Summary: Part of the Christmas Wonder PowerPak.
Introduction . . .
I hope you’re ready for Christmas – it is here!
Illustration: The church bulletin declared, “The choir will sing ‘I heard the BILLS on Christmas Day.’”
Illustration: In a B.C. Comic strip: One ant said, "Dad, who is Jesus?" The father ant replied, "He’s the reason for the season. The next panel says, "But Dad I thought Santa Claus was the reason. And the father ant replies, "He is-if you prefer Sony Play Station 2 instead of everlasting life."
Illustration: Secular history leaves us with the belief that the Caesars, the kings and the presidents shape the world. Most items considered newsworthy revolve around these powerful figures, as they demand front-page headlines. In 1809 the newspapers were captivated with stories about Napoleon’s campaigns. International attention was focused on Napoleon marching across Austria. Little else was news worthy, especially the birth of babies that were born that year. It seemed as though Napoleon was the only one shaping the destiny of the world.
Actually the world’s destiny was being shaped in the cradles of the world. It was the year 1809 that William Gladstone was born and he was to become the greatest statesman that England ever produced. Alfred Lloyd Tennyson was born that year to a poor minister and his wife; he was destined to shape the literary world. Oliver Wendell Holmes was born that same year in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Edgar Allen Poe began his tragic life that same year. It was also that same year Charles Darwin was born. That same year in a log cabin in Hardin County Kentucky a baby named Abraham Lincoln was born. At the time these individuals were born their births were insignificant in the eyes of the world. After all the destiny of the world was being shaped by Napoleon on the battlefields of Austria, right?
In 4 BC Caesar August was one of the most powerful Caesars. It was said of him that he came to a Rome made of bricks and left it a city of marble. He transformed the world, not just Rome, with his roads and armies. Mourners at his funeral comforted themselves with the belief that he was a god and therefore immortal. After all, Caesar had shaped the world, right?
But the world was never so impacted as it was by the baby wrapped in cloths and placed in a manger.
Read the text.
Let’s look together at the Journey of Jesus.
Every journey has a departure point.
What did Jesus leave when He started His journey?
Heaven – with all of its beauty and splendor – describe it.
Walls of Jasper with Gates of Pearl, Streets of Gold, River of Life, the Throne of God
Worship – The Angels worshipping and praising God, all of heaven focused on God.
Purity – There is no evil in heaven, no sin, no injustice, no wrong, no disappointments, no hurts; only righteousness & goodness.
Jesus left all of that to come to earth.
Did He really leave all of that? Did He really exist before His birth? Sure!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. John 1:1-2
Where did Jesus arrive on His journey?
Stable – a manger for a bed – animals for angelic worshippers – a far cry from Heaven!
Poverty – He arrived in poverty – a great distance from the riches of Heaven!
Homelessness – Jesus later said that the foxes have holes and the birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.
Loneliness – There was no one like Christ. He was forsaken and betrayed on numerous occasions. He understood loneliness.
Sin – He came to a world wrecked by sin. Injustice was everywhere! The strong took advantage of the weak. The rich took advantage of the poor. The haves belittled the have-nots. The spiritually elite disenfranchised the common person. There was wickedness and violence everywhere. Humanity had sunk to new lows.
Jesus came into this kind of world.
Illustration: Dr. Larry Garman: Went to the jungles of Peru in 1966. The Indians were cruel and ruthless. There were no churches. They had no running water or electricity for the first 16 years. Bathed in the rivers. Went further into the jungles of Peru than any missionary had gone before. He went to two tribes that had been at war with each other for generations. It was said that there would never be peace between them. Now there are 150 organized churches, many of those churches have members from both of those warring tribes. And, the Garmens were laypersons, not ordained elders.
That’s what Jesus did! He came to a place ravaged by sin, plagued by the affects of sin, a place that knew no peace. He came to our world.