The Temptation Of Christ Jesus

The Certainty Of Christ’s Temptations

Book of Luke 4

Temptation actually means “being put to a test”.

Most people see temptation as being enticed to do evil.

We will see that this is the way Jesus Christ was tempted in the wilderness.

In fact Satan is called “the tempter”.

Mat 4:3 And when “the tempter” came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

The “tempter” is not internal but is truly a real, an active, and a subtle being!

Satan is a real person!

Hell is a real place!

The Burning Lake of Fire is a real place>

The Burning Lake of Fire was created for Satan and his angels!

Victory over temptation is essential before we can live righteously and be a vessel fit for God’s use!

It is in this lesson where we will learn that no temptation has ever confronted mankind that Jesus Christ has not already faced.

We can believe that because it is true!

Satan will use 3 strategies in his attacks;

1) Satan will raise doubt concerning God’s Word!

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?

Satan will create suspicion about the goodness of God.

2) Satan will lie!

Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, “Ye shall not surely die”:

3) Satan will only speak in partial truths!

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, “then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil”.

Satan did not tell Adam and Eve that knowing about good and evil would not protect them from the pain, the suffering, and the surety of death that comes from sin.

Jesus was God but was also 100% Man.

As moral being whose nature had to develop under the limitations of humanity, Jesus could not escape the exposure to the perils of humans.

A real human could never escape with a fictitious temptation!

I have already stated the temptation Jesus faced was being enticed to do evil and is different from a mere test or a trial.

It is God who tests and tries us because we cannot have a testimony without a test of our faith!

Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

It is Satan who is the tempter!

It is not sin to be tempted, it is sin to fall into that temptation!

In our last lesson we know that Jesus was again filled with the Holy Ghost when He was baptized by John the Baptist.

Luk 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

This is where we will pick up in this lesson:

*****Luk 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
Luk 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

The humanity of Jesus was being prepared to serve the Lord.

We should not forget Jesus was about to launch the most important work ever performed by man, the salvation of humanity!

The fate of the world and of every human had been laid in the hands of the Messiah!

The truth is, where Adam had failed, then Jesus must have victory!

The truth is, The Lord could not use His power for His own gratification!

The truth is, The Lord had to abide within the limitations of this world!

The truth is, The Lord knew he would win His kingdom at the cross and that is where His battle would occur and not until then!

Jesus had been endowed with supernatural power and Satan would tempt Him to use it to further His own interest therefore showing little regard for the will of His Father.

This was Satan’s attempt to divide the Holy Trinity of God!

From this point till the cross, Jesus would follow the lead of the Holy Spirit!

Jesus had to be totally committed to carry out God’s plan no matter what happened and God’s plan was the cross, anything less than the cross would have been a failure of God’s plan!

It is easy to see that the devil will take advantage of any of our weaknesses.

Jesus had gone without food for 40 days and was tempted for 40 days by the Devil.

*****Luk 4:3 And the devil said unto him, “If thou be the Son of God”, command this stone that it be made bread.
Luk 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

At the Baptism of Jesus, a voice from Heaven had said, “this is my Son, in whom I am well pleased”.

Jesus certainly had the power to to create some food if He so chose to do it!

Those words “if thou be the Son of God” were the Devil’s way of taunting Jesus.

The Devil was saying, if you are truly the Son of God why are you so hungry, creating food is not such a great task for God.

Notice the wording when Jesus on the cross:

Mat 27:40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. “If thou be the Son of God”, come down from the cross.

In the deserts of Israel are many loaf-shaped fossil rocks and the Devil used one of these to further entice Jesus.

Satan temptation, was for Jesus to misuse His power and His ability on sustaining Himself.

This would have defeated His purpose!

The powers given to the human Jesus could not be used to sustain Him in any way!

Jesus could not in any way use His deity to show people He was the Son of God!

The only way Jesus could use His power was to help mankind!

If Jesus had used His power on Himself, it would have shown that He trusted Himself and not His Father!

If Jesus had used His power on Himself, it would have shown that mankind had the ability to save themselves, instead of helping a world that was lost and in need of a Savior.

If Jesus had used His power on Himself, it would show that man had the ability to build themselves up instead of honoring God and God’s will.

Satan is a devious and subtle person!

Jesus responded with the Word of God:

Deu 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; “that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live”.

We must all realize that we need much more than physical food to sustain us in this world!

We also have Spiritual needs!

The point of this Scripture is that only Jesus can meet all of our needs!

Jesus could only use His power to meet His Father’s will!

And we must realize that it is not just the thoughts of the Scriptures that are important but It IS EVERY WORD!

There is no doubt that we all have certain necessities of life!

When we reject the fact that God has given us the many abilities to sustain ourselves, we are wrong.

God has a will and a purpose for each of us and He will provide our needs to fulfill His will and His purpose!

When we live for just the physical side of life and ignore the spiritual side of life, we will suffer a terrible hunger that can only be satisfied with Christ Jesus!

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Since this did not work Satan tried something else.

We should also take note, this shows us that the Devil is relentless!

*****Luk 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
Luk 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
Luk 4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
Luk 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

We must remember why Jesus, the Messiah had come to this earth.

Luk 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Jesus came to this earth to seek out the lost and provide them eternal salvation!

Jesus came to set up God’s eternal Kingdom!

The only way to fulfill the will of His Father was by way of the Cross!

Satan provided an opportunity for Jesus to rule this world without going to the Cross.

1) Satan enticed Jesus with a moment in time, maybe even our day, when the kingdoms of this world were in their glory.

2) Satan claimed that he controlled the possessions and the glory of this world.

There are 3 “moments” that are mentioned in the New Testament.

Each one using a different Greek word and each one used only one time.

The Apostle Paul says we shall all be changed “in a moment” the Greek word “atomis” meaning an indivisible particle of measured time. This is the smallest measure of actual time.

The Apostle Paul also writes about Christian persecution and says we are experiencing “light affliction” which is “for a moment”. The Greek word used here is “parautika” which means the present moment.

Here in our Scripture the Greek word “stigma” is used and it means “a point in time” but ruling the world just an instant in time, (compared to eternity) would certainly be a poor bargain and Jesus rejected that immediately.

We should realize that Satan was the prince of this world until the cross:

Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

Joh 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

After the cross, it is our Lord Jesus who holds the keys to God’s Kingdom and gave them to Peter to build His Kingdom:

Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Jesus will rule God’s Kingdom for eternity!

Jesus answered quickly and decisively and was totally dependant on the Scriptures.

Verse 8: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”

Jesus is our example in this, we must worship, follow, and serve the Lord our God!

We absolutely steer away from the standards of this world!

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

We must avoid the path of worldliness!

We can have ambitions and goals.

We should desire to fulfill the calling of God for our lives.

We are wrong when we try to satisfy our own ambitions instead of following the will of God!

Mat 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

So Satan tried still another approach.

*****Luk 4:9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
Luk 4:10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
Luk 4:11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Luk 4:12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

We already know that there is nothing impossible for God.

Our God is an awesome God!

It is certain that God would not allow any harm to come to Jesus until His plan was complete.

AND, God has set specific scientific rules that keep our world operating as it should.

When we expect things to happen, contrary to the rules that God has set, we boldly presume upon His will.

Satan had also taken Jesus to the Temple and the last place we should defile should be the place where we worship the Lord God!

When Satan uses that word “if” he is always trying to inflict doubt on the Word of God.

We that know the Lord, all know that when we die we will immediately be in the presence of the Lord.

2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

It is true that there is a Scripture that describes this action that Satan uses:

Psa 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Psa 91:12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

1) We should consider that in every case Satan has tempted Jesus to choose some other way than God’s way!

God’s way was by way of the cross!

Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

2) We should next consider that Satan tempted Jesus to misuse Scripture by twisting it and taking it out of context to suit His own purposes.

The Scriptures do not say that God would take care of His Son, no matter what!

The heavenly angels were certainly given charge to help Jesus in any way.

BUT, the Scriptures must be fulfilled in the context that God gave them!

Mat 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
Mat 26:54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

3) Satan tempted Jesus to show people sensations, religious feelings, spectacular works of God.

Satan tempted Jesus to meet all the needs of this world with a quick fix.

And Jesus said: “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”

All the Scriptures that Jesus used came from the Book of Deuteronomy and every Hebrew child was expected to know these things by the time they were 12 years old. They were to be taught to them by their parents!

In our world today there are many that say all religions in effect worship the same God and there are many ways to get to Heaven.

We should never miss the lesson that we have learned in these Scriptures, where our Lord has proven to Satan that there is only one way and that is God’s way!

If Jesus had changed the plan of God in any way then, could none of us be saved!

Jesus Christ had to go by way of the cross in order that we be saved!

All mankind are tempted to bypass God, to choose another way!

The way of the cross may seen to hard and to difficult for some, but it is truly the only way to God!

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Trying to seek another way to Heaven will only bring the doom of Hell!

1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Co 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

This world we live in today in these last days have used every means they can think of, to twist the truth out of the Scriptures to allow them to do what they want, but that is still the sin of unbelief!

The sin of unbelief is the greatest of all sins and cannot be forgiven!

There is not other way to reach God but by the cross!

Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

And Satan departed from the Lord “for a season”.

*****Luk 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

The Devil lost this first battle with Jesus in His human form because Jesus rebuked him with the Word of God.

Satan left Jesus alone, but only for awhile!

We must remember faith that cannot be tested is faith that cannot be trusted!

The next lesson to learn is, those who are called into the ministry of the “Gospel” should never use that ministry for personal gain!

The next lesson for us all is no matter what Satan throws at us, we should never quit on God it is Satan who has to retreat from the Word of God!

Every battle we win over temptation will make us stronger!

Jesus began His ministry!

*****Luk 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
Luk 4:15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

Before Jesus went back to Nazareth, He began His ministry in Galilee, which includes the city of Nazareth.

Galilee was a province and not a city at this time.

Of the 32 parables Jesus spoke, 19 were spoken in Galilee.

Of the 33 miracles recorded in the New Testament 25 of them happened in Galilee.

His first miracle was at the wedding of Cana.

His last miracle was after His resurrection on the shore of Galilee’s sea.

In Galilee was the “Sermon on the Mount”.

Jesus preached Himself as the “Bread of Life”, Purity, Forgiveness, and Humility in Galilee.

Jesus called His first disciples in Galilee.

In was in Galilee where the “Transfiguration took place.

Jesus had a great ministry in Galilee before He went to His home in Nazareth.

We can see that victory over temptation will lead to great results!

It leads to more power.

It leads to a greater testimony.

It leads to a greater ministry.

Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

It leads us into the throne room of God.

Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

A Synagogue was a recognized place of Jewish worship.

The hours of worship were the same as those of the Temple in Jerusalem.

1) First there would be prayer and the Jews had at least 18 prayers they would recite.

2) Next there would be the reading of the Scriptures in certain definite portions.

3) Next there would the exposition to those portions of Scripture that were read. Ezra said (“making sense of the Word”) Explaining the meaning of what God had said!

Jesus was welcome in most all synagogues until the Pharisees became hostile toward Him!

The Lord Jesus Christ had the general admiration of all the people, until the religious rulers felt threatened by the truth that He taught!

And then Jesus came to Nazareth to the synagogue in His home town.

*****Luk 4:16 And 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 for to read.

We should immediately notice that Jesus regularly attended the weekly services in the synagogue.

We know that as a boy of 12, His knowledge of the Scriptures had impressed the rabbis of Jerusalem.

We should not be surprised that Jesus was called on to read, but this day things would be a little different.

*****Luk 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
Luk 4:18 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,
Luk 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luk 4:20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

In the Sabbath service there were usually two lessons read.

The first lesson was always from the Pentateuch, the 5 books of Moses.

The second lesson was from the prophets which were on single rollers.

The scroll of Isaiah was given to Jesus and He opened it until He came to the Scripture He had chosen.

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Jesus taught like He never had before.

On this day, Jesus the Christ declared that He was the Messiah.

The Scripture that Jesus read was this:

Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Isa 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, {and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;}

Notice Jesus did not read the last portion of this verse.

In the day of Jesus there were no chapter and verse designations!

These people were first impressed, then shocked, and then angered as what Jesus said began to sink in.

It is no coincidence that this passage mentions the three persons of the Holy Trinity.

The Spirit, The Lord God, and Jesus the Messiah.

1) We should always trust the Word of God to be the truth and we should reverence the Scriptures.

Here at Gethsemane, we know that we always stand when our Pastor reads the Scriptures.

The Jews did the same:

Neh 8:5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:

2) The Jews understood that the Messiah would be anointed by the Holy Spirit. In fact the Messiah would be called and equipped by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit when He was within the womb of His mother Mary.

The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus when He was Baptized.

The Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness where He defeated the Devil.

There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit was upon Jesus as He read this Scripture.

It was the Lord Jesus Christ who was anointed to first preach the “Gospel”!

The truth is, when God calls, He anoints, He equips, and He sends and the Holy Spirit goes with everyone chosen of the Lord wherever God sends them!

The Messiah was to preach the Gospel! (Evangelize)

He was to preach the “Gospel” to the poor. (Those who are poor in spirit)

He was to preach the “Gospel” to deliver the captives. (Those caught in Satan’s snares)

He was to minister to the broken hearted and heal them!

He was to give sight to the blind. (those who are spiritually blind, and those blind physically)

He was to set at liberty all those who are bruised. (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually)

He was to preach the age of salvation!

The acceptable year, is the era of salvation that we still live in now!

2Co 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

We now live in what is said as the Church Age.

Jesus stopped His reading before He read all of verse two.

Because the last part refers to the Judgement of God and in His present ministry until He returns in the clouds we are still in His present ministry, the Age of Grace.

*****Luk 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

To be a prophet of God, then there had to be a fulfillment of those prophecies!

Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

We should consider that God already knew that Jesus would be rejected in Nazareth.

By saying He was the promised Messiah, the Son of God, Jesus placed Himself on the same level as God, which we know is true but this place where He was raised as a child, raised by a carpenter, to be a carpenter just would not accept Him and this included most of His family at this time.

There was only one thing to do and that to just give them the truth!

By saying “this day” Jesus proclaimed to be the Messiah!

The people were looking for a King and they got a poor carpenter who preferred to be a Shepherd over them and a Fishermen of all men!

Those people who had known Him from childhood first were impressed with His eloquence.

Next they began to question His words and His motives.

Then they demanded proof, and became offended at His words!

We can be certain that even Christ Jesus faced the same temptations we face.

We can be sure the Christ Jesus overcame all temptation and without sin.

We can be sure that Christ Jesus is the only way to get to Heaven.

Because we can be sure that Jesus is the Messiah sent from God.

And we can be sure that most of this world will still reject Him until He returns in glory, when it will too late.

Many people are impressed with the life of Jesus but when they stand at the cross they are offended and He is rejected and despised!


Let’s Pray!

Christ’s Baptism

The Certainty Of Christ’s Baptism

Book of Luke 3:1-38

It should be very clear to us all that the coming of Jesus the Christ to this world was the pivotal point in human history!

Some may not accept this truth but the Scriptures declare that the entire world will one day in the future declare Him Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

The Lord Jesus Christ changed the world so much that the calendar changed and the years are measured by His first coming.

When Christ Jesus first came He came as the Savior of the world!

When Christ returns, He will come as the true Judge of this world!

For Christ to have the impact that He did, God provided a forerunner.

Christ needed someone to could go before Him and arouse the people to prepare His coming.

That person was John the Baptist!

Christ Jesus needs someone to go before Him and arouse the people to prepare for His second coming.

That is the Church!

John the Baptist is an example for the Church of proclaiming the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s begin:

*****Luk 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

We know that there will always be those who try every possible way to dispute the Word of God.

The fact remains that John the Baptist introduced our Savior to the world!

The ministry of Christ Jesus began when He was introduced by John!

Tiberius Caesar, also known as Nero, was in the 15nth year of his reign when God called John out of the wilderness.

Tiberius reigned from 14 AD till 37 AD so this event would have would have taken place around 29 AD.

Pontius Pilate was the governor of Judea which meant that he was the civil ruler and also the military commander.

Pilate held this office from 26 AD till 36 AD.

Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great was tetrarch of Galilee and Perea. Tetrarch simply means a ruler over a fourth part of what his father ruled.

He ruled this area from 4 BC to 39 AD.

Philip, another son of Herod the Great, was tetrarch of Ituraea and Trachonitus. Philip was reputed as a good man, fair and just.

Caesarea Philippi was built and named after him.

Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene. Lysanias was the son of Lysanias which has caused some confusion by historians but Luke is accurate in what he writes.

*****Luk 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

Annas and Caiaphas were High Priests.

The High Priest of Israel had become a political tool used by Rome and was certainly corrupt in this day.

According to the Law of Moses, there was never to be more than one High Priest at any one time and they held that position until their death.

The High Priesthood was to be hereditary and held within the family of Aaron, the first High Priest.

BUT, Rome used the position of High Priest to secure power over Jewish life!

This is what false religion does as it tries to dominate in the lives of people.

This is what religion influenced by governments do as governments try to control the people.

This is the very reason that the 1st and the 14nth amendments to the Constitution were written by our forefathers and not in reverse as it is interpreted today, to keep government out of the Church and not the Church out of the government.

Rome gave this position to men who were willing to lead the people to follow the Roman rule.

Between 37 BC and 26 AD a period of 63 years there were 28 different High Priests that were installed and removed by Rome.

The High Priest’s office became corrupted and politically motivated.

Annas served as High Priest between 7 AD and 14 AD but Rome was still behind his power.

Caiaphas was officially the High Priests in Rome’s eyes but Annas was the High Priest that the Jewish leaders looked to.

In the false trial of Jesus, He was first taken to Annas and then to Caiaphas.

Joh 18:13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.

It was during this political nightmare of corruption that John the Baptist was called out of the wilderness.

Today in America we see our own list of appointments, regulations and authorities and how political appointments will most always breed corruption.

Just look and see what’s happened to our Supreme Court!

As Jesus ministered to such a world so it is for the Church!

As John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus Christ, so it is for the Church!

As Jesus first came at such a time at first, Jesus will return at the fullness of these things!

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1Ti 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

And John begins his work and the purpose he was called of God to do.

*****Luk 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

John preached the repentance and forgiveness of sins!

This simply means that if a man wished to be forgiven of his sins, he must repent which means “he has turned away from his sin and after that then he could be baptized.

The evidence of turning away from his sin would show in a changed life!

Baptism then, was a sign to those that knew him and to the world that he was changing his life, because he wanted God to forgive his sin.

1) We must have a desire to be forgiven!

This can only happen if we have acknowledged that we are a sinner!

2) We must make a decision to repent, to turn from our sinful ways and to change our lives!

Act 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

3) Only after these things comes baptism!

Baptism is only a sign to the world that here after you are going to live for God and live a changed life.

What is the truth?

A) Forgiveness of sin is conditional.

We must first repent to be forgiven and if we truly repent we can be baptized!

B) Baptism is to be the witness or the sign that a man has repented and changed his life.

We should also note that baptism was not at this time a practiced among the Jews even though they did believe in spiritual cleansing with water.

Isa 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

And note it was John the Baptist who proclaimed that he was the fulfillment of the words of Isaiah.

*****Luk 3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Luk 3:5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
Luk 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

For the Jews, it was a dark and dreary time because they lived under the domination of Rome and saw no end to it.

John preached better times are coming but only if we repent!

John warned the people as he quoted from the Book of Isaiah!

1) John said prepare for that valley to be filled, which represents all those who repent and are humbled before the Lord. They would be exalted.

2) John said prepare, for those mountains and hills will be brought low, which means all those full of their own pride and boastful ways, would loose everything and be made low.

They would be made as low as the dust of the ground, if they would not repent!

3) John said prepare, for the crooked would be made straight, which means, the crooked thief, the crooked politician, the crooked business man, the crooked husband and even those crooked wives, all the crooked sinners throughout the world, who are bent out of shape could be straightened if they would repent.

4) John said prepare, for the rough ways will be made smooth, which means the ways of hopelessness, the ways of loneliness, the ways of emptiness, the ways of guilt and shame, and sin and false religion and false worship, will be made smooth and easy to reach.

Christ Jesus simply made salvation a simple thing!

5) John said prepare, for the salvation of God shall be seen of all flesh!

Not only to the Jews, but to all people who connect with the Messiah.

When the way is prepared then the Savior will appear!

John’s preaching woke up all who heard him, to prepare to look at the Messiah.

Daniel had foretold of this day and it would be fulfilled.

Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

And then John preached to those who came on their own.

*****Luk 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

John preached that salvation could only come by the Messiah but John also preached condemnation.

As we witness to those who do not know the Lord we should always tell the truth about salvation before we ever tell about condemnation!

Most people realize they are lost. It is our job to tell them how to be saved!

John always preached the truth about men, no matter who they were!

1) Those of false religion are vipers!

Their message is poisonous!

They had allowed themselves to be poisoned and they intended to poison all others.

2) And John then preached the wrath to come.

Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

*****Luk 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

The truth is we must first repent and then bear fruit. In other words our repentance must be noticeable to others.

There should be evidence of a changed life!

John preached against pride!

Many of those that came to John believed they were acceptable to God, just because they were Jews, the descendants of Abraham and of godly forefathers.

Many believed they were acceptable to God because, they had been circumcised and dedicated to God as the Laws of Moses had said. They felt the righteousness of their parents had saved them.

Many of them believed how they lived did not really matter when it came to being accepted to God as they were already the chosen of God.

Even today most all people believe that they are just special enough to be accepted of God!

They reason these things in their minds:

They have godly parents.

They have been baptized.

Their good out weighs their bad.

They are religious.

They are members of a church.

They are regular worshipers.

But God says this is simply not the truth!

It is not enough just to have a head knowledge of God.

It takes a personal relationship with God to be saved!

John preached salvation through the Messiah.

The Messiah said:

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

John also preached judgment!

*****Luk 3:9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

What is the truth of the Bible? God will one day sweep away everything in this world that is corrupt!

Jesus came to save!

This is the only part that He has given us to do!

Obviously we cannot be saviors but we can lead as many as we can to the Lord Jesus and He will save them!

As Christians we are to portray God’s “goodness” and God’s “mercy”!

Mic 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

This is what God requires of those that are called by His name!

So the truth remains that:

1) God is the Divine Woodsman.

2) The axe has already been laid at the roots of the trees.

3) The trees are not yet cut down but all men have been warned.

4) There are many trees, some lofty (the proud), some stately (the politicians), some diseased, some bearing good fruit, some bearing bad fruit, some bearing no fruit.

5) All trees that do not bear good fruit will be chopped down and cast into the fire!

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
1Pe 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

And what is the question we all should ask after we have heard the truth of the “Gospel”?

What shall we do then?

*****Luk 3:10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
Luk 3:11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

Any good preacher will allow some time for the people to repent and confess their sins after the sermon!

Any good preacher will lead those who are under conviction to the Lord!

The preaching of John the Baptist stirred the people and he led them to Jesus!

1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
1Pe 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

We are always to care enough for God’s people to share what we have with those in need!

And many times our giving should be sacrificial.

Give not only of the things God has blessed us with but give also of ourselves!

In the eyes of God this is fruit of repentance!

This is evidence of a changed life!

*****Luk 3:12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
Luk 3:13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.

Tax collectors were despised because they were Jews who were to collect the taxes for Rome and many would collect much more than was required and cheat the people.

A tax collector who wanted God to forgive their sins, had to change the way they did business.

Notice they were not told to get a new job, they were told that they had to become a person of justice.

They had to show their love for others enough to treat them fairly and respectfully and justly!

*****Luk 3:14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

The soldiers were to be respectful and loving, to all people.

They were to do no violence to any man. That means they were never to act like a terrorist!

Roman soldiers would sometimes allow illegal things to go on if they were paid a bribe and this must cease.

They were to be satisfied with their wages.

A soldier will sometimes allow politics to influence him in bad ways, they were to always be truthful and honest no matter where they served.

I believe the American soldiers are the best in the world, not only because they are the best trained, but because they still love people wherever they go and most of them are true ambassadors for our nation.

Even a soldier could show a changed life by respecting and loving people, being truthful and honest and responsible!

The important fruit John was looking for was a changed life!

Righteousness is doing things the right way and doing things the right way are the fruits of righteousness!

Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

These people had never heard such wisdom come from one man!

*****Luk 3:15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;
Luk 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

John the Baptist was such a powerful preacher that many even thought that he might be the Messiah.

But John preach of the coming Messiah.

John preached that the Messiah would be much more than he ever could.

John preached that he was not even worthy to unlatch the shoes of the Messiah and wash his feet.

We should remember when a visitor came to the home of someone it was the job of a slave to remove their shoes and wash their feet of the dust of the world.

John said he was much lower that that slave when compared to the Messiah!

You see when Jesus Christ is our example we will simply never measure up to His stature and His righteousness!

1) John knew he was not worth the rank of a slave.

2) The Messiah would be much mightier in His work as Savior and as Judge.

The word Baptism, has never meant to be sprinkled!

Baptism means to dip, to immerse, to submerge, to place into water.

John’s baptism would only be with water!

John’s baptism was preparation and a symbol of the spiritual baptism that the Messiah would bring.

1) Water “symbolized” the cleansing from all sin. To John this meant this people was being prepared for the true cleansing that the Messiah would bring.

2) Baptism also “symbolized” separation and dedication. To John this meant the setting apart of your life for God’s use. A renewed spirit of dedication!

John was preparing this people to meet the Lord, the Messiah who would then bring salvation to them!

John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance!

***The Messiah would baptize in the person of the Holy Spirit!

Every person that is carnal and materialistic that is truly baptized into the Spirit by the Messiah will become “spiritually minded”

Rom 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

This was the fulfillment of the Prophet Ezekiel but this was rejected by most Jews:

Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

***The Messiah would baptize “In” fire!

Fire will illuminate, warm, melt, burn, and can destroy.

The difference in a baptism “in water” and a baptism “in fire” is that water can only cleanse the outside while fire purifies within, that is the heart!

Jesus told Nicodemus you must be “born again”.

The Messiah separates each person from his former life and purifies him within the fire of the Holy Spirit.

Remember we must die to our old self before we can be “born again”.

In John’s mind, the Messiah would also destroy the enemies of Israel and we know them as the enemies of the Church.

*****Luk 3:17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

An unquenchable fire, is a fire that cannot be put out!

Today Jesus Christ is separating the wheat from the chaff, the believer from the unbeliever.

The threshing floor symbolizes the Church.

That fan is symbolized by the Word of God.

Many who approach the floor of Christ Jesus are swept away by His Words.

They cannot accept salvation and are blown away by the “Grace of God”.

They are blown away by the New Birth.

They are blown away by the doctrines of salvation.

Salvation is the separation from sin. If that separation has not taken place then that person may be swept away.

Then there is the fan of affliction, we must all remember the Book of Job!

Those that hold true will be gathered into the garner and become God’s treasure, reserved in His storehouse!

We live in a world today that is certainly choking in it’s on chaff!

We live in a world today that the chaff is so rotten that the wheat is in double danger.

2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

So John preached the truth.

*****Luk 3:18 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.

Luke only provides a sample of the preaching of John the Baptist.

John preached the coming of the Messiah, but his message was not limited to just those things.

John preached repentance of sin and knowing that God is a “whosoever” God, John even warned the rulers.

It seems not many of us will stand up to our rulers or our leaders and tell them of their sin!

Preaching is communicating the “good news” of the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

Jesus died for all the sins of mankind but we must acknowledge that He has done so.

Because, No one is out of the reach of God’s wrath!

John was a straight forward and powerful preacher, who did not change his message no matter who was in the audience!

*****Luk 3:19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philips wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,
Luk 3:20 Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.

John rebuked Herod for his evil and carnal life style.

Herod lived in the sin of adultery.

Philip was the brother of Herod, even though they both had different mothers.

Herod divorced his own wife and married Herodias the wife of his brother Philip.

Mar 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philips wife: for he had married her.
Mar 6:18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.

The title of our lesson is “The certainty of Christ Baptism” so Luke spends very little time on John and returns to the baptism of Christ, the Messiah.

*****Luk 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

Baptism, simply put, is an act of obedience to God!

Jesus was being obedient to God when He was baptized!

Jesus, our example, was baptized along with the other people!

Jesus was doing exactly what God wanted Him to do, “to be identified with the people”!

The one thing that set these other people apart from the people of the world is that they heard the Word of
God and they responded!

In order for salvation to occur, each of us must respond to the “Gospel” of God and then seek God to forgive
our sins.

This is the will of God for everyone!

The truth is that no man, woman, or child is greater than any other in the sight of God!

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This truth has never changed and it will not ever change!

None of us are above God’s will!

None of us are above God’s commandments!

Notice even while Jesus was being baptized, He was also praying.

Jesus was always in fellowship and communion with God!

Baptism is an outward sign of God, working on the inside of all those that believe!

Baptism is the most significant sign of discipleship!

Just as Jesus was obedient in prayer, we are also to be obedient in prayer.

We must remember that Christ Jesus is our example in all things of God!

1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

God is very please when we are obedient in all things.

When Jesus was baptized the Heavens open up!

*****Luk 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

It is at His baptism that Jesus began His ministry.

The Heavens opened to give Jesus the Man, a sight into the glory world!

This was God’s stamp of approval of His Son.

The Heavens opened up to make known to all those who were present, that Jesus was truly the Lamb of God, the God-Man.

The dove has always been a sacred bird to the Jews.

The dove is the symbol of peace and gentleness throughout our world.

The Holy Spirit descended “in a bodily shape (as a dove) would descend”.

There was a physical representation of a dove.

The dove was a sacred bird to the Jews!

The dove only represented the Holy Spirit.

The dove was a symbol of peace and gentleness, and of purity and innocence.

In other words something in the quality and characteristics of the dove served as a vehicle to portray the Holy Spirit.

It was Dove-like rather than Hawk-like!

The dove portrayed the Holy Spirit coming upon Christ Jesus at the beginning of His public ministry.

Remember Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit while He was still in the womb of His mother Mary.

The dove was visible picture of God Himself descending upon Jesus!

Joh 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
Joh 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
Joh 1:34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

The Holy Spirit entered the life of Jesus once and for all and the voice of God was heard and notice again that the voice of God was in a language that was clearly understood and not some gibberish!

Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Mat 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

The truth is that when we repent and are baptized, God is well pleased!

Only then does God open up Heaven to receive our prayers!

Only then does God reveal His Spirit to us in a very special sense!

Only then does God know that we have received and understood His Words!

We can be certain that Jesus Christ was baptized!

There is no greater reason for us to be baptized than to know that our Savior was baptized as our example!

God has a plan for all those that have accepted the Lord Jesus as the Messiah.

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.


Let’s Pray!

Christ’s Divine Ability

The Certainty Of Christ’s Divine Ability

Book of Luke 2:39-52

We must realize that any attack on the deity of Jesus Christ is an attack on the bedrock of Christianity!

The heart of our beliefs is in recognizing that Christ Jesus died a substitutionary death to provide salvation for a lost humanity.

If Jesus Christ were only some mere man or only some prophet, He could not have died to save the world!

We can be certain of Christ’s divine ability to provide the only sacrifice that was approved of our righteous God!

Divine means, those things that pertain to the true God!

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Let’s begin.

*****Luk 2:39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.

As a babe, Jesus was led by His parents to fulfill all the law of the Jews.

We sometimes forget that we have the 10 moral laws of God but in actuality there were 613 commandments given to the Jews.

God sent the Lord Jesus Christ into this world to fulfill all the law, which included not only these 613 commandments but also all the prophesies of the Messiah!

Only by fulfilling all these 613 laws given to the Jews could Jesus become perfectly righteous, the true example for all mankind, and the acceptable sacrifice to appease the wrath of God!

Jesus Christ who is 100% God had to also be a 100% Perfect Man!

Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law and never failed in one single point.

Jesus Christ is the epitome of “perfection”.

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

In order to fulfill the Law Jesus had to keep every observance of the Jewish Law!

By His example, Jesus was showing the world what God expected from each of us!

God already knows that we as humans simply do not have it in us to be sin free!

Everyone who follows Jesus will be covered by His sinless perfection, His death, His resurrection, and His ascension.

Everyone who follows Jesus Christ by faith, will be covered by His righteousness because we simply do not have any.

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Every religion in this world will teach that you must work your way to appease God but God says that is impossible for you to do on our own!

So for these reasons God led Joseph and Mary to fulfill all the Law for their child.

A baby dedication is always more about the parents than it is about the child!

We see that the childhood home of Jesus was in the city of Nazareth.

Luk 4:16 And 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 for to read.

It is also in Nazareth where Jesus began His public ministry.

Mat 13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
Mat 13:55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
Mat 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?

Nazareth was an ideal place for the Messiah to be brought up.

Nazareth was a quiet town, it was a small town, and Nazareth had a bad reputation, which kept the Jews close together.

Nazareth was a place where the Jews could meet the rest of the world.

Two major roads passed within eyesight of this little city.

One road connected the East to the West.

The other connected the North to the South.

All types of people traveled these roads.

So, Nazareth became an obscure place, despised and a reproach to most all Jews.

Joh 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

Jesus was born in a stable, the lowest of all places.

Jesus was raised in Nazareth the lowest of all places.

Jesus made Himself of no reputation!

Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

We can be sure God had His own reasons for all these things.

*****Luk 2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

We must have a clear understanding Jesus was 100% human and still 100% God.

As a child, Jesus was already strong in the Spirit.

As a child, Jesus was already filled with wisdom.

The idea given to us by Luke, is that Jesus the human grew as a normal child and had a vigorous growth in the Spirit.

Jesus did not just grow in wisdom, Jesus was filled with wisdom.

Jesus grew in His humanity as well as any child could grow, well and healthy.

Jesus is the only child born to this earth that was perfect in His growth at every stage of His childhood!

Jesus Christ came into this world not only to save all those that believe on Him but He also came to be our the perfect example in all things!

Jesus Christ is our example at every stage of development from child to adult.

Jesus suffered through these experiences so He could personally know how we feel in this world full of temptation and sin.

Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

God needed to demonstrate the simple truth to all mankind!

Mat 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus Christ experienced every situation, every condition, and every trial of man in order to become the perfect Savior.

When we begin to complain about our lives we need to remember Jesus.

Jesus was born to an unwed mother.
Jesus was born in a stable.
Jesus was raised in a poor family.
The life of Jesus was threatened as a baby.
Jesus was raised in a most despicable place.
The adopted father of Jesus died while He was young.
Jesus had to help His brothers and sisters support His mother.
Jesus started His ministry without a home or a place to lay His head.
Jesus was hated and opposed fiercely but all religions.
Jesus was charged with being insane.
Jesus was charged with demon possession.
Jesus was opposed by His own family.
Jesus was rejected, opposed, and hated by many who heard Him preach.
Jesus was betrayed by a close friend.
Jesus was left alone, rejected and forsaken by all His friends.
Jesus was tried in a false court, with false witnesses, and charged with treason but was innocent of all charges.
Jesus was executed by crucifixion, the worst possible death.

The next time things are not going our way and we want to complain we should remember the things our Savior went through just so we can spend eternity with Him in Heaven!

Jesus in His person, possessed the “Grace” of God.

We should also remember Jesus was never forced to do all these things it was His choice!

Joh 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Even from a child Jesus was always faithful in His worship!

*****Luk 2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
Luk 2:42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

Joseph had adopted Jesus and the parents of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were faithful in their worship because “it was their custom” to keep the Feast of the Passover.

All male Jews who lived within 20 miles of Jerusalem were required by Law to attend the Temple three times a year, at Passover, at Pentecost, and at the Feast of Tabernacles.

The women were exempt by the Law but they could attend if they so wished.

Mary chose to be with her family!

We see that they all worshiped by choice!

It was also at these times that the Word of God was read and also explained where it could be understood.

Neh 8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that “could hear with understanding”, upon the first day of the seventh month.

Jesus belonged to God but God had entrusted His keeping in the hands of Joseph and Mary.

They had the same responsibilities as any and all parents!

Jesus was just 12 years of age on this trip but when Jewish boys turn 13 they are expected to keep all the Jewish Laws by knowing them.

It was also a custom of most parents to bring the boys to the Temple a year or two early so they could become familiar with the Temple and the Feasts.

We can see that God expects all children to be taught from the very first about God and true worship.

Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The worship of God has not changed!

Every child needs to become familiar with God and seek their own personal relationship with Him.

Psa 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Then as the parents of Jesus reached that time to go back home, Jesus was not quite ready.

*****Luk 2:43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
Luk 2:44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
Luk 2:45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

Jesus was, is, and always will be, the preeminent child of God. The relationship Jesus had with His Father could only be achieved by Him.

But even in this, Jesus is our perfect example of our own personal relationship with our Father in Heaven.

God wants each and everyone of us to have an unbroken knowledge and communion with Him.

God wants each of us to do His will He has for each of us!

Jesus social development was as any normal Jewish child of God fearing parents.

Joseph and Mary the mother of Jesus had finished their worship obligations and were returning home to Nazareth.

Without their knowledge Jesus had remained behind.

Joseph and Mary would have traveled in a large caravan along with all others who had made the same journey for the same reasons.

Many pilgrims attended the Feast in Jerusalem.

It was common for the children to gather together as the caravan began and Jesus was not missed.

Joseph and Mary were so sure of these things, that they did not look for Jesus until nightfall and they did not find Him.

When they did not find Him then at daylight they returned to Jerusalem.

It had been 3 days to find Jesus because Joseph and Mary had traveled a full day, it took a full day to return and it was on the 3rd day when they found Jesus at the Temple.

We see that even as a child, Jesus was in the midst of other people!

Jesus is in the midst wherever, 2 or 3 are gathered in His name even today.

And Jesus will stand in the midst of the redeemed when we all get to Heaven.

Rev 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

So, They found Jesus in the Temple, “in His Father’s house”.

*****Luk 2:46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
Luk 2:47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

Those “doctors” would have been the scholars of the Jewish Law. There were many in that day and time but it is very possible that Nicodemus and Gamaliel could have been among this group of men.

Joh 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Jesus’ knowledge of the Scriptures was surprising to these men of the Jewish Law.

We should understand that it was a custom among these men to hold open classes and discussions so the public could listen and learn.

But such a young man with such knowledge and understanding would have certainly gotten their attention!

The parents of Jesus had been traveling but Jesus had been amongst these scholars for 3 days.

Jesus was making use of every opportunity He had, notice He was both “hearing and asking questions”.

The word “astonished meant that they were amazed, overwhelmed, and wondered at His understanding of the Word of God!

We talk a lot about Jesus being our example and we should consider that He was and is our example in all things.

We should understand that we need to take every opportunity to learn the truth of the Word of God!

We should seek the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word!

Pro 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Even His parents were amazed at what they saw when they found Him!

*****Luk 2:48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

The term “parents” is an acceptable term because Joseph had adopted Jesus as his own son and had also taught Him many things. Joseph was a carpenter and Jesus was later known as a carpenter.

We should never forget who Jesus is!

Jesus said:

Joh 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
Joh 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, who came to save all those that believe upon Him.

But Jesus is also God and He is always about the business of meeting our needs!

To Mary, Jesus was her son and certainly she was grieving at His absence.

Even Mary had a tendency to forget what the angel Gabriel had said:

Luk 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
Luk 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luk 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

BUT, There is absolutely no excuse for us to deny who Jesus is!

*****Luk 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
Luk 2:50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

As a boy, we can see that Jesus had already become a deep student of the Scriptures. Jesus had a purpose in seeing what was taught by these scholars of the Bible.

Remember how He has cautioned the world about the Scriptures:

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Even in His humanity at the age of 12 Jesus had already began to identify with the purpose He had come into this world!

We must never forget who Jesus is, The Lord God Almighty!

Joseph and Mary did not clearly understand what their young son was saying.

BUT, Jesus clearly understood that He was the Messiah!

Joh 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Joh 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

Jesus clearly knew who His Father was!

Jesus was always doing what His Father in Heaven wanted Him to do and His Father in Heaven was always pleased with Him!

Mat 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Jesus did not come to please mankind because we would all send ourselves to Hell as many will still do!

Jesus came to please His Father, because salvation is His Father’s plan and God wants us all to be a part of His Salvation Plan!

God has only One Son, His name is Jesus, but God is in the adoption business!

When we know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, this causes God to adopt each of us as His own child and we than are also placed into the Father’s care!

Jesus said:

Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

God is in the saving business!

At this time Mary and Joseph could not understand what it is to be a true servant of God. They like most Jews were bound by the Laws of Moses but God offers true freedom from religious rituals and religious laws.

Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall “make” you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Then Jesus returned with His parents.

*****Luk 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

Even though Jesus is the actual Son of God in accordance with the Triune God, He still obeyed His earthly parents.

It was the will of God that He lead by example!

Jesus set the perfect example of what a child should be toward his parents!

In the Bible the phrase “subject to” is frequently translated “submit to” or “be obedient to”.

The Bible says we are to “be subject to one another”:

1Pe 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

God expects us to be a humble and caring people!

No doubt that Jesus was well aware of the work He had been sent by His Father to do.

But, it was also the will of His Father to set that example for all men.

It was the will of His Father that He return to Nazareth with His parents, for now was not the time for Him to begin His ministry.

Jesus submitted Himself to His parents and for some 18 years after this incident He lived and worked as a “Carpenter” at Nazareth, with Joseph and Mary whom His Father had chosen to be His earthly parents.

We will also realize that Joseph is not heard from again after this story and it may be that Jesus with His carpentry skills sustained His own family for some period of time.

Mar 6:2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
Mar 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

Mary again kept all these things in her heart.

Mary never boasted about her son. Mary did not discuss these things with her relatives. Mary knew she had a unique son who was destined to do great things for the Lord.

It seems that she knew, that at the right time, God would reveal Him and His salvation plan to the world!

*****Luk 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

The truth is that Jesus is God and God is omniscient but Jesus the man increased in wisdom and stature.

God cannot increase in wisdom!

Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the God-Man.

Jesus was fully God and yet fully man “but had no sin”.

It is very hard for us to comprehend just what all this means.

The Bible explains this thing.

Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Jesus made Himself of no reputation which means that God “emptied Himself”.

God set aside all of His “omni” attributes in order to take “the form of a servant”!

In the records of the life and the teachings of Jesus we can see with surety the evidence of His deity, including His own claims and the evidence of His humanity, including the fact that Jesus the man increased in wisdom and grew in stature!

As God:

Joh 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Joh 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

As man:

Joh 11:35 Jesus wept.

Joh 4:6 Now Jacob’s well was there. “Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey”, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

Jesus grew in favor with God and man.

Jesus learned just as all children learn, Jesus just learned perfectly.

Jesus grew just as all children grow, Jesus was a real man, Jesus was not a wimp!

Jesus was strong in the Spirit.

Jesus had the favor of God.

Jesus looked to God in perfect obedience.

Jesus grew in favor with those around Him.

Jesus was friendly, loving, caring, helpful, unselfish, pure, honest, and still humble.

Jesus increased in these things because His goal was that the world would believe on Him and all be saved!

Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

We must always remember God is much more about the timing of events than He is about time itself!

It was not yet time for Jesus to begin His ministry, just as it is not now quiet time for Jesus to return!

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

We can be certain of Christ’s Divine abilities!


Let’s Pray!

Christ’s Divine Nature

The Certainty Of Christ Divine Nature

Luke 2:1-38

The word divine when it pertains to Christ means the attributes of the true God.

As we study the Lord Jesus Christ we will see many prophesies that will be fulfilled.

As foretold by Jacob many years earlier:

Gen 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Shiloh is generally understood as being the Messiah.

The truth of this prophesy is that the sceptre had departed from Judah because Israel was under the rule of Rome with Caesar Augustus ruler as emperor.

Cyrenius was governor of Syria and Judea was included as a province of Syria.

Herod was now King of Judah.

Judea was no longer ruled by one of it’s own princes. Herod was an Idumean prince a descendant of Esau.

The promised land was no longer in the hands of Israel, but in the hands of Rome.

Even the Temple was controlled by Herod.

The priests of God were no longer the ministers of God but servants of the secular world.

The scepter had most definitely departed from Judah and it was time for Shiloh to come.

The Apostle Paul said it was the fullness of times!

Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

We see that God says what He means and God means what He says!

Many more prophecies will be fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ because He is the fulfillment of God’s will!

*****Luk 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
Luk 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
Luk 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

We will see that taxation was used by God to fulfill His plan for the birth of the Messiah. God did not cause this taxing but God certainly made a use of it!

This emperor of Rome was arrogant enough to consider the lands and the properties seized by his military as the only part of the world worth having.

To him the world was only those lands under his control. We know that Rome never ruled the entire world at any one time!

Augustus considered himself to be a god and this was his world.

The name Augustus means “majesty”.

Augustus began to rule a third of Rome in 44 BC when Julius Caesar was assassinated but had consolidated power under himself and had terminated the days of the Roman Republic around 27 BC.

Augustus Caesar ruled a mostly peaceful kingdom from 27 BC until he died in 14 AD.

He was a great builder of roads and commerce which brought on taxation and he sent out a decree throughout all the lands of Rome.

This decree caused every man to register in the place of their birth.

What had God prophesied:

Mic 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

The scribes that reported to King Herod clearly understood this to be the truth of God:

Mat 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
Mat 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

The common people of Judea clearly understood this to be true:

Joh 7:42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

There can be no doubt that the hand of God was involved in this decree!

*****Luk 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
Luk 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
Luk 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

Despite the plans of man this taxation led to the fulfillment of the Scriptures!

The city of Nazareth was located in the area of Galilee and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem to a city of the area of Judaea.

The Scriptures make it very clear Joseph was of the lineage of David.

The Scriptures make it very clear that Mary was great with child.

The Scriptures make it very clear that Mary was still espoused to Joseph and the marriage had not taken place. Joseph and Mary had not yet consummated their marriage.

Mat 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

The Scriptures make it very clear that the birth of Christ would take place in Bethlehem as the days of Mary would be fulfilled during this time.

It should also be obvious that Joseph and Mary would have been in Bethlehem if not for this decree.

We can see that it is God who will overrule when it comes to His plans.

We should never forget that the salvation plan of God is His plan and He wants us to be a part of His plan and not any plan of our own or some salvation plan concocted by some other human!

King David had been born in Bethlehem and therefore it was necessary that the Son of David be born in Bethlehem.

And Jesus was so born.

*****Luk 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Prophesy was fulfilled:

Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Immanuel still means “God With Us”!

God had left the riches and the glories of Heaven to be born in a smelly stable.

God was laid in in a feeding trough, a manger.

Even in His humble beginning the Messiah was rejected by mankind. There was no room for Him then and there is no room for Jesus in our world today as He is still rejected as the Messiah by most of this world.

Even if someone had cared for a young mother, room should have been made for her but even that was not the case.

Kind of reminds us of our world today that ignore the needs of young mothers and entice them into abortion!

The Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ was born in poverty.

If Joseph had any money he could have gotten a room.

God intended that this His birth take place away from people, all alone. It was this young mother who had just given birth to this child that wrapped baby Jesus up in those swaddling clothes.

It was Mary who laid baby Jesus in that feed trough and not on the ground.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was born into a corrupt world full of sin, full of selfishness, full of greed, and full of unkindness.

We see an innkeeper was so caught up in worldly things that he would not even help a young mother about to bare a child!

On a sad note, we can see that all the world missed the first coming of Christ when it was totally unnecessary.

And many will miss the second coming of Christ to get His church when it is also completely unnecessary!

Luk 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

It was the angels that told the world that a Savior had been born.

*****Luk 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
Luk 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luk 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

It was an angel that informed the world that a Savior had been born but he did not go to the King or to any ruler but to these lowly shepherds.

Bethlehem-Ephratah was a place that provided many of the sheep for the sacrifices of the Temple.

Bethlehem-Ephratah would also be the place to provide the sacrifice of Jehovah, the perfect Lamb of God!

Many people reject the idea that angels would even appear to shepherds because shepherds could seldom be found worshiping God.

The job of the shepherd was 7 days a week.

The reputation of a shepherd was lowly and the religious people of that day snubbed them and mostly ignored them.

This Scripture also leads us to believe that the birth of Christ was not in December as is celebrated in our day but the fact remains that our Savior was born just as the Bible says.

Shepherds were despised because they were unable to attend services at the Temple and they could not keep the oral laws of the Pharisees and the ceremonial laws of washing and cleansing.

The truth of the Scriptures is that God first gave the “good news” to those that most all the world considered to be sinners.

In fact the “Shekinah Glory” of God had at last returned to this earth!

Isa 59:20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.
Isa 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.
Isa 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
Isa 60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Isa 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Isa 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

The angel proclaimed the birth of the Messiah.

The angel encouraged the shepherds to to visit the baby Jesus.

The angle gave these shepherds a sign they would find our Savior wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

God’s message has always been that He came to save sinners:

Luk 5:31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
Luk 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

So the first announcement of His coming was given to sinners!

Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus was born at the exact right time and the exact right place to fulfill all the Word of God!

Jesus was not born to become our Savior, Jesus was born our Savior!

Jesus is Christ the Lord!

Jesus is the Anointed of Jehovah!

The title “Christ” means the union of the two natures of Jesus, His Divine nature and His human nature!

The God-Man!

Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

And suddenly there was an angelic host.

*****Luk 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Suddenly there was a multitude of angels that joined with the angel that gave the message to these shepherds.

The Bible says that there are more angels than we have the ability to count.

Daniel said these words:

Dan 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

That word “host” means an army of angels.

God gave these lowly shepherds a peek into the spiritual world.

These angels did two things.

1) They cried out giving glory to the God that made them.

2) They cried out in peace and goodwill for all mankind.

Peace can only come to those who are reconciled to God.

God knew that the problem of sin needed to be solved not temporarily but permanently!

The only way to solve this human problem was the birth of our Savior, according to the Scriptures.

Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Joh 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
Joh 4:26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

Isa 9:6 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.
Isa 9:7 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.

The Lord Jesus Christ would be born exactly as the Scripture had said!

It was choice time for these lowly shepherds. Would they believe what this angel had said or not?

*****Luk 2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

We see that these shepherds did believe.

We see that they immediately decided to go into Bethlehem. They even felt an urgency to go!

We see they did believe these angels were the messengers of God because the Lord had made this thing known to them and they went with haste.

*****Luk 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
Luk 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
Luk 2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

They went with haste and they found that things were just as the angel had told them.

They found Mary and Joseph.

They found the Lord, the Messiah, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

When they had seen the truth they began to tell others what the angel and said and the signs they had seen.

They had been spoken to by God’s messenger.

They had witnessed the heavenly host.

They had seen the Shekinah Glory of God and Heavens bright glory.

They had found the babe just as the angel had said, lying in a manger.

They certainly had much to tell others!

A simple carpenter and a carpenter’s wife had brought forth the Savior.

They certainly had some “good news”!

But Mary weighed all the things in her mind of all she had seen and all she had been told by the angel Gabriel.

*****Luk 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

This young mother had witnessed the awesome power of her God.

Mary realized that this babe she had so carefully laid in a manger was not only a child that would depend on her for his nourishment but this babe was also the awesome God who had performed all the things she had witnessed.

Mary had given birth to the Messiah!

Mary, not much more than a child herself, still had never known a man, was still unmarried by the laws of the Jews, had suffered through the rumors that had been told of her.

She had suffered the doubt of Joseph and her parents, the tiring trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the smelly stable, a visit from some shepherds who told her an amazing story of angels proclaiming the glory of God, and she could only sit down and absorb all that had happened to her.

All Mary could do was to remain her humble self, and trust God, for God was in control of these things and she was only a vessel to be used by Him!

The Bible says:

1Pe 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

But those shepherds could not remain quiet.

*****Luk 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

These shepherds who had not taken the time to get close to the Lord all their days, now left to go back to their flocks praising God.

The truth is if you ever meet the Savior, you will leave a change person!

These shepherds also found that what God said He would do, would then come to pass!

These shepherds realized that they had seen the Savior!

God had spoken.

They had received His message.

They obeyed and they met the Messiah.

The promised Savior had now been born!

They certainly had reason to praise God!

The day that Jesus Christ was born into this earth was the beginning of a new day in the history of this world!

Christianity is positive truth because it is based on historical facts from Moses to Jesus Christ, from Christ to the last Church Age and then on to eternity.

All those that become born to Jesus Christ will all become new creatures in a new world!

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

The days of Jesus on this earth then proceeded to pass by.

*****Luk 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Circumcision was a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant.

Circumcision was the seal of the “gospel covenant” made by God with Abraham and was a covenant of faith!

We know that to Moses, God had made a covenant of works which was not a legal covenant.

Jesus taught the Jews with these words:

Joh 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

As science has now proven, it is on the eighth day that the coagulant in the blood of an infant normally reach their optimum effectiveness, but God knew this all along.

Jesus Christ was circumcised to fulfill the law.

Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

The Messiah was then named Jesus, which means “Savior”.

It had been the angel Gabriel who had the instruction to name the babe Jesus.

Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Mat 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

This thing was done in Bethlehem because Mary could not go to the Temple until she went through her time of purification.

*****Luk 2:22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
Luk 2:23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)

First Mary had to observe the 7 days of uncleanness:

Lev 12:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.

Then before Mary could offer Jesus to the Lord, she had to observe 33 days of purification.

Lev 12:4 And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.

Only after these 40 days were properly observed could Mary present her son Jesus to the Lord and bring a sacrifice for a burnt offering.

Lev 12:6 And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest:

It is the burnt offering that signified God’s acceptance of the offerer, Mary, in anticipation of the shed blood of Jesus.

Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

This was the ceremony of dedication of the child to the Lord.

A male child was presented in the Temple when the family was close to Jerusalem.

The Lord Jesus was subject to all the legal requirements of the law because, He was made of woman under the law! (Gal 4:4)

The Lord Jesus was subject to all the legal requirements of the law because, he was made like unto His brethren.

Heb 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Heb 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

The Lord Jesus said He had not come to destroy the law but only to fulfill the law.

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Then Jesus said the law was fulfilled with love:

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Just how poor were Joseph and Mary?

Joseph despite being of royal lineage was a very poor man!

*****Luk 2:24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

What we see is that it was a deliberate choice of God to have a poor family bear His Son!

2Co 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

The proper offering was a lamb for a burnt offering and a pigeon or a dove for a sin offering.

The poor were allowed to bring a second pigeon or dove!

We see that no matter our circumstances in this life, Christ Jesus has already gone through that thing, even poverty!

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

The Lord Jesus Christ can relate to any problem that comes upon us.

Even while the dedication of the Lord was taking place we see that God was still working in other lives.

*****Luk 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Luk 2:26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
Luk 2:27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

We meet Simeon who was a just and devout man.

Just means he was righteous, Simeon did things the right way!

Devout means that Simeon and a reverent fear of the Lord.

Simeon had developed a personal relationship with the Lord!

Simeon knew it was possible for the Messiah to come in his own lifetime, in fact according to the prophet Daniel the Messiah was due at any moment.

This is also true for the Second Coming of Christ!

Simeon found consolation in the baby Jesus!

The truth is there is no other place and no other being where consolation can be found but Christ Jesus!

Simeon was a man led by the Holy Spirit!

Because Simeon walked so close to the Lord, Simeon was given a special promise.

At some point the Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah.

Great things happen to those who trust in the Lord!

The Holy Spirit led Simeon to the Temple so that promise could be fulfilled.

If we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, He will always lead us to Jesus, who is the answer to every prayer!

Simeon became one of the few humans that were given the privilege of holding God in his own arms!

If your name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then you to will one day come face to face with the Lord God Almighty!

*****Luk 2:28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Luk 2:29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
Luk 2:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Luk 2:31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
Luk 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Abraham told Isaac that “God would provide Himself a Lamb” and that fulfillment was in Jesus Christ!

All the prophets looked forward to this day!

Simeon did not hesitate, he knew for certain his Savior and once he had embraced his Savior who would be the source of true peace to the entire world.

Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

This child of God was especially prepared to be God’s Savior!

Act 2:23 Him, “being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God”, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Act 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

Simeon confessed that the child Jesus is God’s salvation.

In order to know the salvation of God we must all confess, “before men”, that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God’s salvation plan through whom God will save the world.

1Jn 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who is not only the Savior of Israel but also to the Gentiles.

Gentiles are all those who are not Jews!

Jesus Christ came to be the Light of the entire world!

Jesus Christ is God’s method to reveal the Revelation of God, to reveal the truth, the way, and the life to all men!

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus Christ is the glory of Israel!

In fact Jesus Christ is the glory of all people no matter their nationality!

Isa 45:25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

Rom 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Rom 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

And Joseph and Mary marvelled at those things which were spoken of Him!

Joseph and Mary both had been told many things about Jesus and all things would prove to be true but they marvelled that a total stranger whom they had never met could say all these things.

Many of these things were to give this young family strength for those days ahead.

*****Luk 2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
Luk 2:35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

There are 4 signs associated with the birth of Christ Jesus.

1) The sign of the virgin birth. (Isa 7:14)

2) The sign of the guiding star. (Matt 2:2)

3) The sign of the swaddling clothes. (Luk 2:12)

4) The sign of the stumbling stone.

The Lord Jesus in Scripture was to be the “stone of stumbling” but also the “chief cornerstone”!

We know that many of those in our world choose a path other than God and they will stumble and fall over Jesus Christ because He is the only pathway to God!

We also know that many have risen to the truth and have realized the it is Jesus Christ who is the only cornerstone of salvation!

Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Jesus Christ causes each and everyone of us to make a choice!

The truth is that Jesus Christ has always been opposed and we know He was eventually murdered.

Jesus Christ was first a sign of God’s love!

Jesus Christ will soon return to bring God’s judgment!

Most of mankind do not want that kind of God, they simply want a God they can put on a shelf and take Him down as they please in times of trouble.

Mankind wants only a God whose love will endure all our sins with no repercussions.

They do not want a God who requires sacrificial love!

Mankind simply wants a license to sin and not a God who makes demands of righteousness!

The truth is, a sword pierced the soul of Mary the day the Lord Jesus sacrificed Himself in order that we can live.

The cross brought pain to the loving mother of Christ Jesus, while the death of Christ was to reveal all the thoughts in each man’s heart!

Mankind either sees the love of God and surrenders to the “Grace” of God or he will look upon the cross as something repulsive.

All mankind’s greatest struggle is to admit that we are all a sinful people!

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

And then came Anna.

*****Luk 2:36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
Luk 2:37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
Luk 2:38 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.

Nothing is known of Anna except what we read in these Scripture.

It seems that Anna became a prophetess this very day she met the Lord Jesus Christ.

She also had been a virgin before her marriage which lasted only 7 years.

From that time forward Anna had remained a servant of God.

Anna had never lost hope all her 84 years of age.

She still believed and she never remarried but she still waited on the Messiah.

Anna never ceased to worship, night or day!

Anna was a woman to whom her God meant everything!

Anna also knew the child Jesus instantly and gave thanks that she had seen Him and she began to witness to all those that sought redemption and came to the Temple.

Salvation was not in the Temple, salvation is in the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of the Temple.

God says:

Psa 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

We will never get to hold the baby Jesus in our arms as did Simeon but we all once we have a personal relationship with the Lord are to proclaim His name!

The truth is God uses ordinary people in His plan of salvation.

God does not want us to make our own plans of salvation, God just wants us to be a part of His plan!


Let’s Pray!

The Virgin Birth Of Christ

The Certainty Of Christ’s Virgin Birth

Book of Luke 1: 26-56

Very little information is given to us in the Bible about Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus but God did give us the important things.

God had promised a “sign” for Immanuel which means “God with us”, the Messiah who would deliver all of God’s people from their enemies.

Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Matthew confirms that this prophesy was of Christ Jesus and this virgin was Mary.

Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Mat 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Remember Luke said we could believe his “Gospel” because these things came from eyewitness accounts.

We should never have any reason to doubt the Word of God!

*****Luk 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
Luk 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

This same angel, Gabriel, who had been sent to Daniel and to Zacharias was now sent to Mary the mother to be of Christ Jesus.

Again we have a time line, it was six months after Elisabeth’s conception.

Mary lived in Nazareth, a city of Galilee.

Galilee was on the border of the Gentile nations and was sometimes called Galilee of the Gentiles.

Nazareth was a despised city by most of the Jews and considered to be inferior to other Jewish cities.

Remember what Nathanael said:

Joh 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

Nazareth was a place that the Jews despised and the Romans dominated.

The truth is God is, no respecter of persons and God would send a message to Nazareth as quickly as He would to Jerusalem.

And we should take note, God does not judge a city or even a nation by it’s action or it’s advantages, but only by the righteous people within it’s borders.

We must remember Sodom and Gomorrah where God found only Lot to be righteous and God removed Lot from that evilness and destroyed those places of evil.

God will do the same thing to this entire world when He removes His church and fulfills His promises to Israel!

When God removes His church then this world we live in will become like Sodom and Gomorrah and we see our world reaching this point now!

Mary had lived a life of purity and had remained a “virgin” and was at this time, espoused to Joseph.

Many teach today that the Greek word “parthenos” only means a marriageable maiden but in actuality it means a woman who has never known a man sexually!

Even the Hebrew word for virgin “alma” which is “young maiden” has the intent of meaning a “virgin”!

Those that teach other wise are only trying to discredit the divinity of Christ Jesus and they will stand before this “virgin” born Son of God one day and answer for their sin.

To be saved is to turn from all unbelief and to trust Christ Jesus.

1Jn 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
1Jn 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

Mary was espoused to Joseph.

Being espoused, was something like an engagement except it was legally binding and lasted for one year.

Two things were very important in an espousal.

During the espousal, sexual contact was still considered adultery and was punished by stoning which resulted in death.

This espousal was so serious a matter, that if it were broken a divorce was required.

Joseph was of the “House of David”, through his son Solomon, which meant it was in his bloodline to have been King but both Mary and Joseph were godly people and to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament they were chosen to be the parents of of God’s Son.

Mary was also of the “House of David” through his son Nathan.

BUT, God would have never chosen an immoral man or woman for this thing which is so important to the Church and to the world.

The truth is, it is the will of God that both men and women to remain pure before they marry!

The truth is. God is looking for such people that He can use in the ministry of the ‘Gospel”.

What is the will of God for all young people?

1Th 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
1Th 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

1Th 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

Many ask, “why would God’s Son have to enter this world through a virgin”?

1) The birth of Christ Jesus required a miracle, a sign just as it was written.

2) His birth would indicate that He was much more than just some mere man!

2) Christ already existed and all Christ needed was a body.

Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

4) For God to fulfill the Scriptures of the Old Testament then the Messiah would have to identify with man but He also had to remain God!

Christ Jesus would never have been accepted without a birth.

Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

It is foolish to believe that God does not have the power to do these things!

God sent His Son into this world, not through a man and a woman but through a miraculous act of His own and upon the “virgin” Mary!

The Messiah had to be 100% God but also 100% Man!

As the God-Man, by living a sinless life could Christ be the proper sacrifice and secure righteousness.

As the God-Man, when the Lord gave His life on Calvary’s cross He was the perfect and ideal man who bore all our sins.

As the God-Man, Christ had the power to arise from the dead. He gave His life so He had the power to pick it back up.

Rom 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Rom 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

As the God-Man, Christ was exalted to sit on the right hand of God.

Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

The birth of the Messiah had to be different from all other births!

The Son of God does exist and we must hear what He says, to be saved!

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The “virgin” birth of Christ Jesus proclaims Him to be the only begotten Son of God “and not the Son of God and Mary”!

*****Luk 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Luk 1:29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
Luk 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
Luk 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Mary was highly favored and was offered a unique privilege.

Our lesson is, that when God favors us, He saves us, He gives us gifts, and then He uses us to complete His plan!

The Church has also been given a unique privilege!

The Lord was also with Mary. She would not go through this thing alone.

God would have had to observed Mary throughout her lifetime to know all these things about Mary.

God would also be with Mary throughout all her future life.

God promises He will never leave us nor forsake us!

Throughout Mary’s lifetime, she was never left to live alone!

Mary would be blessed among women!

The truth is that Mary has been called and then blessed from that time forward, but she is certainly not to be worshipped!

Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Mary was only another human.

Mary showed no fear of the angel Gabriel but was concerned for the message he gave her.

Mary was just a humble young virgin espoused to Joseph who would have been a king under different circumstances.

Mary did not consider herself to be special and did not know how she could do anything for the God she loved.

It is a fact that God gives more “Grace” to those who humble themselves before Him!

Jas 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

The miraculous conception of the baby Christ was unusual in that it took place directly in the womb rather than first in the tubes.

No man was involved, nor could they have been!

The Holy Seed was placed directly in the womb of the virgin Mary.

Though these things seem impossible, we must remember the Word of God:

Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

This miracle is not much different than that day when God made Adam.

Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Adam had no genetic connection to a father or mother and Christ would have no genetic connection with Mary.

Since the earth was cursed after God made Adam, it was not possible to make the second Adam in the same way.

1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

Jesus Christ was directly formed of God!

Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

It was not possible for there to be a genetic connection to Mary nor Joseph since they also fell under the same curse.

Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Jesus was a special creation at the hand of God just as Adam had been a special creation.

To think other wise is to call God a liar!

1Jn 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

This was God’s method of fulfilling all the Scriptures!

AND, There are no mistakes in the Scriptures!

*****Luk 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luk 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Now Mary understood the the child she would bear would be the Messiah though she still did not understand how this could happen.

Jesus Christ is to reign upon the throne of David but we know the people rejected Him and would not allow Him to rule over them.

This Scripture is specific, it would be the Lord God that would place Him upon the throne of David!

Jesus Christ will one day soon rule over the nation of Israel, the entire house of Jacob, which includes all 12 tribes and of His kingdom their will be no end!

This promise is not only spiritual but it will also be literal!

Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Rom 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

God will never forget His covenant to Israel and God will never forget His promises to the Church!

BUT, All these things were incredible to Mary.

*****Luk 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

Mary was expected to believe these things of the angel Gabriel.

Mary was not doubting or not trusting, she was just puzzled.

Mary did not ask for a sign like Zacharias had.

Mary was just a virgin, she was single, and she had never known a man sexually.

Mary did not know how she could ever have a child without a man being involved.

Many today still say these things could never happen but they just don’t worship the same God that I do!

God means what He says and God says what He means!

Gabriel explains this to Mary because Gabriel was also a special creation of the Lord made in even another way during creation week.

*****Luk 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

When we read, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee”, we should never interpret that to be as the manner of a man, but only as the manner of God’s Spirit!

Some would say “what is the manner of God’s Spirit’?

God ‘s Spirit sets apart!

God’s Spirit activates!

God’s Spirit creates!

God’s Spirit recreates!

God’s Spirit, simply speaks and things are done, no matter what it is that needs to be done!

Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Psa 104:30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
Psa 104:31 The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.

Job 26:13 By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

Mat 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

It was the Holy Spirit that brought the humanity of Christ into being!

BUT, The deity of Christ was His own from all eternity and did not begin at the time of His birth!

Christ became incarnate when His eternal Person took on the human form of Jesus!

It was the Holy Spirit that caused the humanity of Christ to originate because that is His act of generation!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Notice Jesus on the cross:

Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

The flesh died and the Spirit of Jesus continued.

Mat 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

Mar 15:37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

Luk 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Psa 31:5 Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

Paul said:

Php 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Php 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
Php 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

It is the Holy Spirit that comes forth from the Father and the Son!

It is that same Holy Spirit that brought the entire creation of God into existence, that overshadowed a virgin who had dedicated her young life to God!

And it was the Tri-Une God Himself that looked after the whole matter!

Those that reject the Holy Trinity of God are all fools!

The Christ child’s conception, His growth during pregnancy, and His birth and His life were under the shadow and the wings of the Almighty God, Elohim!

Not some angel, not some human, and not any other creature!

That child that was born of Mary was Holy!

The problem with most humans is unbelief!

Jesus said:

Mar 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

God says:

Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

We do not have to understand these things that God says, we must only believe what God says!

*****Luk 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
Luk 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Gabriel offered Mary some encouragement:

All her life Mary had known that her cousin Elisabeth had been unable to have children.

Remember a barren woman was frowned upon by the Jews.

The fact that God had also caused Elisabeth to be with a child reassured Mary of the power of God!

We know as humans that there many things impossible for us to do but with God nothing is impossible except sin.

God expects us to believe in His power, “regardless of the circumstances”!

Psa 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

We should not forget this is God’s plan of salvation and God does not need our help to complete His own plan!

*****Luk 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

The one thing we all have to do to be saved is to submit to the will of God!

When the Lord Jesus Christ bought us with His own blood, we all became bond slaves of God but God did not save us to be slaves.

God saves us to be “willing vessels” to carry the “Gospel” to all those who have never heard the “Gospel”!

God saves us to be “willing vessels” to be able to give an answer to all those who are seeking the God of the Bible!

To “Surrender” is to yield to the awesome power of God without Him having to use the power.

Mary was willing to sell herself to God!

The word handmaiden means “slave-girl”!

Mary acted according to the Word of God and Mary is a great example for us all!

1) Mary would be an unwed mother which would cause her much ridicule.

2) No one would ever believe Mary’s story!

3) Mary was espoused to Joseph, how would He act to this thing. Broken trust and personal embarrassment are things we all find it hard to overcome.

4) If God did not have the power He said He had, then there was a real possibility that Mary would be stoned to death as an adulterer.

There were a lot of things for this young virgin to consider!

The truth of Mary and the truth of each one who is accepted into the family of God, is that to surrender to God is an absolute essential both for salvation and for service!

Jesus said:

Mat 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

And then Mary had a great desire to see Elisabeth.

*****Luk 1:39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
Luk 1:40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
Luk 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
Luk 1:42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Elisabeth had hidden herself for 5 months but in her sixth month she proudly displayed the fact that she was with child

When Mary arrived is was evident to her that what the angel Gabriel had said was true and this encouraged Mary.

Mary had already known that Elisabeth was with child but Elisabeth did not know that Mary was with child until she arrived at her home.

Immediately when Elisabeth heard the greeting of Mary she realized how special this day was.

1) The baby John, still within the womb of his mother, had kicked before this day because they do this by the sixth month in most all pregnancies

On this day the baby leaped and it was something different than just a kick.

Elisabeth realized that Mary was also with child.

2) Elisabeth was immediately filled with the Holy Ghost and she began to prophesy.

We already know that the baby inside his mother Elisabeth had already been filled with the Holy Ghost

Luk 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

Elisabeth realized she was standing before the mother of the Messiah, the Savior of our world.

3) Elisabeth spoke in a loud voice. Elisabeth was full of joy and praise for the Messiah and was full of emotion.

Elisabeth was the very first to proclaim that the baby Mary carried was indeed the Lord!

Elisabeth became the very first person to honor the Son of God!

Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Mary was indeed blessed of God but she was blessed because of the child she carried within her!

*****Luk 1:43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Luk 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
Luk 1:45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Elisabeth was under the influence of the Holy Spirit and she realized that Mary was greatly blessed but it was the Lord that she carried in her womb that made her to be blessed.

This was the promised Messiah, the Son of the Highest, and God Himself!

To Elisabeth, her own son was the thing that had fulfilled all her wishes.

The angel Gabriel had said that John would be a great man but Elisabeth realized that One greater than John was carried by the Virgin Mary.

TODAY, We do not have to see the Lord to know that He is present with us!

We must remember the sign:

Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

There are many today who doubt the Virgin birth of the Messiah.

There were many in the day of Luke that doubted the Virgin birth of the Messiah.

BUT, Elisabeth did not doubt that Mary carried the Savior of the world!

As soon as Elisabeth heard the greeting of Mary at the door and she had entered, Elisabeth’s heart leaped for joy, her own child leaped in her own womb, and they both realized they were in the presence of God, not Mary “but that small less than a month old babe in the womb of Mary”.

The abortionist do not realize that there could be many children that could make great strides in our world that are simply murdered everyday in the name of freedom.

Shame on America for allowing such sin!

Shame on our world to destroy such treasures!

Elisabeth began a personal relationship with her Lord.

Her own babe John would have to experience his own personal relationship.

Joh 1:31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
Joh 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
Joh 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
Joh 1:34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

There should be little doubt that Mary was encouraged by these things because Elisabeth had recognized the truth that the angel Gabriel had told to her.

Mary needed assurance and God sent her to where she could find that assurance!

That’s what God does for us all as He will provide all our needs!

Mary had believed what the angel Gabriel had told her.

She had not doubted as did Zacharias.

She had not doubted as Joseph would soon do.

Mary’s faith was increased when she saw Elisabeth.

But Mary also was related to Christ in a very special way!

1) Our lesson is that we must have faith!

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

2) We must believe all the Word of God!

Luk 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

3) We must become related to Jesus Christ!

Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

When we can do these things, we will then see that God keeps all His promises.

Mary saw the promises of God being fulfilled before her own eyes!

2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And Mary began to magnify the Lord.

*****Luk 1:46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
Luk 1:47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Luk 1:48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Mary considered herself to be only a humble servant of the Lord.

Mary’s song was not about herself but about the Lord inside her womb!

Mary had just completed the long trip to the house of Zacharias and Elisabeth but she still took time to praise and magnify the Lord.

Mary forgot her tiredness, her own faith was being increased greatly.

Mary and Elisabeth were having themselves a spell!

Mary realized that Gabriel the messenger of God, had foretold her of all these things.

Gabriel was real. Gabriel’s message was real.

And she as a “virgin” was already with a son and not just any son but the Son of the God that she had worshiped since her childhood!

God will increase our faith if we just ask Him.

God will show us the reality of faith when we believe His Word.

Deu 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

Faith can even over come tiredness and exhaustion!

Mary was truly blessed of the Lord!

Being blessed should increase our praise of God and should not increase the sin of pride for being so blessed!

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

God knew that Mary and the entire world was in need of a Savior.

Mary recognized that she needed a Savior.

Mary recognized that God was that Savior.

In the eyes of the world Mary was just a nobody, a poor insignificant girl, with no purpose, whose life had little meaning.

Mary was a “handmaiden” which probably meant she was the least in her own family.

God is more apt to choose this type of person to perform great things!

1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

We must all know these same things that Mary came to know!

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

We must all approach God being as humble as was Mary!

Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

God will remember all those that trust Him as He did Mary!

Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

For God is Holy!

Isa 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Mary proclaimed God’s holiness.

*****Luk 1:49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
Luk 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

We serve an awesome God!

1) God is a powerful Creator.

Mary realized that the promised Messiah was now to be born.

The hope of the world was being fulfilled.

God’s power would be demonstrated in a way that had never been witnessed before.

A “Virgin” would have a child!

Impossible yes, but not for our powerful God.

2) God is Holy.

1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

God is holy in name.

God is holy in being.

3) God is merciful.

Lam 3:22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
Lam 3:23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

4) God is set apart.

God is set apart from any that are called god.

God is different from any that are seen as god.

Mic 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
Mic 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

5) God is able.

*****Luk 1:51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
Luk 1:52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
Luk 1:53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
Luk 1:54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
Luk 1:55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

God reverses the ways of this world!

1) Those that are proud think they are better than everyone else.

God will scatter the proud along with all their imaginations.

2) The mighty are all those who sit in positions of power today in our world.

God will dethrone the mighty and exalt all those of low degree.

3) Those who seek to be rich in the world’s goods will one day see their riches given to who are hungry.

God will fill the hungry and empty the rich.

4) God will restore Israel as He promised to David and fulfill all the promises to Abraham.

Joh 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

And Mary remained with Elisabeth for 3 months.

*****Luk 1:56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

No doubt that in that 3 month period Mary knew for sure that she was certainly pregnant.

Mary had needed the encouragement of Elisabeth.

Rom 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Mary has shown us all the truth of the “Gospel”.

Mary was assured of our Savior.

BUT, Now Mary had to face Joseph!

Mat 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
Mat 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

God has a plan and we just need to accept the plan of God and we will see Him in person some day!

We can certainly trust that a virgin named Mary gave birth to the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord!


Let’s Pray!

The Forerunner of Christ

The Certainty Of Christ’s Forerunner

Book of Luke 1:1-25; 57-80

A forerunner is a messenger who was sent forth to proclaim the approach of another.

It can also be said that a forerunner is also a sign of something that is to come.

As we begin in the Book of Luke, which is what we say, one of the “Gospels”, we can understand that this book was written by Luke who also wrote the Book of Acts.

The authorship of Luke was never questioned by the early church and we should not question it now.

It seems that Luke was also a Gentle who was raised in Troas which is now called Old Constantinople.

It is probable that Luke found the Lord Jesus Christ through the Apostle Paul, when Paul was on his second missionary trip where he joined Paul on his trip to Philippi.

We know that Luke was also a physician, which would lead us to believe that he was highly educated.

This should also assure us that God provided this man Luke, for Paul’s health.

It is probable that Luke was the last one to remain with Paul before Paul became a martyr for the Lord and his head was removed.

It is probable that both the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts were written before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD because this thing is never mentioned.

Luke was not an eyewitness to the life of Jesus Christ but Luke sets forth an eyewitness account of Jesus, the Son of Man, the Savior to the world.

Luke assures each of us that he obtained his information of Jesus from those who were eyewitnesses and Luke was an eyewitness to all those things he wrote of the Apostle Paul!

Luke writes to someone called Theophilus.

The name Theophilus means “lover of God”.

It is believed that this man was probably a Roman, probably a person of rank, to whom Luke dedicated both of his books to, but we can be sure the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts were written to all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ!

It can be said that the Book of Luke is the “Gospel to the Gentiles”.

Just like the rest of the Bible, the “Gospel” of Luke is a record of historical events!

Christianity is based on historical facts and not the false theories and false ideas of man as are all other religions.

All man-made religion are based on the notions of some man and not on historical facts.

The Book of Luke is a written proclamation of the truth of Jesus Christ!

Let’s Begin:

*****Luk 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
Luk 1:2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
Luk 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
Luk 1:4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

We see that word “many” for many had written about the life and the work of Christ but they were not as complete nor as orderly as Luke wished to record.

We will see that Luke includes many more things than the other two Synoptic Gospels which are the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Mark, for the Gospel of John had not been written at this time.

Because that we have four written records of the life of Christ, it is in itself strong evidence that all these events are true!

We need all 4 “Gospels” to get the full picture of these events.

Luke says these things “are most surely believed”!

In fact the Greek words that were translated into English actually mean they were fulfilled, that they were actually performed and they had run their full course.

The events in the life of Christ before His ascension, actually took place, they had their purpose, they were accomplished and they were fulfilled.

We have the written records of the truth of Jesus Christ!

The things that were accomplished and believed were the things of the Old Testament which were fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament.

Therefore the whole Bible is a record of these things and the whole Bible can be believed as the truth!

So Luke begins:

*****Luk 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

The time of Herod the Great can be proved, so when Luke mentions “the days of Herod” it establishes a time line for these events.

Herod was the son of Antipater, who Julius Caesar gave control of Judaea in 47 BC.

Herod was awarded the title King of Judaea by Mark Antony in 40 BC.

Herod by blood line was also a descendant of Esau.

During the time of David, the priests that served the Temple were divided into 24 courses and each priests served at the Temple twice each year for one week at a time.

The priest of the course of Abia were the eighth of the 24 courses.

Zacharias, which means “remembered of Jehovah”, was a descendant in the line of Aaron and the father of John the Baptist.

Elisabeth was also from the line of Aaron, the first of the High Priest, and the older brother of Moses.

Elisabeth, which means “one whose oath is to God”, was the mother of John the Baptist and was also a related cousin of Mary the virgin mother of Jesus.

Elisabeth was the daughter of a priest.

She was a pure women and a virgin at her marriage as God gave Aaron the laws of the priesthood.

Lev 21:14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.

So we see that both the parents of John the Baptist were of the bloodline of Aaron which was a coveted distinction in Israel.

******Luk 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

They were both righteous in the eyes of God.

They were both joined together and committed to each other.

They were both walking in the commandments of the Lord and seeking to please Him in all that they did.

Remember there 613 commandments especially to the priests.

They were blameless but this does not mean they were perfect.

They were living in such a way that no one could charge them with open sin.

These are basically the same qualities God requires of us all!

*****Luk 1:7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

We see even though they were righteous and walking in the ways of the Lord, they still had human problems.

Christians will never be isolated from the human problems in this world until the Lord returns!

AND, We should clearly understand that all believing Jews knew of the prophesies of the Messiah.

Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isa 9:6 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.
Isa 9:7 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.

To be childless in the believing Hebrew society, was a terrible calamity in that day.

Children were considered as a blessing from God and they are a great heritage to all families.

If the wife of a believing Jew could not bear him children, she was thought to be cut off from God and certainly could not bear the Messiah.

It was every female Jew’s wish to bear the Messiah.

A believing Jew was expected to divorce his wife and remarry to some one who could bear him children.

All these things weighed heavy on Zacharias and Elisabeth, but they clung on to their marriage.

They were now elderly and all the problems that come with growing old were also upon them.

BUT, They were not aware of the plan of God.

*****Luk 1:8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course,
Luk 1:9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

Next we see that these were parents who worshipped the Lord.

Zacharias was faithful to his priesthood and he had been all his days.

Zacharias was faithful in his duties even though God had not given him a son.

You know, if the Lord never does anything but save us, we have already gotten more than we deserve!

Zacharias would have seen the birth of a son as the greatest blessing that he could have received!

Zacharias’ job of burning the incense was considered to be the highest of the priestly duties and not many ever got this opportunity.

We should remember that incense was burned upon the altar by a priest before the morning sacrifice and after the evening sacrifice.

The burning of incense reminded all those who could smell it, that the sacrifices were being made for their sins.

The aroma of the incense was just like prayer, it enveloped the sacrifice and carried the sacrifice before the throne of God!

God says:

Jas 5:11 Behold, “we count them happy which endure”. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

And we know that Elisabeth was a faithful wife all those years she was married to Zacharias.

While the people prayed outside the Temple during the burning of the incense, God sent His messenger to Zacharias.

*****Luk 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
Luk 1:11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
Luk 1:12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

As Zacharias was performing his duty of burning the incense, he was praying to the Lord and the multitude, still outside in the courtyard, were also praying.

All those outside were to be as much involved in this worship service, as was Zacharias.

Remember the incense was burned before the morning sacrifice and after the evening sacrifice.

You see our prayers are to be well seasoned with love and devotion, lest we offer strange incense that will bring the wrath of God!

We see in the Book of Revelation that “incense” symbolizes the prayers of the Saints:

Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
Rev 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

Those prayers were to be directed to God through our Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ.

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

We can see that if our church is as much involved in the worship and the prayers as our pastor we can certainly move the hand of God, especially when it involves any part of His plans and His will.

After all what had God said:

Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

John the Baptist was to be that messenger!

We can see that Zacharias and Elisabeth needed a son and had been praying for a child for many years. God had said that He would send a messenger to prepare the way for the Lord, so God met the need of this family in a very special way.

Notice this was not a dream nor was it a vision, Zacharias was in the presence of an actual angel sent from God.

Certainly Zacharias was troubled.

According to the Scriptures we are always in the presence of God’s angels, but they just are not visible to us.

Psa 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

And for those who want to know the language of angels we see that this angel spoke in a language that Zacharias clearly understood!

*****Luk 1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
Luk 1:14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
Luk 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
Luk 1:16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

It is probable that Zacharias was still praying for a child even in his old age.

We know that there is nothing to hard for God!

It is probable that Zacharias was also praying for the Messiah, no doubt he was praying for the redemption of Israel because Israel was in the hands of the Roman government at that time.

We do know that both prayers were answered and this angel said that the prayer of Zacharias had been heard!

Elisabeth would indeed bear a son and his name would be John.

The name John actually means “Jehovah’s gift”.

John would be a great man in the sight of the Lord.

Jesus said:

Mat 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

John would make his parents proud because of the life he would live.

John would cause many others to rejoice with his message.

John would live a disciplined and controlled life.

Notice again, that those that serve the Lord should abstain from all alcoholic beverages!

John would abstain from any appearance of doing evil all the days of his life.

John would be filled with the Holy Ghost from the very first, a vessel chosen by the Lord for a special service in a very special way!

God asks no more than this from us all:

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

We can see the truth of God that He will bless those that are faithful to Him!

John would be a prophet or a preacher who would turn many back to the Lord Jehovah.

John would be the forerunner of the promised Messiah!

John the Baptist was to be that messenger.

Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Isa 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
Isa 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

John the Baptist was the first great “Gospel” preacher.

We should also remember, it had been more than 400 years since God had inspired the words of Malachi.

*****Luk 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

John the Baptist was not the Elijah that was to return to this earth for that has not even happened yet, up to our day and is still in the future.

John did come with the same Spirit and the same power of Elijah!

Mat 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things”.
Mat 17:12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

We will next see Elijah as described in the Book of Revelation:

Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

Elijah will be one of those two witnesses with the other being Enoch.

These two did not see their own death.

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Now we see where Zacharias made a simple mistake.

*****Luk 1:18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
Luk 1:19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
Luk 1:20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

When we pray we must believe that God has the power to answer our prayers!

Mat 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

When we do not believe that God can do the impossible we are hindering our own prayers.

Zacharias just could not believe the message this angel had.

Zacharias prayed in faith but but Zacharias thought that God would never answer his prayer.

It is possible that God answered this prayer more for us, that He did for Zacharias!

We need to see and understand the truth of the Scriptures!

There is absolutely nothing to hard for God!

Zacharias said to Gabriel, it just too late for us now, for such a thing to happen and Zacharias asked for a sign.

The name Gabriel means “the mighty one of God” or “God is my strength” .

Gabriel said, he stood in the presence of God ready to do whatever He commanded.

Gabriel said, it was he who was appointed to bring good news to men.

Gabriel had shared good news to Daniel.

Gabriel had shared good news with Zacharias.

Gabriel had shared good news with Mary.

Gabriel would share good news with Joseph.

Zacharias had failed to believe the words of Gabriel which came directly from the mouth of God, so his sign was he had to be disciplined.

Zacharias had let his tongue speak and not his heart, so God stopped his tongue from speaking.

We must understand that we have the true Word of God, we have the truth.

The sin of unbelief, is the greatest sin of all, and the only sin that cannot be forgiven.

God will certainly discipline us all if we speak words of distrust and unbelief!

The day is soon coming when God will stop all disbelief, and every knee will bow to Him!

While these things were going on inside the Temple, the people outside the Temple who had been praying became restless and concerned.

*****Luk 1:21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.
Luk 1:22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.
Luk 1:23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

When Zacharias came out of the Temple he was suppose to tell all the people how the sacrifices had been made and their sins were forgiven and how they were blessed of the Lord.

BUT, Zacharias could not speak.

All Zacharias could do was make motions with his hands.

The people who had taken the time to come to the Temple then realized that Zacharias had been in the presence of God, because there was no other answer. They thought Zacharias had seen a vision.

Coming to church is a wonderful thing and also a commandment of God.

Those times that it seems that God is right there in the house with His people are certainly special times!

Even though Zacharias could not speak, he stayed on to fulfill his duties.

It was certainly not time to get mad and quit on God!

*****Luk 1:24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
Luk 1:25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

Elisabeth hid herself for five months and the best answer for this seems, that she wanted to spend some time alone with God and her husband.

She and Zacharias had many things to prepare if they were going to raise a son at their age.

We must remember Abraham and Sarah went through this same thing.

Elisabeth was not hiding her pregnancy, because she proudly went out in public in her sixth month when it would certainly be noticeable.

She was excited that God had taken away her reproach among men!

God had promised Abraham a multitude of descendants, as the stars in the sky and a woman who was barren was looked down on, especially by the Jewish men.

Skip too Verse 57

*****Luk 1:57 Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
Luk 1:58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.

The birth of any child is a precious event to most every family but the birth of John the Baptist was a significant event for all the world.

The birth of John the Baptist showed the awesome power of God!

Both Zacharias and Elisabeth were far beyond childbearing years yet she was with child.

Zacharias had been visited by Gabriel, God’s messenger, and every word he had said was proved to be the truth.

We see that it is God who is able to control all the things of nature.

We will also see that God is able to fulfill the promises of the Bible, just as He has written them down for us!

God will never break a promise!

Mat 19:25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

The birth of John the Baptist also showed the mercy of God.

God was merciful to Elisabeth, just a simple woman who had been faithful all her days.

God was merciful to the entire world because He would use John in His plan of salvation.

John the Baptist was instrumental in pointing us all to the Messiah, the Christ child, Jesus.

John the Baptist would fulfill his God-given purpose, just as we are all to fulfill the purpose that God has given to us.

We are all born with a purpose!

And his name would be John.

*****Luk 1:59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
Luk 1:60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
Luk 1:61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
Luk 1:62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
Luk 1:63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
Luk 1:64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.

By God’s commandment, all Jewish males were circumcised on the eighth day after their birth.

Circumcision meant that the child was offered up and dedicated to God.

It should not surprise us that a baby dedication is more for the parents than it is for the child!

The eighth day was also the official day for naming the child.

It was a common practice to name a son after his father or at least someone in the family and Zacharias was a popular name because it meant “remembered by Jehovah”.

Elisabeth would not allow this to take place and insisted that he be named John which means “gift of God”.

To Elisabeth, this child was certainly a precious gift from God.

The naming of a child was reserved for the father so these relatives took this matter to Zacharias.

Zacharias shocked them all by writing the name John and they all marveled at what Zacharias had written.

Our lesson is, that the name John proved what Gabriel had said to Zacharias and immediately the tongue of Zacharias was loosed and he could speak again.

Why are these details so important?

We must be able to trust that the Word of God is the truth and the Lord Jesus Christ said He was the truth but also much much more than the truth.

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Joh 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Luke, keeping to his truth recorded these things from eyewitness accounts!

When the tongue of Zacharias was loosed, it was also a sign to all those who questioned Zacharias.

*****Luk 1:65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.
Luk 1:66 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

The family and friends of Elisabeth and Zacharias saw an actual miracle that day as Zacharias began to speak.

It had been nine months since Zacharias had seen God’s messenger, Gabriel, and he had much to say.

Those family members were not frightened but they did have a reverent fear of God for what they had witnessed.

They wondered at what was about to happen because they were witnessing the hand of God in this family that they had known for so many years.

Today, God is still doing miracles but most of them go unnoticed!

These events became the talk of the town and then the talk of all Judaea.

A child that had the touch of God from his birth was born into the world!

These people kept these things in their heart for they were not about to forget this day.

What is the truth of God?

Psa 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.
Psa 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

And Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost!

*****Luk 1:67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
Luk 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
Luk 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
Luk 1:70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
Luk 1:71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
Luk 1:72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
Luk 1:73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
Luk 1:74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
Luk 1:75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
Luk 1:76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
Luk 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
Luk 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
Luk 1:79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Zacharias became the third person in the Book of Luke to be filled with the Holy Ghost and all three were his family. Elisabeth, The baby John, while still in the mother’s womb and himself.

It was time to give God the praise!

This group of Scriptures is known as “The Benedictus”!

When the tongue of Zacharias was loosed it proved that his sin had been forgiven because he had obeyed God.

In “typology” this joy and praise is a picture of what happens to each Christian.

We believe and obey God and we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. God immediately forgives us of our sins and then immediately fills us with the Holy Ghost!

Verse 68: We see Zacharias as a Christian who is looking back to the cross.

“For the Lord God has visited and redeemed His people”!

Zacharias became a prophet. Zacharias began to praise the Lord who had not yet been born.

It was God Himself who came to this earth in the person of Jesus the Christ, the Messiah!

In the Old Testament, God is involved in the affairs of the world.

In the New Testament, God gets personal, one on one, with every believer!

God paid a tremendous price for each believer to be saved!

Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

It is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who was the mighty Savior from the house of David!

It is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who is the “horn of salvation”!

The “horn” symbolizes strength, power and might.

AND, Only the Messiah is able to save His people!

Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

David was raised up by God to deliver and rule the people of Israel.

Christ, the Messiah was raised up to deliver and to rule over God’s people!

Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

It is the Messiah, Christ Jesus, who will fulfill the entire covenant to Abraham!

It is the Messiah, Christ Jesus, who will fulfill all His promises to Israel!

It is Jesus Christ, the Messiah who will fulfill all His promises to the Church!

Verse 76 confirms the purpose of John the Baptist.

We can just imagine as Zacharias looked down at his son knowing that he would be called a prophet of the Highest.

There had been no prophet in Israel for over 400 years and John would be the first since Malachi.

Christ was called the “Highest”, the “Most High God”!

Rom 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

John the Baptist was to be the prophet of the Most High God!

John was to proclaim salvation, “by the remission of sins”.

Salvation is conditional, our sins must be forgiven!

They cannot be forgiven until we ask the Lord for forgiveness!

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

John the Baptist was to proclaim the rise of the Lamb of God.

John the Baptist was to proclaim Jesus as the “Dayspring” from on High, “the Dawn of the Morning”.

Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

John the Baptist was to proclaim that Jesus was sent to give light, to guide our path, and not only the Jews but also to the Gentiles, and to all those who sit in darkness.

John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit while in the womb of his mother and he began to grow in the Lord.

*****Luk 1:80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

Here we see the only Scripture that tells us of the childhood of John the Baptist.

John may have grown as a normal child but there are certain things that we must observe.

1) John advanced far beyond a normal child spiritually.

John was committed even as a child to follow and obey the Word of God.

2) John was raised in a different environment than most all other children.

John was raised in the desert.

John was raised away from all the things of the world.

3) John stayed away from world until God called him into His service.

John led a life of obedience.

If we are going to be the servants of God, we need to avoid the things of the world and obey the Word of God!

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Those that doubt the ministry of John the Baptist are denying the truth of the Scriptures!


Let’s Pray!