Many read the Christmas story found Luke 2:1-20 as a family tradition. I would like to look at some other Scripture passages about Christmas that are not so familiar. I want us to look at some passages that will help us to better understand the significance of Jesus’ birth, which is why we celebrate Christmas.
In Luke 4:16-22 we read:
So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
Jesus went to synagogue—He liked to go to church—and read from the scroll of Isaiah where it speaks about the Messiah. In verse 18 we see the word sent and it comes from the Greek apostello. Any guesses what that word sounds like? Yes, apostle! An apostle is someone who has been sent.
In John 17:1-5 we read:
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
In verse 3 is the word sent in the Greek is…that’s right, apostello.
Jesus came to earth as a little baby because He was sent by God. Why? Let me share with you something from C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity:
Christianity agrees that this universe is at war. But it does not think this is a war between two independent powers. It thinks it is a civil war, a rebellion, and that we are living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel. Enemy occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed…
In our nation’s military history…WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War; all those wars were away from the United States, how did we fight those wars? We invaded those countries. Christmas is about an invasion, an invasion from heaven. In the song “Heaven in the Real World” by Steven Curtis Chapman there is a line that says, “God heard creation crying and He sent heaven to earth.”
That is what happened on Christmas morning; heaven came to earth in the form of a baby, miraculously conceived of a virgin, so that the sin from Adam passed on through generations would not be the final story. We needed a Savior and that is why Jesus Christ came to earth, from His throne, and took on the form of a baby.
One more Bible passage; Luke 4:42-44:
Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.
Jesus’ mission was to preach the good news of the kingdom of God; that is why He was sent. There’s that word apostello again. If we go back to Luke 4:18, we see Jesus came to:
1. Preach the gospel to the poor
2. Heal the brokenhearted
3. Free the captives
4. Give sight to the blind
5. Free the oppressed
6. Proclaim the year of the Lord—the Messianic Age
In Luke 2:11 the angel proclaimed: For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Jesus saves. The good news is Christmas and the good news is Easter. If you accept the good news, if you accept the free gift of salvation, you will be saved. This Christmas is going to be very different for my family not because Eddie is not here, but because Eddie is THERE! Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If not, why not?