· Joseph and Mary were distant relatives of King David
· Jesus’ first bed was an animal feeding trough
· The royal announcement of the Messiah’s birth was given to shepherd’s (the bottom of the economic ladder)
· Originally only one angel appeared, but the glory of the Lord was all around them
· The angel was terrifying, but he brought good news
· The good news was that the Messiah had arrived, and he was born in the town of David (the one whom it had been prophesied that the Messiah would come from his family)
· The unexpected news was that this savior of the people would be found in an animal feeding trough.
· After the announcement others appeared and began to sing praises to God, and affirm that God’s favor rests upon mankind.
· The shepherd’s found the Messiah just as the angel described
· Mary and Joseph followed Jewish custom and had Jesus circumcised on the eighth day and later dedicated.
· Like Zechariah & Elizabeth, they broke local custom and gave him the name the angel declared, Jesus, rather than a family name
· (Special Note from Vines Expository Dictionary: “Jesus” is a transliteration of the Hebrew "Joshua," meaning "Yahweh is salvation," i. e., "is the Savior,")
· Simeon was marked by and led by the Holy Spirit
· He declared that the baby was the Messiah who would bring glory to Israel as well as be a light to the non-Jews.
· He also prophesied to the parents that even though he was the Messiah, he would be rejected and ultimately their hearts would be broken at his treatment
· Another prophetess, Anna, confirmed baby Jesus as Messiah
· Jesus’ childhood is summarized as growing in wisdom and grace. He knew a lot but was humble.
· Jesus taught with understanding and authority even at twelve
· Also at the age of twelve, he understood his unique relationship as the son of God
· Jesus obeyed his parents
· Jesus grew physically and in wisdom in a way that others favored him including God. Grace and truth.
Three things stick out to me in today’s reading. The first is that Jesus was declared the Messiah from his birth from multiple sources. It started in Luke 1 where both Zechariah and Mary were directly told about the baby being the Messiah. And in Luke 2, the shepherds are told and two prophets directly confirm that he is the Messiah and savior of the world.
The second thing that stuck out to me was the unexpected nature of the Messiah. The angelic royal announcement was given to shepherds not to kings or priests. He was birthed in a dirty stable and was laid in an animal feeding trough rather than being born in a mansion or synagogue. His role as Messiah was for all humanity and not just Israel. He would reveal the true hearts of Israel and ultimately he would be spoken against. This last statement stands in stark contrast to the fact that he grew up both being a man of great spiritual wisdom as well as an extremely humble and liked man. It would seem such a man would be embraced and not rejected.
The third and most important thing that stuck out to me however, was the angel’s statement that the earth should receive peace because God’s favor rests on mankind. God went through all this trouble because He loves us. He knew all that Jesus would suffer, and yet it did not deter him. We are his favored children. I am His favored child. Even amidst the muck and mire of my own sinful struggles, God favors me. He desires to bless me and pour out His gifts upon me. If God has not with held His own Son, then what other good gift would He withhold? Answer: NONE!!!
”What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't he also give us everything else?” Romans 8:31-32
Thank you for loving me so much that you allowed your son Jesus to go through the worst that people can be. I appreciate that you have showed me so much favor. I do not understand it, but I am definitely thankful for it. Forgive me for not fully understanding just how much you love and care for me. Help me understand just how much you are for me and want my good. Help me take steps today to have faith in you and trust you in each step. I want to learn to love you as best as I can. Help me, by the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in me, to also love those I come in contact with today with that same kind of favored love. Whether I think they deserve it or not, you do, and that’s good enough for me.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen
Posted on Fri, January 2, 2015
by joel king