Honoring the Arrival of the King

The Example the First Christmas Gives Christians Today

Luke 2:1-20


I. A Humble Manger (Luke 2:1-7)

Can you picture that the King of this universe came in the humble manner that He did? In order to fulfill prophecy, God rigged it to be so!

a. Under Oppression – The rule of Caesar and Quirinius caused this couple to have to travel 90 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem in order to register. Joseph was a decedent of King David, fulfilling the prophecy that Jesus would come from the line of David. So much had to happen for this to occur. Micah 5:2 shares that Bethlehem wasn’t a significant place, yet it was the hometown of Joseph. Listen to Micah 5:2 “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”
b. Unruly Obstacles – They were sent to a shed to give birth to the King of kings. There was no room otherwise. Not a very honorable arrival. They had to weather the elements. God allowed all of these obstacles to happen to fulfill prophecy, and show that even the most humblest of people have a place at the King’s table!
II. A Hope-filled Message (Luke 2:8-14)

God entrusted the greatest message of hope with the Shepherds. Shepherds were not looked at as honorable people. I love carnivals and carnival workers. Those are not necessarily the people I would entrust with all of my financial planning with. When societies changed from a nomadic lifestyle to an increase of stability, the profession was looked down upon. They were thought to be dirty, lower-class people. They were unreliable and their testimony had no credibility in court. The Egyptians called them an abomination.  They were given the greatest message of all eternity to share! This again shows us that the hope of the gospel is for all people, not just for the seemingly clean! Can you imagine a class of people who have been overlooked and are now showered with the love of God, they are going to have transformational gratitude.   

III. An Honor-driven Mission (Luke 2:15-20)

These Shepherds had a new mission, a new purpose! To honor Christ!

Three types of people are mentioned in the Christmas story. People fall into one of these three categories when it comes to those who are driven to worship Christ.

  1. Those who are totally uncommitted (Matthew 2:3-4) When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.” The priest knew the prophecy, yet weren’t committed to find out for themselves. They were too consumed with their selfish desires to go find and worship the promised Messiah! We see this today! We see that half-hearted Christianity has cursed America! This is not biblical Christ following! Those who follow Christ are bold and courageous! They seek opportunities to fulfill the Great Commission with a wholehearted commitment, and they share the same mantra as CT Studd in which their cry is: “Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”
  2. Those who feel threatened (Matthew 2:7-8) “Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” Herod felt threatened! Many feel that turning to Christ means the giving up of their idols. This is a threat! They give up the dream of being a god! The first sin was the taking of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because they wanted to be like God! The threatened person will be humbled, hopefully not on the day of judgement, but before.
  3. Those who treasure Christ (Matthew 2:11, Luke 2:19-20) “And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”

Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”