Supernatural Providence: God Preserves
What is the gospel? How does baby Jesus fit into that gospel? If I asked you to tell me the gospel message, could you? Could you do it without including yourself?
What is the gospel? Many of us grew up with testimonies, or with encouragement to share the gospel by using our own stories.
This isn’t necessarily bad, but over time it has led us to think that the gospel was more about me, than about Jesus
The World: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Blogging, etc . . .
Illus: “Because everyone has the right to drive a safe and reliable car”
Burger King: “Have it your way.”
Commercialism and advertising, politics,
We live in a world where rights and privileges are flipped and confused
This is because we have made all things about us, and God is often secondary or non existent
When we read this passage we begin with things like:
Why put Joseph and Mary through such difficult times?
Why would God allow Herod to kill all of those innocent children?
Sin: We make too much of ourselves in the redemptive historical plan of God
We are asking the wrong questions, and seeking to understand God
And the outcome is that the gospel message by many of us in the church has been lost, or twisted with my own self being inserted.
Redemptive Historical plan of God: God’s plan of redeeming His people throughout a real history
We can look at Scripture and see where God intervened in His sovereignty to bring about his plan for mankind
Joseph again visited by an angel
Go to Israel
Then warned to stay away from Judea
This is the region in which Archelaus ruled
Jerusalem/Bethlehem were there.
Next to the dead sea in the south
So they traveled on the outskirts along the mediterranean sea and north of Jerusalem to Galilee
To fulfill Scripture
Nazarene does not mean anything ethnic
It is an allusion to who Jesus is
“Holy and Devoted to God”
But, where do the Prophets reference Christ being a Nazarite?
for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.”
This passage refers directly to Sampson
Sampson would be a redeemer of Israel, yet an imperfect one
Jesus would be the redeemer of Israel and a perfect one
Sampson was a type, Calvin calls an “antitype” of Christ
So, when Scriptures speaks directly of human beings in God’s R-H plan, often those roles and offices point to something greater, Christ
Usually imperfect and does not even work
A model of the real thing that would come after it
We also know this is where Jesus would begin his ministry later
His first miracle was to turn water in to wine at Cana, just north of Nazareth
So, we see in this short passage a wonderful fulfillment of Scripture that shows us Jesus and His role on God’s stage
History is a stage, God’s stage, and Jesus is the main character
Illus: Another example of Scripture pointing to Christ is the story of Ruth and Boaz
News flash: It isn’t about you
Illus: World -
facebook - about me
Selfies - about me
The gospel is about Jesus. This passage is about Jesus.
This is God’s Story and not ours
We are to recognize
that we are sinners
We are sinners in need of salvation from sin
Total Depravity - Unless God intervenes on our behalf we will surely die
Physical and Spiritual death
That this plan and the way it works is up to God
The creator/creature distinction
God works how he wishes
Directs Jospeh in order to save the life of Jesus
He could have killed Herod and his son
He could have done a number of other things
He allowed Jesus to be born in a hostile world
This is to represent the Depravity of man
This is God’s story about Jesus
God works supernaturally and naturally to keep Jesus alive
He does so for salvation
Jesus is the main character on the stage of Redemption
Christmas is about Jesus
He works throughout all of history in a cohesive way
Angels coordinate movement with Joseph
All of heaven and earth were engaged in preserving the life of Jesus
This is God’s Story about Grace
God’s grace towards us
While we were sinners he still loved us
He preserved Jesus to fulfill the requirements of the covenant we could not
He did so to show grace and mercy to a word full of his enemies
In Greek mythology, Narcissus (/nɑːrˈsɪsəs/; Greek: Νάρκισσος, Nárkissos) was a hunter from Thespiae in Boeotia who was known for his beauty. He was the son of the river god Cephissus and nymph Liriope. He was proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. Nemesis noticed this behavior and attracted Narcissus to a pool, where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus lost his will to live. He stared at his reflection until he died. Narcissus is the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with oneself and one's physical appearance or public perception.
Re-orientation: The gospel needs to start with Jesus and then it will make sense. If not, we are like Narcissus: looking only at ourselves, falling in love with ourselves and hating anyone who loves us.
James says this in
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
Calvin calls the law of God a mirror, where we see our sinful reflection and then look to Christ for salvation
It cannot start with us. Let us thank God the gospel isn’t about us.
God preserved Jesus because he is the center of the gospel message
We need to remember that the gospel is about Jesus Christ
It is a message about God’s grace extended through Jesus
Once this is the core, then we can insert ourselves and it begins to make sense and is biblical
God preservedJesus through natural and supernatural ways
He did so for His glory, and we do benefit from this, but we are merely in the audience not on stage
Let’s us re-orient ourselves and make Christmas about Jesus
Let us take ourselves out of the story and put him back in the center, where He truly is
Christmas isn’t about you, Worship isn’t about you, Church isn’t about you, outreach isn’t about you, etc . . . .
What is the gospel? It is the message, good news, about Jesus Christ and what God did through him to redeem a people and world unto himself.
Let us Praise God that it isn’t about us. Let us place Christ as the center of the gospel message again, and let us share that story with the world.
By this, we bring praise and honor and glory to His name!