Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Glory To God

Mat 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Paul, in Philippians 2, explains that Jesus is the eternal son of God, who put aside his glory and was made in the likeness of a man; God's son was Spirit.

Phil 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Phil 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Mat 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

Joseph hearing that Mary was pregnant, could have publicly disgraced her and put her away from him, seemingly she had broken her vow to him to be faithful. In their culture the marriage vow lasted a year, where the couple were not to come together, but were in preparation for the day when the bridegroom would come. Somewhat like an engagement time, before the actually coming together.

Mat 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

Mary had not been unfaithful, she was blessed to be the mother of the promised Messiah. Now Joseph understood; he would raise God's son. Joseph the carpenter who made things of wood, would have a helper; his son, who also had been with God the Father creating the worlds.

Heb 1:2 (God) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

A big responsibility for Joseph, from the family line of King David and a big honor for Mary, also a descendent of King David, to be parents of God's son, the King of Kings and the living word of God. The one who would save his people from their sins.

Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Isaiah prophesied;

Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Mat 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Mat 1:24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
Mat 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Luke continues:

Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

Ceasar was the Roman king whose legions had conquered most of the known world. With the Romans in command, they made highways for traveling from one country to another. Israel was under Roman rule and had to obey their laws and decrees.

For hundreds and hundreds of years, Rome prided itself on being a republic? A nation governed by laws, not by any man. The idea that no man was above the law, and the Roman Senate and the army and various political leaders lived together in a sometimes difficult arrangement. Now, Octavius would change all that. In 27 b.c. he arranged for the Roman Senate to give him the title Augustus, which means "exalted" and "sacred." Now Rome wasn't a republic, governed by laws; it was an empire governed by an emperor. The first Emperor of Rome was this same Caesar Augustus.(Guzik

Luke 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

Luke gives us another historical reference. Cyrenius was governor of the region near Galilee.

Luke 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
Luke 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
Luke 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Bethlehem, meaning city of bread, was the home of King David. Both Joseph and Mary were related to the king. Jesus, was called the bread of life. The bread of life was to be born in the city of bread, fulfilling a prophecy.

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Luke 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Mary was near the time to give birth. She probably road on a donkey to Bethlehem which was eighty miles from Nazareth. There was no room in the inn, so Jesus, the lamb of God was born in a barn where animals were kept. She brought forth her firstborn son, probably with no help. She wrapped the baby Jesus in swaddling clothes, which is to wrap arms and all under the warmth of a blanket. The baby that was so helpless contained the eternal son of God, who brought forth the worlds, the Word became flesh. What a humble birth for one so great. They had no cradle, so they laid him in a manger, which is an animal feeding trough. The date of the birth is not known. From the fourth century tradition has been to celebrate his birth on December 25; other scholars say it was probably between April and October. Generally a census would take place after the harvest season, around September or October, when it would not seriously affect the economy, the weather was good and the roads were still dry enough to allow easy travel. The important thing is that Jesus was born in a quiet place away from the worlds eyes. The son of God, the living word, came into the likeness of a human and dwelt among us.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

In that culture, shepherds were considered the lowest class of people. These shepherds may have been caring for the lambs used for the temple sacrifices. The season to be in the fields was from April to October, while the weather permitted.

Luke 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

The angel of the LORD mentioned earlier was Gabriel. The glory of the Lord shone about the shepherds.

Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

A bright shining in the dark of night, would frighten most anyone, so the angel said, be not afraid. Then the angel brings a message of good tidings, the gospel of great joy, which was to all people.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

The fulfillment of Micah's prophecy.

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Luke 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

The Jews required a sign as did the father of John the Baptist, which caused him to be speechless until John was born. This was a simple sign, a baby in a feeding trough; a makeshift cradle a humble place to lay the new born baby Jesus.

Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Suddenly, unexpectedly there was with the one angel a great number, an army of angels singing praises to God.
Glory, honor and praise to the most high God, and on earth peace, inward peace that comes from the presence of a loving God, and God's good will and grace resting on human beings. Heavens angels came down, not in the big city, not to the temple for the priests, not to Caesar or to kings, but to lowly shepherds. Jesus would be called the good shepherd and also the (sacrificial) lamb of God. He was the way and the means of our forgiveness and our salvation. Shall we join the angels in shouting praises to God? Glory to God in heaven, Emanuel, His Son is with us.

No comments: