Ponder: The Point of Christmas is We NEED a Savior (Luke 2:1-19)

Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God

Mary did you know? Mary did you know? Mary did you know?

Mary did you know? Mary did you know? Mary did you know?

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect lamb?
That sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am

Mary did you know? Mary did you know? Mary did you know?

Mary did you know? Mary did you know? Mary did you know? Oh

Mary did you know?

Listen as I read Luke 2:1-7 and verse 19:

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Verse 19:

But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 

Now, in this sermon I want to focus on verse 19, which says:  

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.[1]

  1. When we look at verse 19 and we notice that Mary is pondering these things in her heart we must notice that Mary’s life has changed a lot. Have you ever gone through a dramatic life change?
    1. Mary’s life was dramatically changed in order to be the mother of Jesus.
    2. I believe the changes from the previous year are exactly what Mary was pondering; now Notice how all of these events are part of the true meaning of Christmas. All of these life changes were in order to bring Jesus into the world. She must have been pondering who Jesus is and what is the significance of this Jesus? As I speak about these life changes, I ask you to ponder who Jesus is to you.
  2. Though it is not actually recorded in the Bible, we know that at some point Mary was engaged to Joseph and this happened before anything else in our Christmas story. A Jewish engagement would last about a year and was legally binding. It would take a written divorce to break off an engagement and if a woman was found pregnant during an engagement, by a man who was not her fiancé, this was considered adultery.
  • While engaged to be married to Joseph, Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel and told that she will give birth to God’s son.
    1. Mary was told she will be the mother of the son of God. She is to be the parent of the future and eternal king of Israel.
    2. Now as Jesus is born, Mary must be pondering those words.
    3. Just like Mary pondered those words, I ask you to do the same, who is Jesus to you? Is this baby born king of your life? We’ll come back to that.
  1. In the events leading up to Jesus’ birth, Mary’s cousin gives birth in her old age.
    1. This is recorded in the first two chapters in Luke and we will not read the whole story now. But here is a man and woman with no children and passed childbearing years, yet God communicates to them they will have a son, and this is fulfilled prior to Jesus’ birth.
    2. Mary must have been pondering the events surrounding her nephew’s birth.
    3. As Mary pondered these miracles, I ask you to ponder, what does the Christmas story mean to you? What do you think of these miracles leading up to the birth of Jesus?
  2. After Mary was found to be pregnant, she had to tell her fiancé, Joseph, what was going on. So, she tells him that she is pregnant, and the father is God, for she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
    1. We don’t know the exact verbiage she used to tell Joseph, but we do know that Matthew’s Gospel (1:19) records that Joseph was going to divorce her.
    2. We really can’t blame Joseph for this, I mean; being pregnant by the Holy Spirit is not an everyday occurrence. Actually, this is the only time it has ever happened. Still, an angel appears to Joseph and this verifies Mary’s words.
      1. As Mary looked at her new baby, she must have pondered the events keeping her engagement intact.
      2. So, we see more events which happened in Mary’s life leading up to the birth of Christ; I ask again, ponder these events, what do they mean to you? What is the significance of Christ that all of these events came together for His birth?
    3. In the weeks or days before Jesus was born Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem because of a census. We can see this recorded in the first few verses of today’s Scripture passage. Perhaps Mary knew the prophesy that Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem and pondered how God made sure this would happen.[2] How significant is Jesus that even the place He was to be born was prophesied about and fulfilled?
  • Now, Mary is about to give birth to the Son of God, yet they are in Bethlehem looking for a place to stay. But with the census going on there are surely plenty of people traveling and there is no place to stay.
    1. Verse 7 of Luke 2 says there was no room for them in the Inn. The inn was probably a place for travelers to stay, maybe a house with extra rooms or something like that.
    2. So, Mary gives birth in a barn. Luke doesn’t mention any animals, though they could’ve been present since she gives birth in a place that housed animals. Mary lays baby Jesus in a manger or feeding trough.
    3. Mary must have pondered the location she was at, given Who she gave birth to. If you were to ponder this same thing, what do you think, isn’t it amazing that Jesus came identifying with those in poverty?
  • But there was still more to ponder. There is more if you read Luke 2:8-20.

We have a lot to ponder too, don’t we? Ponder this: All of these events came together and this is what Christmas is all about.

God became man to save us!

One raw winter night a man heard an irregular thumping sound against the kitchen storm door. He went to a window and watched as tiny, shivering sparrows, attracted to the evident warmth inside, beat in vain against the glass.

Touched, the farmer bundled up and trudged through fresh snow to open the barn for the struggling birds. He turned on the lights, tossed some hay in a corner, and sprinkled a trail of saltine crackers to direct them to the barn. But the sparrows, which had scattered in all directions when he emerged from the house, still hid in the darkness, afraid of him.

He tried various tactics: circling behind the birds to drive them toward the barn, tossing cracker crumbs in the air toward them, retreating to his house to see if they’d flutter into the barn on their own. Nothing worked. He, a huge alien creature, had terrified them; the birds could not understand that he actually desired to help.

He withdrew to his house and watched the doomed sparrows through a window. As he stared, a thought hit him like lightning from a clear blue sky: If only I could become a bird—one of them—just for a moment. Then I wouldn’t frighten them so. I could show them the way to warmth and safety. At the same moment, another thought dawned on him. He had grasped the whole principle of the Incarnation.

A man’s becoming a bird is nothing compared to God’s becoming a man. The concept of a sovereign being as big as the universe He created, confining Himself to a human body was—and is—too much for some people to believe.

—Paul Harvey[3]

The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The Bible says that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). The Bible says that Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except by Him (John 14:6). The Bible teaches that sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). The Bible says that God will not let the guilty go unpunished (2 Thess 1:8-9). Yet, the Bible teaches that God loves the people of the world (John 3:16). That is a dilemma. God can’t tell a lie or He wouldn’t be God (Numbers 23:19). God doesn’t change His mind (1 Sam 15:29). That is why God sent Jesus. The guilty must go punished. Jesus took our punishment on the cross. The penalty of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life.

One of the most exciting things that you can do while celebrating Jesus’ birthday is to make it your spiritual birthday as well. You can accept Jesus’ free gift of salvation right now.

Watch this:

Video from youtube or maybe the end of The Nativity Story: (Below connects with the death and resurrection)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7blH2wZ69bE

 

 

 

[1] The New International Version. 2011 (Lk 2:19). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Micah 5:2

[3] Charles R. Swindoll, The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart and 1501 Other Stories (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2016), 294–295.

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