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Honoring The Savior’s Birth     Matt. 1:18-2:5a,9-11     Dec. 24, 2006


Introduction

How can we be Christians Honoring The Savior’s Birth? We can listen to, live our belief of, look for, and

lovingly worship our Savior. In very practical ways we can speak up for the expression, “Merry Christmas”, and give to needs we know about, including the Lottie Moon Christmas Mission Offering.


 

1.    Honoring The Savior’s Birth Through . . Listening To God’s Message. 1:18-23

       A.   Listening for The . . Interruption of The Plans. 1:18-19

18 The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph,

it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

19 So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.

 

       B.   Listening for The . . Interpretation of The Plans. 1:20-21

20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream,

saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”

 

       C.   Listening for The . . Immanuel (God with us) of the Plan. 1:22-23

22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 See, the

virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”


       We honor the birth of Christ as we allow our plans to be interrupted with God’s plan that centers in Immanuel. To often we delay, or hesitate, to do what God clearly tells us. Joseph’s plan was interrupted, as the angel interpreted God’s plan. I heard today of a new movie coming out this Christmas season that will dramatize this scene and the birth of Jesus. Immanuel came to the earth; let us do all we can to be Honoring The Savior’s Birth, especially at this time.


 

2.    Honoring The Savior’s Birth Through . . Living Your Belief of God’s Message. 1:24-25

       A.   Living In Belief Acting On The . . Command Approved by God. 1:24

              24 When Joseph got up from sleeping, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He

       married her

 

       B.   Living In Belief Acting On The . . Consummation Approved by God. 1:25

25 but did not know her intimately until she gave birth to a son. And he named Him Jesus.


       Joseph lived his belief as he did what the angel said and acted upon the command of God. Why did God send an angel to give His message to Joseph? The word angel means messenger, and this is not out of character for God. It is interesting that the HCSB translates the word “angel” 89 times in the New Testament. In contrast the word “sin” only appears 94 times. So angels are prominent in the New Testament. Do they work in the lives of believers today? I believe they do. Some believe Mary remained a virgin all of her life, but the words in verse 25 say, “did not know her intimately until she gave birth to a son.” These words indicate a consummation of Joseph and Mary’s Marriage. Further, it is not a sinful act for a married couple to have a sexual relationship. The Bible does speak of the half brothers, and sisters of Jesus.

 

 

3.    Honoring The Savior’s Birth Through . . Looking for God’s Message. 2:1-5

 

       A.   Looking for God’s Message; The . . Search of The Wise Men. 2:1-2

              1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east

       arrived unexpectedly in Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we

       saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

 

       B.   Looking for God’s Message; The . . Stirring of The King.. 2:3-4

3 When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 So he

       assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Messiah would be

       born.

 

       C.   Looking for God’s Message; The . . Saying of The Prophet. 2:5

              5 “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they told him, “because this is what was written by the prophet:


       The text calls attention to the search of the wise men, the stirring of the king, and the saying of the prophet.

The motivation of the wise men’s search causes me wonderment. This had to take much time and personal sacrifice. God’s message deserves such action. The stirring of the king caused quite an uproar, but it is interesting how the scribes seemed to readily know about this prophecy. The reliability of the prophet’s message speaks to us about the authority of God’s Word.



 

4.    Honoring The Savior’s Birth Through . . Lovingly Worshiping God’s Message. 2:9-11

       A.   Lovingly Worshiping God’s Message Lead by The . . Star. 2:9-10

              9 After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was—the star they had seen in the east! It

       led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they

       were overjoyed beyond measure.

 

       B.   Lovingly Worshiping God’s Message Lead by The . . Significance. 2:11

11 Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they

       worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and

       myrrh.


       The wise men were led by a special star God arranged for this event. Is the God you believe in big enough to arrange and use such a star? Some people have trouble with the miraculous simply because they do not understand God. When the men saw the Christ child they knelt and rendered significant worship. Truly they teach us to be disciples Honoring The Savior’s Birth! Amen? Amen! (For addition information see: http://preachhim.org/SundaySchoolIndex.html)