Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Christmas Story, Part 1

The Christmas Story
Part 1

We begins ours study of the second chapter of Luke today. Its gonna be a very familiar chapter to most of us because it includes the Christmas story, which we will get to in tomorrows study. I hopes that even tho this story is familiar to us we will learn somethin new together and will get a fresh look at the birth of ours Lord. We are going to take a look at some of the history as well as study the firstest part of the chapter which involves Joseph and Mary havin to travel to Bethlehem to be taxed.

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register." (Luke 2:1-3) Now we knows from the King James Version that this census weres for the purpose of taxation. My hoomans weres just complainin bouts the increase in ours property taxes that getted voted on but we sees from Gods word that taxin isnt a new idea. It weres a good way to finance the Roman army, the road buildin, the upkeep of the palace, and all the conveniences of theirs culture. Caesar Augustus weres the adopted son of Julius Caesar and hims real name weres Octavian but him taked the name of Caesar (no doubt for the royal honor that camed along wif it) and added the name of Augustus which means "great" or "magnificent". Caesar Augustus evidently hads a high opinion of himself and essentially called himself "Caesar the Great" or "Caesar the Magnificent", as if him weres a god. The taxation idea weres the cause of Joseph and Mary travelling to Bethlehem and the Lord Jesus being born there. This fulfilled the word of God as spoken by the prophet Micah, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." (Micah 5:2) This weres a prophecy about the Messiah, as the Apostle John validates by sayin, "Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David's descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" (John 7:42)

"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child." (Luke 2:4-5) I thinks we doesnt give enuf credit to Joseph for the man him weres. In the gospel accordin to Matthew we sees that when Joseph found out Mary weres expectin him intended to "put her away privately". In those days an engagement weres a legally bindin contract and it weres like gettin a divorce to break the engagement. Joseph hads the right to put Mary away for being pregnant by somepawdy else but being a good man and not willin to bring shame on her, Matthew tells us that him intended to put her away privately. (Matthew 1:19) Joseph coulda mades her a public disgrace but him weres too tenderhearted to do such a thing. But God intervened and sent an angel in a dream to tell Joseph that the baby weres fathered by the Holy Spirit and that him hads no need to put Mary away for her hads not been unfaithful to him. The angel said to Joseph, "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21) As we studied earlier in the week, the name of Jesus means "God saves". What a perfect name for Him, as God in the flesh who takes away ours sins! From the book of Matthew we also sees that the birth of Jesus fulfilled what weres prophesied by Isaiah who said that a virgin woulds conceive and bear a son. (Isaiah 7:14)

In the mornin Joseph waked up and obeyed the Lord and accepted what the angel hads told him. It werent gonna be an easy road to travel for all theirs friends and neighbors probly thoughted either Joseph and Mary hads beens together before marriage or else they believed Mary hads beens intimate wif anudder man. I bets there weres all kinda gossip floatin round wif folkses speculatin who the real father of Jesus weres. People woulda wondered why Joseph putted up with it and raised Jesus as hims own son. It taked a strong and godly man to stand up to this kinda whisperin and gossip. Not only weres it hurtful to hims own honor, but it also dishonored Marys name by makin her sound like a loose woman. God the Father knew exactly what Him weres doing when Him chose Joseph and Mary to raise Hims precious Son. It takes faith to go against the flow and obey God when the world is against you. It takes faith to obey God even when it hurts. This is the kind of faith that Mary and Joseph hads and I believes God chose the perfect family for Hims only Son.

Luke wants to make sure theres no doubt in ours minds that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and the one promised by God and prophesied by the prophets. Hims birth weres the fulfillment of the Scriptures. Theres no way Jesus could haves arranged Hims birth to coincide wif the word of God sayin Him woulds be born in Bethlehem. It took a taxation law passed by a prideful ruler to bring this about. Theres no way Jesus could haves arranged being born of the line of David as the Scriptures predicted. It took the will and plan of God to bring this about. Theres no way Jesus could haves arranged for Hims mother to be a young unmarried virgin girl. It took the Holy Spirit to bring this about. All the prophets, speakin hundreds of years before Hims birth, weres speakin by inspiration of God wifout any way of knowin how all these things woulds come together. But God hads a plan in place since the very beginnin and things weres gonna happen exactly the way Him intended for them to happen, for whatever God says is as good as done whether it happens next week or a thousand years from now.

In the book of Revelation the Apostle John calls Jesus "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world". (Revelation 13:8) The execution warrant of Jesus weres signed at the moment that God created mankind. Hims death on the cross weres certain. The date of Hims death weres set. Everything that came before that day weres gonna take place exactly accordin to Gods plan and exactly as foretold by the prophets so there woulds be no doubt in ours minds that Jesus of Nazareth, born of a virgin, born in a stable in Bethlehem, weres the Son of God. Jesus weres the Messiah promised by God. Mary and Joseph knew this to be true and coulds stand up against any gossip or harmful whispers. Luke knew this to be true and weres willin to help take the gospel to the world. I knows this to be true and I declares in faith that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and Him is my Lord.

No comments:

Post a Comment