The Person of Christmas – Luke 2:1-20

The Preparation of Christmas copy
December 21, 2021

The Person of Christmas – Luke 2:1-20

The Preparation of Christmas 1

In his sermon delivered on December 19, 2021, Pastor Eric emphasized the true meaning of Christmas: the arrival of Immanuel (God with us). He explained how Christmas is much more than decorations, shopping, and exchanging gifts: It’s about God sending His Son to earth to save people from their sins.

Christmas is a time to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, who lived among us. It was He who served His fellow man, preached the gospel, explained God’s promises, and offered us His Kingdom. Furthermore, He took upon Himself the punishment of our sins, thereby reconciling us with the Father for all eternity. It’s the greatest gift we could possibly receive. The true meaning of Christmas is not how spectacular we make it. Rather, it’s a commemoration of the first Christmas and what it represents.

Read Luke 2:1-5

This passage indicates that, for taxation purposes and in order to determine who was to undergo military service, the Roman government required everyone, without exception, to register and return to their hometown or city of birth. People did not have the same means of transportation as we do today. Back then, most people walked or rode donkeys. With his pregnant fiancée, Mary, Joseph travelled 133 kilometres on a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Though he may have disagreed with the idea, Joseph still fulfilled his obligation and obeyed the Roman government, which he undoubtedly disliked. Joseph complied by performing something that appeared insignificant and ordinary.

Read Luke 2:6

Micah’s prophecy was fulfilled when Mary gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem.

Read Micah 5:2

Joseph obeyed, and by performing a seemingly insignificant and mundane task that was required of him, a miracle occurred and prophecy was fulfilled. In other words, as we fulfill our responsibilities in life, as we carry out our normal and routine tasks, God can also do something extraordinary in our lives. We must accomplish what is required of us. Some people are waiting for their great and awesome calling. As they wait, they do not engage in activities that may appear irrelevant and unimportant. God can transform the ordinary into something extraordinary. When we fail to fulfill our responsibilities, we miss what God is doing behind the scenes.

Read Luke 2:7

Many sermons, movies and songs claim that Mary gave birth to Jesus in a stable, as there was no room at the hotel. Pastor Eric’s research led him to conclude that Luke did not refer to a stable as the birthplace of Jesus, nor did he indicate that the inn was an actual hotel. The Greek word for ‘inn’, kataluma, refers to a guest room.

Read Luke 10:34

In the above verse, Luke uses the Greek word pandocheion rather than kataluma to describe the hotel. That is the reason Pastor Eric believes that the ‘inn’ described in Luke 2:7 is not a hotel.

Read Luke 22:11

In this passage concerning the last supper, we see that the word kataluma is used to refer to a guest room on the second floor. A number of animals were on the ground floor. The animals would enter the house in the middle of the night to protect the occupants from theft and the cold.

Furthermore, Pastor Eric believes that Jesus was not born in a stable because of the cultural customs of the time. Joseph and Mary were returning to their hometown, where they had family. Why would they wish to stay in a hotel? This was a family-oriented culture, and doing so would have offended their relatives. As there were no available guest rooms, Joseph, Mary and Jesus slept on the main floor of the house with the animals.

Read Luke 2:7

The family would have been accommodated had the people known who Jesus was. He was no ordinary child: He was the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Do you have room for Jesus in your life? The Christmas season is an especially busy time of year. It is easy to become distracted. Our inner guest room can quickly fill. Our hearts may display an ‘occupied’ sign. The Lord is looking for a ‘vacancy’ sign that will invite Him into our hearts. Is there room for Jesus in your heart?

Read Luke 2:8

In those days, shepherds were despised and mocked, not because of what they did, but because of the traditions and rituals of the Pharisees. As a result of their behaviour, Jesus disliked the Pharisees, since they prevented simple and honest people from accessing the Kingdom of God. They created rituals and traditions that God did not command them to follow. In Mark 7:7 NLT, Jesus described the Pharisees’ worship as a farce. Their traditions and rituals were elevated to the status of sacred doctrine. As such, they considered their practices to be synonymous with the teachings of the Bible.

Read Luke 2:9-20

The shepherds, the very people who were despised by the Pharisees, were the ones to whom God revealed Himself. As a result, the shepherds glorified and praised God. They did not merely sing songs: they worshipped the Lord.

Pastor Eric invites us to not only sing Christmas carols this year. He encourages us to worship God. Let’s praise Him for providing the greatest gift to mankind through Jesus Christ!

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