The Christmas Story.
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee to a young woman called Mary, who was engaged to a man called Joseph, who was a descendent of king David. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, he said,
“Peace be to you, the Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you.”
Mary was deeply troubled, and wondered what the angel meant.
T he angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid Mary, God has been gracious to you, and you will give birth to a Son, and you will call Him Jesus, He will be great and He will be called, the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His Kingdom will never end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, for I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and God’s power will rest upon you. For this reason this Holy Child will be called the Son of God. Remember your relative Elizabeth, she could not have children, but she herself is 6 months pregnant, even though she is old. For there is nothing that God cannot do.”
Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant,
may it happen as you have said.”
Then the angel left Mary.
This Baby would be no ordinary baby by natural
This birth was supernatural, it had to be.
Since Adam, all men have a sinful nature. In psalm 51 Davi d admits that he has a sinful nature, and in sin his mother conceived him. The birth of Jesus was different. Mary was only a vessel that God used to bring Jesus into the world. The Holy Spirit came upon Mary, making it possible for Jesus to be born sinless. Mary was not sinless, because she was only human, but she had been especially chosen by God to bring the Son of God into the world.
Mary must have had a close relationship with God. She had a willing submissive heart to God. She also had faith to believe whatever God promised that He would do.
It was not easy for Mary, in fact it must have been extremely hard. She would be misunderstood by many, and how would she break the news to Joseph? How would he react? Mary must have realised that God was in control and that He would work things out. Joseph was a man who had a right relationship with God. When he knew that Mary was pregnant he did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he planned to break the engagement privately.
But while he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not fear to take Mary to be your wife, for it is by the Holy Spirit that she will have a Son. You will name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” After the dream Joseph obeyed God, and took Mary to be his wife.
Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of
the entire Roman world.
Everyone went to his own town
to register. Joseph went with
Mary from Nazareth in Galille to
Bethlehem because Joseph
belonged to the house and
lineage of king David.
While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem the time came for Jesus to be born. Why was Jesus born in Bethlehem?
This was foretold in Micah chapter 5 verse 2.
But you Bethlehem Ephrathah, out of you will come a Ruler who shall rule My people Israel.
God’s plan included a
visitation by angels to
in Bethlehem. It was just
an ordinary night, but
changed for them. An
angel appeared to them,
and they were very frightened,
but the angel said, “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy. For today is born in Bethlehem, for you, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord. This shall be a sign to you, you shall find the Baby wrapped in strips of cloth, and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of angels appeared with the angel, praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favour rests.” When the angels had left them and had gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Let us go to Bethlehem, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger. When they had seen Jesus they told others what the angel had told them about this Child. The shepherds returned, glorifying God and praising Him for all the things they had seen and heard, which were just as they had been told.
These humble shepherds would never be the same again! They had seen Jesus, the Saviour of the world, born for them personally. They wasted no time in sharing their good news with others. Have we found the Lord Jesus as our personal Savour? Has He made all the difference to our lives? If so are we as keen as the shepherds wee to share this good news with others?
Not only the shepherds were chosen to see the Saviour of the world, but God was working in the hearts of Gentile rulers from the east, and gave them a desire to search for the One who was born to be the King of the Jews. These men studied the stars, and they had seen an unusual star, and they had followed it.
They realised that this was no ordinary Baby. The reason why they had travelled all that way was that they hade come to worship Him. They came to Jerusalem expecting the Baby to be there.
When king Herod heard that a Baby had been born King of The Jews he was very disturbed. Herod called all the Jewish chief priests and the teachers of the law, and asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they told him. Herod called the wise men and found out from them the exact time the star appeared.
He sent them to make a careful search for the child. The wise men went on their way and the star they had seen in the east, went ahead of them, till it stopped over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star they were overjoyed.
The wise men went into the house and bowed down and worshiped Jesus. God had shown these rulers who this Child really was. The King of kings and Lord of lords. They had brought costly gifts of Gold, frankincense and myrrh. They acknowledged Him as their King.
Like the shepherds, these rulers would never be the same again. Has the Holy Spirit shown you who Jesus really is? Have you accepted Him as your Saviour from sin? Have you put your trust in Him, and confessed and turned away from your sin, received Him into your life? If not, do not wait any longer.
Do it this Christmas, and you will be blessed.