For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11) Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, 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. (Matthew 2:1-2)
ONLY LUKE AND MATTHEW (of the Gospels) tell of Jesus’ birth; see chapter 2 in each book. Back up a little in Matthew. “Jesus” is His name. “Christ” is His title.
This article edited from “Jesus, Savior and King” posted December 26, 2016
I WAS ALMOST GROWN BEFORE I REALIZED that God’s role for Jesus as Savior and King were not the same. I had gone to church since I was in my mother’s womb but my preachers didn’t get around to it. I learned to read early and had a Bible but I didn’t get around to it. The Jews were ready for a Messiah King to drive out the Roman soldiers and tax collectors. Jesus offered them a kingdom but not on their terms. They were not ready for a Messiah Savior who would be a suffering Messiah and tell them to repent of their sins.
CHRISTIANS LEARN ABOUT THE BIRTH OF CHRIST from church pageants, Sunday school lessons and sermons. The pageants are usually short and cannot present the full picture of the coming Messiah. They do a good job of saying that Jesus was born to die for the sins of the world. Sunday School lessons could do a better job with this subject but somehow do not. Sermons generally deal with how to be saved and live the Christian life and seldom go beyond these two important things. The books of the Old Testament could well be labeled: “The Forgotten Books of the Bible.” For thirty years, the first Christians had only the Old Testament.
A SERIOUS FACT: Most Christians do not read or study their Bibles. The home is an ideal place to learn a lot about the Bible but it is a busy place and the Bible tends to be neglected. I’m afraid that our electronic gadgets have helped in causing the Bible to gather dust in the home. The solution is to park the “secondary stuff” long enough to do first things first. I recommend that parents read The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes by Ken Taylor to their young children ages 4-8 (Moody Press). Then have a 15-minute Bible reading and prayer time at one of the meals when the family is together. We do not climb hills and learn math and reading by accident. Bible learning is the same way. God gives us 24 hours every day. Let’s manage it!
WHEN THE ANGEL OF THE LORD CAME TO THE SHEPHERDS at night, he told them about a savior being born. When the wise men came to Jerusalem from modern-day Iran (Persia), they were looking for a newborn king. They were not looking for a savior.
ALMOST A YEAR BEFORE the angels' appearance to the shepherds in Bethlehem, an angel appeared to Mary, about 15 years old. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:30-33) The angel does not mention to Mary that Jesus will be the Savior. The message from the angel to Mary is about Jesus’ coming as a king.
WHAT ELIZABETH KNOWS. Shortly after the angel met with Mary, she went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist. When Mary entered Elizabeth’s house and called her, Elizabeth answered in excitement and ended her statement with: And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. (Luke 1:45) Elizabeth knows that Mary believed the angel and that God will perform to Mary what He promised her. Elizabeth knows that Mary is the mother of Elizabeth’s Lord. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (Luke 1:43)
WHAT MARY KNOWS. (A Review) What did God promise Mary? Nothing about her son being born as the coming Savior. The promise to Mary is about her unborn son being a king that would sit on the throne of his father (ancestor) David and that the kingdom would never end. That’s fine but it’s not the whole story. Mary must tell her father and mother that she’s pregnant by the Holy Ghost and she must then face Joseph and the women at the community well and perhaps the elders of her synagogue.
WHEN THE STORY SPREADS IN THE COMMUNITY, the eggs will hit the fan! She could be stoned to death for being found in the situation she’s in. Mary is blessed of the Lord and will pay a price for it. She illustrates the fact that some of God’s callings are different and difficult and not of high approval by family and the public in general. Don’t expect people to pat you on the back for God’s place for you.
WHAT JOSEPH KNOWS. Joseph is a good man and wants to do the kindest and most merciful thing he can. He knows he is not the father of Mary’s child. So, he decides to quietly divorce her from the relationship he has with her, being espoused to her for the upcoming marriage.
BUT, GOD INTERVENED AND AN ANGEL APPEARED to Joseph in a dream: But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:20-21)
MARY KNOWS SHE'S GOING TO GIVE BIRTH TO A KING and her husband-to-be knows nothing about that. Joseph knows about the baby saving his people from their sins and Mary knows nothing about that.
SOME OF OUR BETTER CHRISTMAS HYMNS written many years ago, are rich in Bible knowledge. Joy to the World says: “Joy to the world, the Lord is come; let earth receive her king.” It also refers to savior. Hark the Herald Angels Sing says: “Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the new-born king; Peace on earth and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled.” This hymn is one of the richest and most comprehensive Christmas hymns and combines king with savior. Silent Night! Holy Night! (written by Joseph Mohr, a Catholic priest) combines savior with king.
THE SAVIOR IS THE LAM SLAIN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD and relates to sinners by persuasion. He does not force Himself on anyone. The Holy Spirit pleads and strives with people to be saved. But He does not demand anyone to be saved. The King is not on a mission to save anyone. He is on a mission to rule over the kingdom of God. The king is not a lamb. The king is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The King will rule by coercion, with a rod of iron. This has not yet taken place.
TO BE SAVED, ONE MUST WILLINGLY EMBRACE CHRIST as Savior and Lord. Jesus has not yet exercised His role as king but is going to. When He is king of the whole earth and reigning from the throne of his father David, in Jerusalem, he will rule with a rod of iron (Psalm. 2). Today, He is the lamb of God slain for the sins of the world and invites everyone to come to Him to be forgiven and saved. When He rules the earth, He will rule, not as a lamb, but as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Consider Psalm 2.
Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalm 2:6-12)
THIS IS THE BABY BORN TO MARY and laid in a manger in Bethlehem. Today He pleads as the Savior of the world. As a King, He will rule the world with a rod of iron and we who are saved will reign with Him a thousand years. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
AFTER THAT TIME, there will be a new Heaven and a new Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (2Peter 3:12-13) Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year –
DECEMBER 24, 2019 – MONDAY
A.M. Zech 1-3 P.M. Rev. 17
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Good Memory Verse:
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Song For Today:
Solo, Choir & Orchestra: Silent Night 3.39 ( 1st Bap. Jax, Fl)
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