Christmas tells us a lot about God – He is a giver and loves humanity
- John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
- God came to earth and became flesh and blood, so that he could die for humanity, and break the power of sin and death.
Luke 2:1-20 The cast of characters on the night of Christ’s birth reveal God’s humanity
1. Mary & Joseph (v. 1-5)
- On their way to Bethlehem to pay their taxes
- Living in the personal crisis of having a baby out of wedlock.
- The immediate crisis of no room in the Inn – delivering baby in a stable.
- Matthew 1:22 “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: (23) The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, God with us.”
2. Baby Jesus (v. 6-7)
- Luke 2:7 “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
- God came to earth in the human, vulnerable form of a baby.
- The King of Kings, born in the humble surroundings of a stable, laid in a manger.
- Jesus was raised like another other child, obedient to his parents for the first 30 years of his life.
3. Shepherds (v. 8-20)
- Luke 2:8 “And there were in the same country shepherds in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”
- Common ordinary working people (not religious or political professionals).
- Real, genuine, authentic people – they were sore afraid.
- Good listeners and men of action – they were not procrastinators.
- John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Matthew 2:2 “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him.”
4. Wise Men (v. 1-2)
- Magi (Gr.) – Well educated, accomplished, wealthy, kings – what we might call Astrologists.
- Traveled 400-600 miles, possibly from what is today Iran or Iraq, guided by His star.
- Gold – Customary gift for a King.
- Frankincense – Used by priests, when burned represents prayer.
- Myrrh – Fragrant perfume, used in embalming… speaks of His death.
5. King Herod (v. 3)
- Herod was threatened by the birth of the prophesied Messiah King.
- Like the spirit of this World today – anti-God, secular, atheist, agnostic (no interest in worshipping God).
- Gave orders for all children, 2 years old and under, to be killed.
6. Chief Priests & Scribes (v. 4)
- They knew prophecy about Jesus but didn’t seek Him out – more concerned about their titles and positions.
- A picture of today’s religious system – “a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” (II Tim. 3:5)
Hebrews 2:14 (NLT) “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. (15) Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.”