We’ve seen a very consistent theme popping up in the Gospel of Luke so far. That theme is the centrality of Jesus Christ and the worship that happens when people respond to him.
And our text this evening is no different. Luke is continuing to give Theophilus an account of what happened. And in doing so, he’s also explaining to Theophilus how people responded to Jesus.
And the significance of where we’re at in Luke’s account so far, is that we’ve seen how, unborn John the Baptist was excited for unborn Jesus. And both Mary and Elizabeth were overjoyed for unborn Jesus.
Jesus hadn’t even accomplished anything yet in terms of why he’s now on earth, and he’s already being worshipped.
Which is interesting because many people who deny the deity of Jesus Christ try to argue that Jesus never received worship. Which is totally false, not only did he receive worship, but he received it, technically unborn, and definitely new born.
Plus, here’s why we celebrate the birth of Christ. It’s because He was worshipped as a new born. So the point of this passage is to show up that God’s people worship Jesus’ entire life.
Caesar is a puppet
Caesar is a puppet
There are probably several reason why Luke mentions the decree to register people in the Roman Empire under Caesar Augustus.
One reason is that he’s giving Theophilus understanding of what happened. Theophilus is a gentile, could either have been specifically a Greek or a Roman.
He could’ve even been a Roman official. Theophilus would’ve known about this decree and this helps Theophilus to know the context and the timeline of what happened.
There’s another reason why this is presented. It’s not just that Luke is giving a timeline, but he’s showing how God has controlled the nature and the circumstances of Jesus’ birth.
God is sovereign over even mighty Caesar. What looked like it was just Caesar registering people to tax them or even as some suggested to boast of the number of people in his empire, was really God’s sovereign hand orchestrating the events to bring Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem.
And why Bethlehem?
2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
It shows both the humility of Jesus being born is such humble circumstances, but it also demonstrates that as Bethlehem, Jesus would be the one who would rule and reign on David’s throne.
His earthly Father was of the lineage of David, even though Joseph isn’t his biological Father, Jesus still claims regal rights from being the heir to Joseph.
And as God’s ultimate purpose was for Jesus to rule on the throne of David, the fact that He is born from Bethlehem is significant towards his kingly office.
Plus, it’s the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Even unbelievers have to recognize that this is significant.
Micah was written well before the 1st century. And even if Jesus weren’t who Christians claim Him to be, He fulfilled an Old Testament text. He become the leader of billions of people so far, and was born in Bethlehem as the Old Testament indicated.
God is Praised
God is Praised
So Jesus is born, Mary wraps Him up as you do with children, and she put Him in a feeding trough, as you don’t normally do with Children.
You definitely don’t do that with a king, you definitely don’t do that with God incarnate, right? Instead you would put the king in the inn, you would put the king up in a palace in royalty, etc.
But you don’t put the king in a feeding trough. Animals eat out of that, in fact unclean animals might even be eating out of that.
trough. Animals eat out of that, in fact unclean animals might even be eating out of that.
And then these angels inform a group of Shepherds, not nobility, but shepherds, to go and see Jesus Christ. And the angels let out praise to God.
What’s so praiseworthy about Jesus being born and being put it such humiliation?
We the obvious is that Jesus Christ is going to save us from our sins. But have you ever stopped to think about what is actually significant about the manger scene?
He’s in a manger with animals when he deserves to be in a kingdom, on a throne. He doesn’t deserve to be in a manger where animals eat, he deserves something far greater.
He’s taking what He doesn’t deserve, willingly. Already the birth narrative of Jesus Christ is showing His sacrificial willingness to take what He doesn’t deserve.
And doing so in order for Him to receive what absolutely does deserve, the inheritance of a people of His own possession, and the glory of His Father glorifying Him.
And that’s also why He wouldn’t be born to humans in a significant way, He would be exalted by His Father.
No credit to Humans at all, taking what He didn’t deserve, in order to receive what He does deserve.
Glory to God in the Highest. The Angels give the reason, so that Glory can be given to God. And that peace can be given to man.
Christ is Worshipped
Christ is Worshipped
11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Verse 20 shows that the Shepherds did what the angels were just doing. And the question is, why doesn’t Luke specifically record the magi worshipping Jesus or the Shepherds?
I think the reason is Luke’s emphasis, he’s showing more at how so many people marveled, or were perplexed at what happened, but the Shepherds and Mary weren’t.
The Shepherds believed what they saw and they responded in worship, glorifying and praising God. But they did so for what they heard and saw.
So the believed that Jesus is who He is supposed to be. It’s a form of worship to believe what is said about Jesus. God is glorified in the proclamation of His truth, God is worshipped when He is glorified by His people.
And so the response is like the Shepherd’s in that they accepted what is going here as true.
In addition to that, it’s like Mary. She treasures something up. Now what does she treasure?
Does she treasure the fact that she is the vessel that brings Christ into the world? I think, try to follow me,
The Shepherds come and give τοῦ ῥήματος τοῦ λαληθέντος. Everyone marvels over τῶν λαληθέντων. And Mary treasures τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα.
So she treasures the ῥῆμα that the Shepherd’s brought. She treasures the worshipping of God and the glory given to Him and the truth of her son being the Savior, the Christ, The Lord.