Glory to God and Peace to Men (Luke 2:1-21)

Have you ever had to call 000?

From before I started school, I knew that dialling 000 on our rotary dial telephone was the way to get help in an emergency. And one day I had to do it.

You tell the operator what sort of help you need, and give them your address. But the wailing sirens don’t arrive straight away; it’s not like the movies. The average wait time for an ambulance in Victoria is 10 minutes and 44 seconds. So, you wait, and listen, and try not to panic, and you wait.

Our world has been in an emergency since almost the very beginning. And way back then, when only Adam and Eve were here, God promised them that He would send someone to save them and us from this emergency.

The emergency is sin, defying the God who made us and gave us everything, and who deserves our loyalty and obedience.

Back then, in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3, God promised that Eve’s offspring would crush Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15). Even though we deserve God’s wrath and punishment, He promised to send a Saviour.

But what would the rescue look like? How would the rescuer come? Those are the questions the Christmas stories answer for us. And here in Luke 2, we are reminded that God’s rescue doesn’t come how we would have done it. God’s rescuer isn’t who we would have expected.

Luke tells us in Luke 1:1-4 that he is writing us “an orderly account”, a carefully researched description of real events, so that “you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”

This isn’t just a story of ‘back then’; the birth of Jesus changes how we think about our past, how we live today, and what will happen in our future. So, there are three lessons for us today:

  1. Receive the Saviour: Christ the Lord (v10-11)
  2. See the Proof: A Baby in a Trough (v12)
  3. Have Faith: Peace from God (v13-14)

Christmas is so much more than a story about a cute little baby. It’s God’s rescue plan in action.

Sunday 23rd December 2018

Review questions:

  • What is your emergency (v11, 21, Rom 5:12-21)?
  • Luke carefully _________________ his account so we can have _______________ (Lk 1:1-4)
  • “Saviour” means __________________________________
  • “Messiah” means __________________________________
  • “Lord” means __________________________________
  • Did God the Son exist before Jesus was born (John 1:1-4)? Yes/No
  • Does God expect us to believe without proof (v12)? Yes/No
  • What proof does He give (v16-20)?
  • Why does God deserve glory (v14)?
  • Jesus gives peace for our guilt by _________________
  • Jesus gives peace for our hurt by Jesus means _________________ (Mtt 1:21)

Published by Stephen McDonald

Christian, preacher, broadcaster

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