Luke2- Matthew2Written by kathleen on Dec 21, 2014 in - No Comments
Luke 2, Matthew 2
One of the things I like so much about the Christmas season is how so many people’s attentions are focused upon Jesus. People come from far and wide to celebrate Christmas even beginning with the day he was born.
There is lots of traveling going on; people who never attend church the rest of the year make it to church services during the Christmas season!
Maybe that first Christmas in Bethlehem was something like what we see today! The angels were singing, so the air was filled with Christmas music. They had the shepherds visiting, friends dropping by, in a time of business, stores were crowded, old friends meeting new friends, families all coming together.
They had the Wise men coming in from out of town, (they did not make it in time for Christmas, but they got there for the same reason!) Kind of like when you go to visit family in other cities and don’t get there for Christmas, but you still show up around that time
Let’s go back to Luke 2:20 where after the shepherds had visited the baby, the Shepherd’s returned. If you think about it, for most everybody, life got back to normal after that first Christmas day! The shepherds returned to their flocks the angels stopped singing, the Wise Men went back home.
It almost seems like everybody forgot about that special Holy Night! To the point today that we do not even know for sure what day Jesus was really born! Although church tradition has chosen December 25.
The shepherds returned as did everybody else all except Mary and Joseph. Their lives would be changed forever!
When Christmas is over this year, will you simply return to life as normal, perhaps praising God for the chance to celebrate Christmas with family and friends, but possibly no different than you were before!
Yet for some like Mary and Joseph their lives are radically changed by the birth of Jesus.
Anyone who has had children know the birth of a baby changes your life forever and things will never be the same after they have had a child born into their family!
When a baby is born, many people come to see the little child, visit the hospital, bring some flowers, or perhaps a small gift, and hug and cuddle the little baby a minute or two. But it is the parents of that child that are now changed forever.
This morning I want to challenge you to consider your visit with Jesus this Christmas; will you come away more like those who stop by a few minutes to see the baby, and then return home to life as normal? Or will you be more like the parents, whose lives are never again the same because of His birth?
Mary and Joseph on that special night when Jesus was born was for them only the beginning! From then on every day and night for the rest of their lives would be special as they lived their lives with Jesus!
The same is true for every person who has been born again into the family of God; your lives will be special from that day forward as you live your life with Jesus as your Lord and Savior!
At one point in their lives they even had to leave Bethlehem but they took Jesus with them! We know that they moved from Bethlehem to Egypt. And then they moved from Egypt to Nazareth having radical changes in their lifestyle
But they never moved without taking Jesus with them!
There was one time,(Luke 2:46) when they slipped up and left Jesus behind in Jerusalem. But as soon as they realized He was missing; they immediately went to find Him!
This Christmas season millions of people will come to worship Jesus. But the greatest majority will simply leave saying “That was nice” And go on with life as usual
The heart breaker is: It will be only the few who having seen the baby Jesus will also see him as the risen savior Jesus the Christ, and will determine to follow Him and never leave Him!
And then there are those who have become sidetracked and misplace the lord in their lives; hopefully as they take that one moment in time during the Christmas celebration they figure out that He’s what is missing in their life and the first thing they do is to go find Him as soon For Joseph and Mary Christmas was more than a once a year celebration, It was a day by day reality! Mary & Joseph nurtured their relationship with Jesus there was nothing more important than knowing Him and Him being part of their life!
Raising Children is a growing experience and anyone who has raised children knows you grow up as much as they do!
Think about this, the first day you bring him or her home you really don’t know that baby! Therefore you have to get to know them and as they grow up, they change, and so do you, so your relationship requires almost a constant care and nurturing to make sure you really know them!
While the shepherds returned to their flocks… Mary and Joseph continued to nurture and develop their relationship with Jesus! The same is to true with our relationship with Jesus. We get to know Him only a little the day we are first see him as the baby in the manger; but when we are introduced to Him as our Savior everything changes!
We are glad for the relationship, we’re happy to know we are going to heaven. But still at that point in time you hardly know anything about Jesus or how to live in a way pleasing to him.
That’s where God takes over in your life and your faith becomes real because the Bible says we can be sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns. Phil 1:6 TLB
There are many Christians, who are not growing in Christ after their initial introduction to Jesus.
They know a certain amount about Jesus, and they are happy with what they know; and it seems as though they are not interested in knowing any more about Jesus. Mary and Joseph spent not only that 1st Christmas, but the rest of their lives growing in their relationship with Jesus! The point of reality concerning these few passages is that all the others just visited the baby, rejoiced and celebrated a while, and went back home the same person they came as.
The difference is Mary and Joseph took all that was said and done both about Jesus and by Jesus; kept them and pondered them in their hearts. The results were that they were changed forever by the words spoken by Jesus and the words spoken about Jesus! Here we are this Christmas, and the question is: what kind of people are we going to be?
Are we like the shepherds, and the Wise men, who came to see Jesus, but then returned to their own lives able to say “we know who Jesus is”
Or are we going to be like Mary and Joseph, for whom the birth and introduction of Jesus was only the beginning of a radical new way of life as they nurtured their relationship with Jesus.
And who kept all that was said by and about Jesus and pondered them in their hearts?
Maybe this morning you have never really met Jesus—oh — you’ve seen him as a baby but you have never recognized him as the Living Savior.
Good news today can be your day of salvation! The Greatest Gift!
Maybe this morning you have known Jesus.. But now realize Jesus is missing in your life! Why not go back and find Him!