Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Preparing for Christmas

Luke 1:31-33 - And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
A little girl once opened a big box under the Christmas tree to find a giant doll that, when set upright, towered over her. Her parents noticed a few minutes later that the doll had fallen to the side, but the little girl was having a ball playing in the oversized box. We’re apt to do the same at Christmas, discarding the baby but having a great time with the wrappings. At the outset of the season, I’d like to turn us toward that Baby. Here in Gabriel ‘s announcement, we learn four things about Him:
1.   His Name (verse 31). “Jesus” is the Greek form of the Hebrew “Joshua,” meaning “Jehovah Saves,” or “Salvation of Yahweh.” Woven into the syllables of that name, we see the suffering He would endure, the salvation He would bestow, and the splendor He would display. Throughout the Gospels, we find that name over and over—172 times. The name Jesus contains and conveys His mission—to seek and to save those who are lost.
2.   His Nature. In Gabriel’s brief announcement, four different “sonships” are given to Jesus. He is: (1) Son of Mary (v. 31); (2) Son of the Highest (v. 32); (3) Son of David (v. 32); and (4) Son of God (v. 35). Two of these references imply His human nature (son of Mary; son of David), and the other two refer to His divine nature (Son of the Highest; Son of God). He is both God and Man. Only Christianity presents a God who, out of love, became a human being through the womb of a virgin to provide atonement for sin.
3.   His Nobility (vv. 32–33). He will be given to throne of David and will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end. Robert Morgan reflects from this passage, “his is a powerful kingdom.” If the skies could part as they did for Stephen in Acts 7, we would see Jesus on His throne, worshipped by angels, feared by demons. “His is a permanent kingdom.” He rules over the stars and planets, over all time and space. “His is a providential kingdom.” Behind the scenes of history is His all-controlling hand. “His will be a political kingdom”, for one day the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover
the sea (Hab. 2:14). “His is a personal kingdom”—He wants to be king of our hearts.
Mary’s response to this message was simple and sincere: “Behold, the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” When we come face-to-face with God’s wondrous plan for us—a plan that is always centered around Jesus Christ—there is no response better than: “Behold, I am your servant. Let it be to me according to Your word.”
May we fulfill God’s will as we journey through this Christmas season.
-       Bro. Dave

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