Tag Archives: Christmas

Matthew 2- The Magi

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. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Matthew 2:1-6

Some of the most mysterious characters in the Bible are the Magi or Wise Men. Who are these guys? Where did they come from? The Magi were from Persia , which is modern day Iran. So the Magi traveled about 900 miles on camelback to find the Christ child. Now it’s obvious the Magi were familiar with many of the Messianic Prophecies of the Old Testament, including Micah 5:2 which says the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. They were also familiar with the prophecy of Numbers 24:17 about the star as a sign of the Messiah

During their journey to Bethlehem , the Magi traveled through Jerusalem and met with King Herod, who heard about the coming of The Messiah, a King above all Kings. Herod instantly became threatened by Christ, and pretended to want to worship Jesus , however truly he just wanted to kill him. Which we will see later caused the horrific event known as “Rachel’s weeping”

The Magi were very intelligent , hence the name “Wise Man” they were known as your experts of the time, such as we look upon doctors or scholars today. The Magi were also a fulfillment of prophecy themselves as foretold by Isaiah “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. “ (Isaiah 60:3) “

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way Matthew 2:7-12

So how did the Magi find  Jesus? They followed the star , which was prophesied in Numbers 24:17, to the town of Bethlehem prophesied by Micah 5:2. It’s often tradition in our Nativity scenes, to have 3 wise men. Well first thing is we don’t know exactly how many Magi made the trip, we assume 3 because of the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Secondly , by the time the Magi found Jesus, it says he was a “young child”, it was most likely the Magi visited Jesus at his house and not in the manger. It could have potentially been months, maybe years until the Magi reached Bethlehem and found Jesus.

The most significant point to get from this, is that the Magi were Gentiles coming to worship the Messiah, the New Covenant has now arrived through Jesus. Salvation is now possibly, not only to the Jews but also the Gentiles who put their faith in Christ! Amen!

Matthew 1- Incarnation of Christ

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 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. Matthew 1:18-20

Every year around Christmas time, the great debate begins among Christians, “Should we celebrate the birth of Christ”? While many Christians opt to celebrate Hanukkah instead, which wasn’t commanded by God either and has no relevance to the New Covenant. The  Incarnation of Christ is a central and essential doctrine of Christianity. If Christ didn’t become human there would be no atonement for your sins!

Mary was a virgin and she conceived the Son of God by the Holy Spirit. The Incarnation, much like the Triunity of God, is difficult for us to wrap our human minds around. Often people who can’t comprehend it, just reject it like the Triunity of God. Just because you can’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s not true. If God is truly the Creator of everything, don’t you think He will be a little complex? The reality is The Incarnation of Christ had to happen to save humanity, the Son of God had to become a man to pay for the sins of the world

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. Matthew 1:21-25

The Apostle Matthew felt the Incarnation of Christ was so important, that he began his gospel writing with it. Why? Well because 700 years earlier the prophet Isaiah foretold The Messiah would come from a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) What will be the sign of the Messiah? God said “A virgin will give birth to a Son and he will be called Immanuel” Matthew goes on to give us further commentary that Immanuel means “God Is With Us”, think about that God became flesh and lived among Us (John 1:14)

And if there is any doubt God said His name will be Jesus (Yeshua) and He will save us from our sins. Christians have gotten so distracted around Christmas with arguments about paganism, that they forget or miss what happened in that manger in Bethlehem!

The sign was delivered by God, the Son of God becoming human to reconcile us back to The Father. The New Covenant is now upon us, Thank you Jesus! Amen!

The Christ Child

The years of silence are finally broken

The fulfillment of all the words the prophets have spoken

A messenger was first sent to prepare the way

To prepare us for Christ the Lord to be born on this day

When the time arrived the angels filled the sky

Glorifying God and proclaiming the battlecry

A Savior has been born this day to everyone

The shepherds went to Bethlehem to see what God has done

In the manger a baby wrapped in cloth is the sign

The virgin birth to the Christ child who is fully human and fully divine

The shepherds left sharing the good news the Christ has come

While the Gentile Kings journey where their from

Everyone bowed down and worshipped the newborn King

While angels filled the skies and continued to sing

Glory to God in the highest and peace on Earth

Salvation is possible now because of the Christ  child’s birth

The incarnation of a virgin, foretold long ago

This is the sign of  the Christ child, so we will all know

To be fully God and fully human, who can comprehend?

But the Kingdom of Jesus Christ  will never have an end

So on this day remember what has been done for all of us

Jesus became flesh to prepare a place for You in paradise

Christmas-Luke 2- The Sign

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. Luke 2:15-17

After the Shepherds received the “good news” from the angel, they immediately went to Bethlehem to see the Messiah. But how would they find the Messiah? Because the angel told them there is a sign, the sign is a baby lying in the manger. This is the same sign foretold to Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

The virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus in the manger is the sign of the Messiah, as foretold 700 years before Christ birth to Isaiah. Imagine how many must have pondered this prophecy for hundreds of years , trying to figure out its fulfillment, here it is the Christ has come!

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. Luke 2:18-20

How did the shepherds respond when they finally seen Jesus? They went out and told the world, they declared the good news (gospel) to everyone! How do we respond when we finally receive Christ? Do you tell the good news to everyone? The good news that salvation has finally come into the world and we can inherit eternal life and be a child of God? 

Notice it says “Mary pondered these things in her heart” Imagine what must be going through the mind of Mary at this moment. She gave birth to the Son of God in a stable, she has strangers visiting her and glorifying God, and she still has the worries and uncertainty of how they are going to raise Jesus and where to live. 

If the birth of Christ gives you hope and joy, why don’t you tell someone the good news today! These shepherds had no theological training or even any social status, but they know what they saw, they saw the sign from God, the Christ has come! Amen!

Christmas-Luke 2- Birth of Christ

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 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. Luke 2:4-7

God works in mysterious ways, this is very prevalent in the birth of Jesus. First we see Mary and Joseph were forced to go back to Bethlehem because of a census. Now this all happened because of the prophecy of Micah 5:2, King Herod heard about the prophecy, that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, so he forced everyone back to their hometowns. What Herod didn’t realize is that the King of Kings would come to this world as an infant. The amazing part is Herod actually helped fulfill prophecy by forcing Mary and Joseph back to Bethlehem

The events that happened when Jesus was born seemed like a disaster, however they played out perfectly according to God’s plan. Having the Son of God born in a stable seems wrong, however it is perfect when you understand that Jesus is the Lamb of God (John 1) If you need a sign that Jesus is the Messiah, look to the manger!

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:8-11

 Again at first glance, sharing the good news about Jesus to a bunch of lowly shepherds doesn’t seem to make much sense, however when you understand who Jesus is and why he came here, it makes perfect sense. Jesus is the Lamb of God (John 1) so sharing the news to the shepherds who were tending to the passover lambs of Israel makes great sense. 

Secondly, Jesus didn’t come to save the rich and powerful or the highly religious people, Jesus came for the outcasts, the poor in spirit, the lowly, the Shepherds represent us perfectly. The people nobody cared about,  God cared about them first!

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:12-14

God sent us a sign of hope, a sign of peace, a sign of salvation, that sign is Jesus Christ, a baby lying in the manger. Nobody could have ever predicted God would come to Earth as an infant, but God’s ways are higher than our ways

We notice the first Christmas celebration began, as the sky was filled with angels celebrating the birth of Christ, singing “Glory to God in the highest” What an amazing scene this must have been. God becoming flesh to make us children of God, Amen!

Christmas-Luke 1- Mary’s Song

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. Luke 1:46-49

I think one of the beautiful moments in the Bible is when Mary sang this song after she found out she was giving birth to Jesus. Oftentimes I think Protestants avoid giving any praise or respect to Mary, because of their separation with the Catholic Church. However, just as we show respect to the Apostles, I think we should show some love and respect to Mary also. 

Mary starts out with the statement “My soul magnifies The Lord” Mary became a bondservant to God, even though she knew her life was going to be difficult and in some cases persecuted, she went through with it to magnify God. Her spirit rejoiced in God, her savior. Mary becoming the mother of the Messiah, was not a glamorous title or position at the time. But she accepted her mission from God because she loved and was obedient to God

Notice Mary regards herself as a servant to God, yet she knew once everyone realized that her child is the Son of God, that many generations would call her blessed. And holy is the name of Jesus! Many people today use the name of Jesus in a curse word, this is blasphemy , as Jesus is the name above all names (Philippians 2)

And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. Luke 1:50-52

Notice Mary is revealing the New Covenant, Christ mercy will be from generation to generation , meaning forever! As Jesus revealed he will exalt the humble, and bring down the proud and mighty. I like the phrase, “the imagination of their hearts”. Many people misunderstood what and who the Messiah would be. Israel had this imagination of a ruthless King who would crush the world. However Christ came as the Lamb of God, who took away the sin of the world!

He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. Luke 1:53-55

Mary reveals that the seed of Abraham is Christ, as God promised Abraham through him he would bless the world and be numerous as the stars, this was a reference to Jesus and the New Covenant. Its through Israel that the Messiah was born, and it was through Christ that the world came to salvation

The Messiah has been revealed to Mary and will come through Mary to the world, what a wonderful gift from God, to save his people from their sin Amen!

Christmas-Luke 1- Mary Did You Know?

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. Luke 1:26-29

Around Chrstmas time you usually hear the song “Mary did you know”? Well in the scriptures we are reading today, Mary did know because the angel Gabrielle told her. The virgin Mary was chosen by God to give birth to the Messiah, the Son of God. The incarnation of God becoming flesh is an amazing mystery to ponder. But God is now going to provide salvation by sending his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world

Notice Mary’s reaction upon receiving this news, “she was troubled” imagine if you were just told you were going to give birth to the Son of God! You can only imagine the range of emotions going through Mary’s mind at this point. The Bible is clear, Mary was chosen and highly favored by God, what an amazing calling to receive by The Lord

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 for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Luke 1:30-33

The angel Gabriel revealed many things about the coming of the Messiah. First he revealed his name, the name is Jesus. For centuries the Jews could never mention the name of God in fear of breaking the commandment, now we know the name of God, and we can call out upon the name of Jesus! Next it’s revealed that He is the Son of God and the Son of David, wait what? How can Jesus be the Son of God and David? 

Son of David is in reference to the Messianic Kingship line that was foretold throughout the Bible, however many didn’t understand or realize that the Messiah would literally be God in the flesh (John 1:14) The last thing that is revealed is this Kingdom will be eternal, meaning the Kingdom of God is coming to Earth (Revelation 21, Isaiah 65) All this has been revealed by the angel Gabriel

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke 1:34-35

The obvious question , as stated by Mary, is “how can this be”? How can the virgin Mary give birth to the Son of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus wasn’t physically conceived by a man, he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, as he is God incarnate. It’s infallible for our human minds to try and comprehend this

The greatest message was delivered, Jesus is coming to save the world from sin and death, Amen!

Christmas-Luke 1- John The Baptist Foretold

And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. Luke 1:11-15

As we begin the gospel of Luke, the first event we see is the foretelling of the birth of John the Baptist. This should tells us the importance of John’s appearance and his ministry. The first thing we notice here, is Zechariah was a high priest, therefore John was also from the line of high priest. Often when we think of John the Baptist, we think of a crazy guy wandering the wilderness. But this was not the case, as John the Baptist was not only from the line of high priests, but Jesus called John “The greatest of all prophets” (Matthew 11:11)

John the Baptist was also the fulfillment of prophecy as foretold by Malachi (3:1) and Isaiah (40:1) John was the one who was preparing Israel for the coming of The Messiah by a message of repentance, and he was the one who baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, to signify that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God

An interesting note is John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth, and was great in the sight of The Lord. We can probably assume, John was also taught the scriptures by his father Zechariah since he was a high priest. John the Baptist whole mission in life was to reveal the Messiah to Israel

And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. Luke 1:16-19

John the Baptist was also a fulfillment of the coming of Elijah. Jesus confirmed this in Matthew 17:12-13. Many Jews today are still waiting for Elijah to come, but Christ confirmed it is already fulfilled. As the angel Gabriel revealed this messenger was to prepare the way for The Lord, the same as Isaiah foretold about John the Baptist

Notice what the Angel Gabriel says in verse 19, “to bring you this good news (glad tidings) meaning the gospel. Jesus is the gospel message, the salvation for the world, this is the good news!

And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. Luke 1:20-23

 However Zechariah didn’t believe the angel Gabriel, and because of his disobedience he would not be able to speak until John the Baptist was born. Zechariah was an old man at this time, and he didn’t see how it was possible for God to fulfill his promise, however as the angel say “With God all things are possible”

I find it interesting the similarity between Abraham and Zechariah, the fulfillment of the Messiah is coming into place. John the Baptist will be the messenger to prepare the way for Jesus, for everyone to come to repentance and receive Christ, Amen!

Christmas- Isaiah 9-Unto Us A Child is Born

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, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

This prophecy written by Isaiah over 700 years before Jesus was born, gives us immense insight on who Jesus truly is. A child is born, meaning God is going to become human to deliver us. Can we even begin to fathom an Eternal God taking on human form to live among us? This seems impossible or maybe even incomprehensible. But this is what God did to have a relationship with You!

Is there any question or doubt that Jesus is God? Notice the title in the prophecy given to Christ, The Mighty God. Since we know there is only One God, then we know Jesus is The Mighty God. If Jesus isn’t the Mighty God then this prophecy isn’t about him, then who would this prophecy be about? Who else fulfilled over 300 Messianic prophecies of the scriptures?

You might say, how can Jesus be The Mighty God and die on the cross? The Mighty God is a Triune God consisting of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You might say, I don’t understand therefore its not true! Do you understand how the universe came into existence, do you understand how every planet and star were formed and put in their place? You can’t even begin to fathom God, why do you believe you understand his nature?

The Christ has come! This is a reason to celebrate, this is a reason to repent and receive your Lord and God in Jesus name Amen!