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Why did Jesus come?

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Why did Jesus come?

It is a kind of special Sunday today – because it is Christmas! And it is kind of a special Christmas because this year it falls on a Sunday; so, we can meet together and celebrate Jesus’ birth! I know, we could do that any year – in fact when I was a kid we did. The fellowship I went to always had a Christmas day service not matter what day of the week it was. In fact, we used to get a few visitors because their own fellowship didn’t have a service. Actually, I believe it was discussed whether we should meet together today, people want to get together with their families at Christmas, and I have been asked to keep the message short for that reason. So today, it is only going to be a 2-point sermon! Do I hear a “Praise the LORD”? Of course, for children, and some others, Christmas is about presents! Interestingly, according to the Bible, we are commanded to give presents at Purim, no mention of Christmas. But to many people Christmas is a family time, an eating time, a drinking time, a time of over indulgence; however, we all know that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. The Son of God Himself – He who existed from all eternity, stepped into time, was born as a dependent baby. God came to earth as a mere human being! Christmas is a great celebration because JESUS CAME! Hallelujah! Christmas is about JESUS! He is the reason for the season! Jesus came! But why? [P] If I asked you, I am sure that you could all give me a good answer: “He came to save us, forgive us our sins, die on the cross for us, bring us to God” – most of the answers have “us” in them. But what does the Bible say the reason is that Jesus came? There are several reasons stated in the Scriptures; but two in particular are prominent in the account of the nativity. But strangely as it may seem for a Christmas message, the first verse I want to read does not come at the beginning of Jesus’ time on earth but from right near the end. There is Jesus, His ministry is almost over, He is about to be put to death. There He is, standing on trial before Pilate: [John 18:33–38 Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” ….. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” [P] Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, (there is the reason that He was born!) and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”] There was the truth standing right in front of him! Jesus told him the truth, you have answered correctly – “I am King!” The whole issue was kingship, about His Kingdom. [P] That is the Good News Jesus preached: The Gospel of the Kingdom. For this reason He was born, to testify to the truth, to the fact that He is King. Later John wrote in [1 John 3:8 for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.] – to vanquish the kingdom of darkness, throw out the ruler of this world and establish His Kingdom in its place. There is point number one! Talking of the truth Paul tells Timothy something totally reliable, why Jesus came into the world: [P] [1 Timothy 1:15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.] It says the same thing in: [John 3:17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, (God sent His Son into the world, born as a baby in Bethlehem, but it was not to judge; why then did He send Him?) but that the world might be saved through Him.] Jesus came into the world to save it. [P] Salvation was the reason He came: [Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come (He has come, why?) to seek and to save that which was lost.”] The lost, those who have gone astray He came to turn back to the right way [Luke 5:32 “I have not come to call the righteous (Why then did He come?) but sinners to repentance.”] There is point number two! But it is not much of a Christmas message. This morning we have read some of the Scriptures telling the Christmas story; did you notice these two reasons: 1/ KINGDOM: We read that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. Satan usurped rule of this world when he deceived man into sinning. Since then, the ruler of the power of darkness has ruled this world. Darkness ruled but it says in: [P] [Colossians 1:13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His Beloved Son,] It is a new regime. A King was born! We were in the domain of darkness, we were in darkness but just prior to Jesus’ birth Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, prophesied about Jesus when John was born in: [Luke 1:79 To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”] Darkness reigned but the Light had come! The King, a new regime was about to come, the Kingdom of light and love. This was the long-expected ruler, a restoration of the dynasty of David: [P] [Luke 2:4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David]. He was of royal lineage! Of the right pedigree. When the angel Gabriel announced to Miriam that she would give birth to a son, he said: [P] [Luke 1:32–33 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; (He would be of the dynasty of David and He would rule, be king, sit on a throne) [P] and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”] He will reign, He is a King; furthermore, that Kingdom will never end! Now here are a couple of things we are not used to! Firstly, we are not used to a kingdom. O.K., we have a queen, but she is just a figure-head. Rule is by democracy – everybody has their say. A Kingdom is not like that. The King rules! What he says goes. No questions, no opinions asked for. No, foretelling the Kingdom: [Isaiah 2:3 And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of יהוה, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of יהוה from Jerusalem.] That is the rule of the King! Secondly, we are not used to government that goes on forever. They are in for 3 or 4 years, or they resign; then its someone with different ideas, even our long reigning queen won’t go on forever. Jesus’ reign will never end! Hallelujah! And this King has power! He rules! He destroys His enemies, bring down every other ruler, so there is no competitor to His authority. This is what Miriam said when she went to see her pregnant cousin, Elizabeth: [P] [Luke 1:52 “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble.] The issue is one of rule! After Jesus was born, magi came from the east, looking for the one born, the one the stars had indicated. What were they looking for? [P] [Matthew 2:2 “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.”] When they consulted those in Jerusalem, the religious experts quoted what had been prophesied concerning Him: [P] [Matthew 2:6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; For out of you shall come forth a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’] Jesus coming, being born, that we commemorate at Christmas time was the coming of a King. [P] The Kingdom was coming and the Good News that John and Jesus preached was the Gospel of the Kingdom. 2/ SALVATION Earlier I read: [P] [Colossians 1:13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His Beloved Son,] The coming of the Kingdom was a rescue operation – saving us from the domain of darkness. Jesus came to save, to bring salvation. The angel prophesying to Miriam what would happen to her said: [P] [Luke 1:31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.] After the King was born, it says about Joseph: [P] [Matthew 1:25 but he kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His Name Jesus.] The Name was chosen beforehand. They did what they were told and called Him Jesus, but why this name? [P] [Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, (why?) for He will save His people from their sins.”] Jesus means יהוה saves – the Messiah was called Jesus because He is Saviour. Salvation is why He came! Miriam, in what is known as the magnificat, prophesied when she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist – she said: [P] [Luke 1:47 My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.] That is what this great act of God was all about: salvation! Zacharias, when his son John was born, prophesied: [P] [Luke 1:69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant— ] The King of the house of David would a powerful source of salvation. A couple of verses on he says: [P] [Luke 1:71 Salvation from our enemies, And from the hand of all who hate us.] For centuries, Israel had been subject to occupying powers. They longed to be a free independent nation. They were expecting a King who would come and whop their enemies. A little further on Zacharias said; [P] [Luke 1:74 To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear.] They were looking for an earthly king who would defeat their foes and save them from those who oppressed them. But the salvation was way bigger than they were anticipating! Rescued from a far greater foe and a far greater oppression. The salvation was a salvation from the tyranny of evil that had corrupted the world shortly after its creation. Salvation was a salvation from the power of sin! Zacharias went on to say: [P] [Luke 1:77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.] Sin is the tyranny that rules the world. Satan controls by accusing us – but when sin is forgiven, his accusation is futile! We are delivered from his power! Hallelujah! When the angel announced the birth of the new-born King to the shepherds, it said: [P] [Luke 2:11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.] The Saviour had been born. Born to save, to save the world from sin, from the power of darkness. When the baby was presented in the temple at Miriam’s purification following childbirth; an old man in the temple named Simeon took the baby in his arms and prophesied: [P] [Luke 2:30 Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation,]. Then an old widow came up: [P] [Luke 2:38 At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.] They were looking for salvation. [P] So Jesus came, God born here on earth as baby, to be King and to Save. [P] But Jesus never sat on a throne as King of Israel. Right at the very end, when Jesus was about to return to His Father, His disciples said: [Acts 1:6, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”] They were looking for Jesus to be King of Israel and it hadn’t happened! Did Jesus fail? Of course not! He did set up a Kingdom and He rules as King of that Kingdom. Yet He will indeed reign from a literal throne in Jerusalem. Jesus came as King but He is going to come again as King; He is going to rule over the whole world. We are told in: [P] [Revelation 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”] The Messiah, that was born at Christmas, will rule forever and ever! Hallelujah! Jesus is coming as King but He is also coming as Saviour. Didn’t Jesus accomplish salvation on the cross, are we not saved? Yes, but there is yet a salvation yet to come. Peter tells us that we are [1 Peter 1:5 protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.] Jesus is going to return executing judgement upon the nations who have risen up against Israel, coming in great wrath. Jesus came as a baby meek and mild, but there is a coming wrath. Thessalonians tells us that we are [1 Thessalonians 1:10 to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.] He comes to save us from that just wrath that we deserved. So, Jesus came as King and Saviour; back in past history, some 2,000 years ago. Jesus is coming again as King and Saviour [P] [Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down.] – that is sometime in the indeterminate future. But the message of Christmas is for NOW! [P] For us personally! Now I don’t want to make comments on United States politics, I mean we have had our own leadership upheaval; but don’t you ever get sick and tired of the rule of man?! And I mean there have even been a lot worse rulers in the past. Don’t you long for a rule based on righteousness and justice rather than self-serving self-interest, expediency, striving to maintain position? Rule that genuinely cares for the poor and the oppressed, for the ordinary person. Jesus is the only One fit to rule, authority was given to Him because He laid down His life of His own accord, absolutely no self-interest. Jesus is King now. [P] He can be, or His place can be usurped. May I ask you a personal question? Who is on the throne in your life? Who makes the decisions? Who decides what you do? Whose desires and ambitions is it that are carried out? We are used to democracy, to independence, where we all have our say, the opinion of everyone counts. In a Kingdom, what the King says is what is done. That is law! I have people continually asking me this awkward question? “How has your week been?” I never know how to answer. Look it’s not my week! It’s not my life! I am not my own, I am bought with a price. I should not be on the throne! I have to admit I keep sneaking up to it, trying to climb back on; but it should be: “Not my will but Thine be done.” We should allow Jesus to be King in our lives! Submitted to His will, seeking His will to be done, not our own. Saul, when Jesus met him on the road to Damascus had it right. What was his response to a personal encounter with Jesus?: [Acts 22:10 “And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ ] He called Him “Lord”, submitted to His will. We pray [Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.] For Jesus to be King, we must be doing His will. But we don’t! Not one of us [Isaiah 53:6 Each of us has turned to his own way!] When you don’t do the will of the King, go your own way; you are a rebel! Since the King rules, His wrath is quite justified against such rebellion. Each of us our destined for wrath! We need to be saved from this! But it is not just a penalty that we need to be saved from! It is from ourself! Jesus saves now! [P] Why do I want to keep sneaking back on to the throne? Because I am a rebel! There is something deep within me that is determined to go my own way! Look, I have been saved, I know that full well. God’s mercy and grace has been abundantly poured out on me. He has made a wonderful and miraculous change in my life; but do you know, I still get disgusted at myself? The thoughts that rise up, the meanness and pettiness, the pride. I need to be saved from myself! [Romans 7:24–25 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? (who will save me?) Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!] I need a Saviour! We all need a Saviour! That is why Jesus came. Only He can save us. Praise God that: [P] [Luke 19:10 “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”]
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