God Becomes a Baby
Luke is one of the four Gospels.
Each of the Four Gospels focus on certain aspects of Christ … Luke - “the Son of man” …Mark – the suffering servant … John – the “Son of God” and Matthew – Jesus, the King.
Written by Luke between 65 – 75 AD, the Gospel was written to a Grecian believer named Theophilus.
The Gospel of Luke was not written as a personal account but an evidentiary record; facts gathered from those who were eyewitnesses then set forth in the document known as the Gospel of Luke (See Luke 1:1-4). Luke contains more parables than the other Gospels.
Luke was not one of the disciples, and is widely considered to have been a Gentile.
He was a companion of the Apostle Paul during his missionary journeys.
Luke also wrote the Book of Acts.
Luke was called “the beloved physician,” by Paul in Colossians 4:14.
Luke records the teachings and events of Jesus Christ from birth to His ascension
The door to the manger was open to everyone/anyone, no matter their position in society, to behold, worship, and embrace the Son of God, the Savior of the world.
This lesson is an invitation to all to come to Christ … acknowledge Him, accept Him and adore Him.
Born in Humble Circumstances (Luke 2:1-7).
INTERESTING NOTE: The birth of Jesus challenged the reign of Caesar Augustus (31 B.C. – A.D. 14), who was considered a son of God/deity. This sheds a little light on the religious leader’s threat to Pilate that if he allowed Jesus to live he was no friend to Caesar.
The census was used by God to move Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem where it was prophesied the Messiah would be born. Remember the argument refuting those who thought Jesus to be the Messiah … “no good thing comes from Nazareth.”
The journey to Bethlehem from Nazareth was about 90 miles; a three to four day trip.
The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the city of David, fulfills God’s promise to David to continue his line upon the throne of Israel (a prophesy that will not be completely fulfill until the millennial reign of Christ).
To this point the Bible reminds the reader that Mary was still “engaged” to Joseph (their marriage had not been consummated through sexual intercourse.
NOTE: “firstborn son” indicates that, while Jesus was the first born to Mary, she would have other children (See Matthew 13:55-56).
Such a humble birth indicative of the Lord’s ministry characterized by humility.
Whether Christ was born in a cave, barn, or in a basement room (often used to stable animals), does not matter; the birth of the King of kings (by Divine design) serves as a revelation of His service: Jesus didn’t come to be served but to serve (Mark 10:45).
DISCUSS “no room” as it relates to: “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John1:10-11).
The census, the birthplace, the family tree, the Virgin birth fulfill Old Testament prophecies of Christ.
ALSO- This passage once again highlights the confluence of Christ; Jesus was both God and man.
Born for Those on the Margins of Society (Luke 2:8-20).
The angel delivered the birth announcement to shepherds, not dignitaries, in a near-by field.
Remember the meaning and ministry of angels – messengers
Shepherds were considered to be on the lower end of society.
God’s revelation to the shepherds serves to highlight God’s love to “whosoever will.” God’s relationship with people is not on the basis of their goodness or greatness, but on His grace.
The Gospel is not for a select few … the Gospel is for “all the people.”
Discuss – Looking at our congregation would you say we are reaching “all people,” not just a select few who fit our group.
NOTE THE SHEPHERDS RESPONSE … After seeing the “baby” they went forth declaring what they had seen and heard. This is the responsibility of every believer; everyone who has experienced faith in Christ.
Born for the Nations (Matthew 2:1-12).
Sometime after the birth of Christ, wise men (Persian astrologers/astronomers) responding to an astrological phenomena (the appearance of the star) journeyed to Jerusalem.
These “wise men” would be the antithesis of the shepherds; they were respected, powerful, influential, and wealthy … Also they were Persians…. gentiles
Why does tradition say there were three “wise men?” Answer – Three gifts. No doubt, there were more than three, and could have been dozens or more.
Collectively the “wise men” and the “shepherds” reveal the far reaching grace of God. Salvation is for all; it doesn’t matter rich or poor, powerful or weak, respected or the dregs of society; God loves everyone and salvation knows no racial, religious, or social barriers.
Historical note – King Herod’s enquiry was never legitimate. This is the King who killed his sons and wives to maintain his power evidenced by the slaughter of the babies two years and younger.
Interesting Note – Why do you think the scribes did not journey with the wise men to see the Messiah?
By the time the “wise men” arrived Jesus would have been a toddler approaching two years of age.
Note the wise men’s humility “falling to their knees.”
They presented to Christ gifts of “gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” These gifts are rich in symbolism:
Gold represents majesty … Jesus was the King of kings
Frankincense was used by the priests in the temple … Jesus is the Great High Priest
Myrrh was used to embalm the dead – Jesus would die for the sins of the world.
Application – Authentic worship should always include humility and honor … from the place of humility we honor the Lord for Who He is and what He has done.
Theological Theme: The birth of Christ demonstrates the extent of the Kingdom of God
Christological Theme: The birth of Christ fulfills many of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah.
Missional Theme: Like the shepherds and the wise men we should respond to Jesus in praise. Remember the greatest gift you can bring to Jesus is your life in salvation and service.