Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Miracle In A Manger

Temple Baptist Church - 12-20-2009

Luke 2:1-7


A. It seems hardly possible that this week will be Christmas Week of 2009. As a child, I remember some things about Christmas. I remember the trees, the glitter, the snow, the Christmas Carols, the nativity scenes, the smells of fresh baked bread—cookies—candy—ham or turkey, opening the presents, and just the joy of the season. I am still a child at heart and enjoy that aspect of Christmas.

B. But, as a child, the nativity scene was beautiful and mysterious to me. I did not know fully what was so special about a babe born in a manger two thousand years ago. I sang about the shepherds, wise men, and baby Jesus without knowing just what took place that night so long ago.

C. Later, as a teen, I was remembered more of what I was taught in Sunday School but the sheer delight of the birth of Jesus Christ was not a part of Christmas to me. Once again, it was the trees, glitter, presents, etc., coupled with family dinners and breakfasts that held the pre-eminence during Christmas.

D. Because of this, after Christmas there was a letdown. The tree was bare because the gifts were gone. The stores were a madhouse with long sales and return lines. There would not be 12 months until Christmas came around again.

E. Now, after 33 years of salvation, the story of Christ’s birth has a very special place in my heart.

1. The Miracle Of The Birth – Vs. 5 “his espoused wife” Such reproach!

a. He was born the right way – The only virgin birth to ever take place! A medically impossible birth! Unheard of! Unprecedented! Unparalleled! His conception was right as well as His birth! The virgin born Son of God!

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (No Adamic nature; no sin nature; pure flesh; a prepared body born in a prepared way! What a miracle birth!)

b. He was born the right time – The only time in history when prophecy could be filled. Rome was in control. Bethlehem was full of people who came to pay their taxes. No one paid any particular attention to a young couple expecting their first child. Everyone was too busy with their own lives and problems to care about the birth of the Messiah.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (Right on time. That’s God! Not on our time; never at the wrong time; never early; never late; always was, is, and will be RIGHT ON TIME!)

2. The Miracle Of The Place – Vs. 7 “a manger” Such A Lowly Place!

a. He was born in an obscure way. A manger was a feeding trough for animals; a not so a clean place. I think of the sterile environment into which our children are born in. When my children were born, I had to scrub up and wear mask and gown before even touching them. There were not brought into the hospital room until all of this was done. My Lord had no such niceties. No place for the birth of a King; not the place for the birth of a Prince; not the crib of royalty. The perfect place for a lamb to be born. The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world was born in a manger among the other lambs.
b. He was born in an obscure night in an obscure place. While Bethlehem and the world slept, my Lord Jesus Christ was heard crying for the first time in a stable!

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. (Born in the city of David’s birth. Born in the right place; born in the exact place prophesied! I did not get to choose the place of my birth but He did!)

3. The Miracle Of The Person – vs. 11 “Christ the Lord” Such a wonder!

a. God became man! The incarnate God! Jehovah God; the Almighty God; the Omnipotent God; the Omnipresent God; the Omniscient God! The God who spanned the universe with His hand was conceived in a virgin’s womb! That same God now lives in my heart!

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

b. The Prince became a pauper! The richest of the rich! Wealth beyond our comprehension! He owned the universe! He owned Heaven! He owned the earth! If he needed more, He could simply speak it into existence.
2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

c. The King of Glory became a carpenter! He who created the universe with His Word now worked with His hands! Because of sin, man earned his bread by the sweat of his brow. Because of our sins, the Son of Man earned his bread by the sweat of His brow.

Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

d. The Lion became a Lamb! His fierce countenance became one of meekness. Meekness, not weakness! He was no long haired, soft, effeminate that pictures portray. He was a rugged man; He was a man’s man! It would have been no problem for a weak man to be a meek man but our Lord was a man’s man who became meek for our sakes and as a lamb before her shearers is dumb, He opened not His mouth!

Revelation 5:5-6 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

4. The Miracle Of The Purpose – Vs. 11 “a saviour” Such Grace!

a. His love for sinful man manifested! Such love! Such wondrous love! That God should love a sinner such as I!

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

b. His longing to be with them! More than we know, God wants to spend an eternity with us. He does not leave nor forsake us here and will come to take us to where He lives there!

John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

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