THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS

SERMONS FOR EDIFICATION

THE BABY JESUS

TEXT: Luke 2:1-14

INTRODUCTION: There's an old story that tells about a little boy who prayed that Jesus would send him a red wagon for Christmas. He prayed fervently, because he was from a poor family. He actually NEEDED that red wagon to help him haul wood for the fireplace.

The day after Christmas, the pastor walked out on the lawn of the church and was looking at the nativity scene. Something was missing. At first, he couldn't tell just what it was. THEN, all of a sudden, he REALIZED Baby Jesus was missing from the manger!

Jus then, the pastor heard a soft voice behind him saying, "Bro. Pastor, forgive me." The pastor turned and saw the little boy with a red wagon, and the Baby Jesus was IN the wagon! He asked the little boy why he had taken the Baby Jesus.

The boy responded, "Sir, I'm sorry I tood Baby Jesus. But I prayed and asked Him to send me a red wagon for Christmas. And I PROMISED Him I would give HIM the FIRST ride in the wagon!"

OH! How we need to pray BELIEVING!
OH! How we need to pray with willingness to put Jesus FIRST in our lives!

The Scripture this morning is from the Gospel of Luke about the birth of Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, born in a cattle stall. Last week I talked about the technical manner in which God became a man. Today I want to share with you the beauty and glory of THE BABY JESUS.

"When first I heard of Baby Jesus, 'twas at my mother's knee.
From the Bible, reverently held, she spoke tenderly to me.
AH! My son, His glory exceeds the stars in clear night sky!
His brightness exceeds the sunlight, so bright 'twill make ya cry!
His power exceeds the bombs with which the earth is rent.
For, ya see, 'twas GOD, in Baby Jesus, sweet and innocent."

The Old Testament reveals the Almighty Creator God, Who drove Adam and Eve from the perfect garden when they sinned. He drove them out because of MERCY to keep them from eating of the "tree of life" and remaining in sin forever.

The Old Testament reveals a God SEPARATED from men because of their sin!
The Old Testament reveals a God HOLY! So Holy that even His own chosen people couldn't approach the interior of the sanctuary. Only the High Priest could enter once each year.

There is a thematic representation of God UNAPPROACHABLE in the Old Testament. But the NEW TESTAMENT presents God in a baby - innocent, holdable, adorable!

Even humble shepherds would be comfortable in the presence of this God in the manger of a cattle stall!

As He grew, and began His ministry of teaching and preaching, Jesus was quite glad to hold little children in His arms. He would not condemn the most awful sinner, but would offer eternal love and forgiveness.

THAT's the Jesus I want to share with you today!

THE BABE IN A MANGER
THE APPROACHABLE GOD
THE ATONER OF OUR SINS
THE GOD WHO SWEETLY CALLS ALL MEN

I. THE BABE IN A MANGER

  1. The Jewish people had prophecy of and envisioned a Messiah Who would come and sweep away evil.
  2. He would crush enemies with His awesome power.
  3. He would set up a kingdom and rule in perfect righteousness.
  4. And, ya know what? SPIRITUALLY speaking, they were RIGHT!
  5. God came in a baby, fulfilling the prophecy of the Old Testament. "..and a little child shall lead them..."(Isaiah 11:6)
  6. He literally swept away evil with His INNOCENCE!
  7. He crushed Satan and all demonic forces with His PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS!
  8. And He set up a kingdom which is ruled today by HIS perfection!
  9. My friends, I want you to think about the INNOCENCE of the Baby Jesus!
    INNOCENCE is the power of God! He is PERFECT, without sin! HOLY!
    ((VS 7))

II. THE APPROACHABLE GOD
  1. Becoming a man, in a baby, God Incarnate loses NONE of His Holiness!
  2. God Incarnate takes nothing away from God, but it DOES BRING God to man!!
  3. Dont'tcha just LOVE little babies?!
    My wife can't stand to SEE them without wanting to HOLD 'em!
    Neither can I!
  4. And, my friends, if you realy realize the meaning of God becoming a child, in a manger in Bethlehem, you can't HELP but wanna HOLD Him!!
  5. From a God revealed as SEPARATED, UNAPPROACHABLE, to a God Who magnetizes people to Him!
  6. God, our Almighty Creator, could have become a man without being a baby! But He DIDN'T! He shows us through this that He is APPROACHABLE!
    ((Vss. 8-11))

III. ATONER OF OUR SINS
  1. The O.T. is replete with the sacrifices of the "first-born."
  2. The little lambs were given to God as a SACRIFICE for sins!
  3. This Baby Jesus, born in the manger in Bethlehem, came to be the SACRIFICIAL LAMB for ALL men's sins!
  4. Even while in the manger, the shadow of the cross was hovering over Him!
  5. His birth was for the purpose of God giving God a sacrifice that was ACCEPTABLE -- Holy, Righteous, Perfect, Without Blemish!!
  6. See verse 11 again --- CHRIST, the LORD!
    The "Anointed One," the MESSIAH, the SAVIOR! Yet -- He was GOD!
  7. The angels sang to the shepherds of the field (vss. 13-14)
  8. For centuries, scholars have poured over that verse!
    God - Holy, Righteous, Perfect - is in the HIGHEST!
    God - offering FORGIVENESS, PEACE, and RIGHT-STANDING was also IN the Baby Jesus -- on EARTH!
  9. GLORY, ALL GLORY BE TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!
    For He is OFFERING: PEACE and GOOD WILL toward man!
IV. THE GOD WHO SWEETLY CALLS ALL MEN
  1. Magnetizing in His sweet innocence, He called lowly shepherds to Him.
  2. His Almighty Glory also spoke through the heavens in a NEW STAR, and called the MAGI to Him -- wise men, kings, rulers.
    GOD CALLS TO ALL MEN THROUGH JESUS CHRIST!!
    (vs 15)

  3. John 3:16, Romans 5:8, John 1:1-3, 14
CONCLUSION:
The nativity scene we see at Christmas time should bring us to our knees! We should remember that the BABY IN THE MANGER is an APPROACHABLE GOD, The ATONER OF OUR SINS, and The GOD WHO CALLS ALL MEN TO HIM through the innocence of a sweet baby!

Margaret Clarkson once wrote a hymn which best concludes this message today. Let me read portions of that beautiful hymn and then, let us pray!

A COMMUNION HYMN FOR CHRISTMAS ((Margaret Clarkson - Hymn 140 in "The Hymnal,
by Word Music))

Gathered 'round Your table on this holy eve,
Viewing Bethlehem's stable we rejoice and grieve;
Joy to see You lying in Your manger bed,
Weep to see You dying in our sinful stead.

Prince of Glory, gracing Heav'n ere time began,
Now for us empracing death as Son of Man;
By Your birth so lowly, by Your love so true,
By Your cross most holy, Lord we worship YOU!

Bethlehem's Incarnation, Calvary's bitter cross,
Wrought for us salvation by Your pain and loss;
Now we fall before You in this holy place,
Prostrate we adore You, for Your gift of grace.

Christmas Babe so tender, Lamb Who bore our sins,
How shall sinners render praises due Your Name?
Do Your own good pleasure in the lives we bring;
In Your ransomed treasure reign forever King!

PRAYER