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Here we see a baby…yet in the same breath
we’re hearing about a kingdom. We now know that kingdom to be set up at the
2nd coming of Christ, not the first. Jesus’ first visit as a
baby did indeed spark a kingdom…a spiritual one. But the physical one is
yet to come! The rapture, end times, millennial reign and eternal state are
spoken of throughout the Bible in different contexts, and here we see it all
mentioned even in the manger!
With the proclamation of the wise men, “Where
is he that is born the king of the Jews?”, all the prophecies of the
coming Messiah were brought to mind in the nation of Israel. From the first
declaration of a coming deliverer to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15 the hearts
of men looked longingly for the Promised One. Each looked for something
different in the Messiah. When Christ was born in Bethlehem, Israel did not
receive what they were looking for from the newborn King, but they had the
opportunity to receive far more.
Jesus was born during a time when the Jews
were anticipating a great and mighty king that would come and deliver them
from the oppression of the Romans. They expected Him to reign in Jerusalem
and establish His kingdom on this earth. Yet, our Savior did not come as
they thought He would. He did not come as a mighty king. He came as an
innocent baby boy, born in a manger in Bethlehem, to die for us. He died so
that we might be forgiven of our sins and might have a home in Heaven if we
believe on Him. He came to make a way for us to live with Him eternally.
Jimmy, an eight-year old, was one of the best
students in his Sunday school class. One day, the teacher asked her students
to draw a picture of the baby Jesus. Jimmy worked and worked and came up
with a picture of a modern jet airplane with four people inside. The teacher
couldn’t figure it out although she thought maybe it was a modern rendering
of the Christmas story. She asked, “Jimmy, this is a nice picture, but what
is it?” “Why, that’s Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus on their flight into
Egypt.” “But there are four people in there. Who is the fourth one?” “Why,
that’s Pontius the Pilate!” [Dr. Paul Chappell]
Even as this little boy wasn’t sure of all
the facts of Christ’s earthly ministry, many had misunderstood why Jesus had
come to a lowly manger in Bethlehem. Revelation 19:16 says, “And he hath
on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF
LORDS.” Although He did not come to set up His physical kingdom when He
came so long ago, He will one day come again to take all believers to Heaven
with Him. He could not establish His kingdom without first providing a way
for us to get to Heaven! And our flight won’t be to Egypt…we’re going past
the moon to a new heaven and new earth!
One day He will bring peace. Finally there
will be peace, but not until the Prince of Peace brings it! He will destroy
all evil and establish His kingdom for all eternity. We have hope because we
know that one day all those who believe on His name will reign with Him!
Because He came and died for us, we can know that we will one day be with
Him for all eternity if we accept Him as our Savior.
I. Consider for a moment what Israel was looking for in the Newborn King.
A. As the nation of Israel looked forward to the coming of the Messiah they
were filled with hopes and expectations, as they were familiar with the many
Old Testament prophecies concerning Him and His kingdom.
B. They looked for One Who would RESTORE the kingdom of David in its entire
God promised David in
2 Samuel 7:16
And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee:
thy throne shall be established for ever.
Isaiah 11:1-5 1 And there shall come forth a
rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall
rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel
and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; 3 And shall make him of quick
understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the
sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4 But with righteousness shall he
judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he
shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his
lips shall he slay the wicked. 5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness
the girdle of his reins.
Isaiah 9:6-7 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. 7
Of the increase of his government and peace there
shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to
order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth
even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in
truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting
C. They looked for One who would OVERTHROW & DEFEAT the Roman Occupation and
Oppressors. Isaiah 49:8-9 8 Thus saith the LORD, In an
acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped
thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people,
to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; 9 That thou mayest say to the
prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves.
They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high
Christ declared Himself to be the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Luke
4:18 when He said
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to
preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to
preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to
set at liberty them that are bruised,
D. They looked for One Who would ESTABLISH
peace & prosperity in Israel. Isaiah 14:7
The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into
Isaiah 11:6-10 6 The wolf also shall dwell with
the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the
young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall
feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw
like the ox. 8 And the sucking
child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his
hand on the cockatrice' den. 9
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall
be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 10 And in that day there shall be a
root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall
the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
Zechariah 9:9-10 9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of
Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he
is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and
upon a colt the foal of an ass. 10 And…he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall
be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the
ends of the earth.
E. But how could this little child born of a peasant woman ever provide
these things. The problem was they had a complete misunderstanding of the
Messiah’s primary mission. They failed to comprehend the truth that Christ
Himself declared in John 18:36 when He said that His “Kingdom was not of
this world.” They failed to see the treasures the newborn King offered.
II. Consider what the Newborn King offers.
A. Christ offers to RESTORE life to the lifeless.
ill.--A young artist had toiled and struggled in his work upon a piece of
statuary, until at last the block of marble which held his thoughts
imprisoned had given way to the statue of an angel which appeared quite
perfect to the beholder. The young artist wished the criticism of those of
greater renown than himself, so he sent an invitation to Michael Angelo
among others. The young artist had hidden himself behind a screen, and
wanted to hear the criticism of his friends without being seen. When Angelo
came to look the work over most carefully he was heard to say to one of his
friends standing near: "It lacks one thing." The poor artist was well nigh
brokenhearted as he heard this criticism. He hurried away from his studio
and refused either to eat or to sleep, and at last one of his friends made
his way into Angelo’s presence to ask what it was that the statue lacked.
"Man," said Angelo, "it lacks only life. If it had only life, it would have
been perfect as God Himself could have made it."
This is the picture of the man who is without
Christ. He has many things to commend himself to the world; his disposition
may be good, and his character may be beautiful, but if he lacks eternal
life, he lacks everything. --J. Wilbur Chapman
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
John 11:25-26 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the
resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead,
yet shall he live: 26 And
whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am
come that they might have life, and that they might have it more
B. Christ offers the OVERTHROW & DEFEAT of
Satan & sin. Hebrews 2:14
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also
himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy
him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
1 John 3:8
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the
works of the devil.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
C. Christ offers to ESTABLISH peace with God. Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord
Ill.--A young man went to a minister in great
distress about his spiritual condition. He said to the minister, "Sir, can
you tell me what I must do to find peace?" The minister replied, "Young man,
you are too late." "Oh!" said the young man, "surely you don’t mean to say I
am too late to be saved?" "Oh, no," was the reply, "but you are too late to
do anything. Jesus did every thing that needed to be done twenty centuries
ago." --The Wonderful Word
Ephesians 2:13-19 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye
who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made
both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh
the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in
ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making
peace; 16 And that he might
reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity
thereby: 17 And came and
preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have
access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but
fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
What is your vision of Who God is? Have you crafted carefully a box and fit
Him into it? Or are you truly seeking Him and His will for your life.
Everybody seems to find what they are looking for…so let’s hope we’re
actively seeking the truth which will set us free!
What are you looking for today? Significance…
Acceptance… Peace… A meaningful life… Love… Victory over those things that
drag you down? Jesus Christ stands before you today as King of Kings and
Lord of Lords with outstretched arms and offers you more than you could ever
expect or hope for if you will but yield to Him as your King.
One day there will be no more struggles and
heartache. There will be no more pain and trials. There is hope! One day
Christ will take all those who have trusted in Him to Heaven to live with
Him forever! Be thankful and joyful that Christ came to earth and died on
Calvary so we might live with Him for eternity!
Only those who have accepted Christ’s gift of
salvation will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. We need to be diligent in
our witness for Christ to those who have never accepted Christ as their
Savior. The Lord is coming soon. Who do you need to tell of Christ’s free
gift of salvation today?
[some material courtesy Gerald Flury]
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