I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Deep Thought Thursday: Christ the Messiah

I have been reading over the Christmas story in Luke chapter two. It is one of my favorite passages of the Bible. Probably because as I was growing up, we would read it every year before opening our presents. It was a great time of sitting down with God's Word and reflecting on what the meaning of the season truly was.

Since I have been reading over this story, new thoughts have popped into my little brain. Specifically, that the Jews should not have been taken by surprise that Christ was the Messiah. There were many happenings before his birth, and shortly thereafter that should have confirmed that fact (and probably did) in the minds of many of the Jews. Let me share with you some scriptures.

Luke 1:42-45 Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, had a unique experience when Mary greeted her. "And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. (43) And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (44) For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. (45) And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord."

Luke 2:8-18 The story of the shepherds in their fields. This is soon after the birth of Christ, the same evening. The shepherds went right away to find Christ, and verses 17 and 18 say "And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. (18) And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds."

Luke 2:25-32 Simeon was an old man who had served God for many years. He was a just man, devout, and doubtless known by all the Jews who frequented the temple. What he had to say was taken (I'm sure) with a great deal of respect. He said when he saw the child Jesus (29)"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: (30) For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, (31) Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; (32) A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."

Luke 2:36-38 Anna was a widow who lived in the temple and served God every day. Surely she was well known and respected. Who closer to God than a woman who devoted every moment of her life to serving him? When she saw the child Jesus the Bible says: "And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem." Anna spoke to the Jews about the child Jesus, that He would provide the redemption of Israel! Surely she influenced the Jews who heard.

Luke 2:42-49 Jesus was twelve years old, and in the temple with the scholars and priests, asking and answering hard questions. A very young man who had not even come of age in their culture (13 is the age where a boy becomes a man- has a bar mitzvah celebration), yet one who was astounding the men with his wisdom and knowledge of the Word of God.

Luke 2:52 "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." Jesus was favored among the people. There were probably not many (if any) people who did not like Him. Surely He was courteous, helpful, sincere, and wise for His years. Who wouldn't love a young man like that?

Other things should have proven that He was the Messiah as well. Before He had even performed His first miracle, (that is recorded anyway) He was already gathering His disciples. Now, would anyone become a 'disciple' of another person if there wasn't something particularly amazing and unusual that proved they were sent from God?

John 1:35, 40-43 (35) "Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; (36) And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! (37) And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus."
(40) "One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. (41) He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. (42) And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. (43) The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me."

So we can clearly see that before Jesus even started His public ministry, people had spoken of Him as the Savior, the angels had announced His birth from the heavens, other people were following Him as though He were a master, teacher.

It is clear to me that those who had eyes to see would find the Messiah. The same is true today. Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear will accept the message of Christ the Messiah, Savior of the world, and Redeemer of the lost.

I am thankful that God has given me the gift of eternal life. That Jesus was willing to humble Himself, leave the splendor of Heaven, and come to Earth to pay the penalty for my sin. And I will try my best to live each day reflecting that grace so that others may see and hear.

1Corinthians 15:57 "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

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