to help them.
So God knew that
A. More rules and laws weren’t the answer.
But what’s a Father to do?
If it were up to me I would’ve scrapped the whole project and started over.
I hear Mars is nice this time of year.
But remember what God told Noah in Genesis 9:11 after the flood:
“I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."
God had promised no more destruction.
No more scrapping the project and starting over.
B. It was time for a different plan.
So God did the unexpected.
He knew the world needed saving but how?