THE ATTENTION OF THE UNIVERSE
Pastor Donn Jibben
I truly love the spirit of Christmas! Next to Easter it is by far the most inspiring time of year for me and many other believers as well. Christmas services, family dinners and the giving of gifts all enhance the spirit of Christmas in our hearts and lives. The ATTENTION of Christmas season truly draws people together in many positive ways.
Yet, when we look and see all the Attention that Christmas receives we must never forget the real reason of the season. Christmas is all about Jesus! He is the reason for the season!
Jesus left the glory and splendor of heaven and the Fathers presence to become flesh and come to earth over 2000 years ago. When He did He drew the ATTENTION of the whole universe! Even though he came as a baby and was born in a stable the ATTENTION of the universe was upon Him.
The Star in the heaven’s responded, Mary and Joseph responded, angels and shepherds responded, as did the Wiseman / magi. All ATTENTION was focused upon this very special child. And rightly so for this child was the Christ child! Christ’s birth drew the ATTENTION of the whole universe. And in light of this truth today, Jesus Christ deserves the utmost attention of your heart and soul today as well.
TEXT: LUKE 2:1-20 Read.
From our text I want to look at how Christ’s birth drew the attention of:
I. Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem
II. The angels from heaven
III. The shepherds from their fields.
Let look more closely at each if three points of Attention.
I. Christ’s Birth Drew Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.
The purpose of the first paragraph of our text is that it places Christ’s birth historically in context with Rome’s emperor, Caesar Augustus. It is truly interesting to see in light of the emperor’s leadership and control that God’s will was ultimately accomplished. This is called the Doctrine of Concurrence. It is a descriptive term that describes what happens between two parties. It is when the free will of man and the perfect will of God coincide with each other, with the result being that God’s perfect will being accomplished, (the story of Joseph is perfect example-what man meant for evil God meant for good, Gen 50:20).
In God’s sovereignty and providence He used Caesar’s edict or census to bring Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. It was merely a 8 mile journey and yet Caesar had no clue that his order played a very vital role in God’s eternal plan. God does all things with meaning and purpose, all things. Nothing happens by chance my friends within God’s plans. It was the right time in history for Immanuel, God with us, to become a man. Gal 4:4 tells us of this very truth, “In the fullness of time God sent forth His son..”
God’s plan was for Mary to conceive by the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Christ child and fulfill prophecy told long ago, Prophecy, which we can read about way back in the book of Genesis. Gen. 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers, he will crush your head and you will bruise his heel.”
Also: Isaiah 9:6-7 Read Micah 5:2 Read
Caesar’s census drew the ATTENTION of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem to fulfill history. GOD’S HISTORY! HIS-STORY! It was not by chance or coincidence but by God’s Divine purpose and plan. And, God’s plan had the Attention of Mary and Joseph as well as the ATTENTION of the universe. While obeying Caesar’s edict, Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem and while there Mary gave birth to Jesus, the Son of God, they wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.
THAT LEADS ME TO POINT 2 THIS MORNING:
II. CHRIST’S BIRTH DREW THE ATTENTION OF THE ANGElS FROM HEAVEN.
As we study scripture we see that angels were directly connected to the life and ministry of Christ. In Luke 1:26, God sends angel Gabriel to Nazareth to inform Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus. In Matt. 1:20, Joseph is reassured by an angel “that which is conceived in Mary is by the Holy Spirit.” Also in Luke 2:8-15, the angels announce the birth to the shepherds the fact of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem.
First a single angel burst on the scene before the shepherds and they were terrified. It had to be alarming to the shepherds. They were very experienced in all elements pertaining to shepherding. They were used to being in the fields at night and seeing all kinds of alarming dangers to their flocks. Yet, they were terrified the text tells us. It was because of the Glory of the Lord that shone all around them.
But the angel reassures them, just like an angel reassured Joseph that things would be ok. The angel announces to the shepherds, “don’t be afraid for I bring you good news that will be for all people, a savoir is born, he is Christ the Lord.” Then suddenly a whole band of angels appear and together they praise God saying these inspiring words, “Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth Peace to Men on whom Favor Rests.”
What an inspiring scene to behold! I wish I could have been there.
INDEED FRIENDS, CHRIST’S BIRTH ATTENTION OF THE ANGELS AND OF THE WHOLE UNIVERSE!
So we have seen that Christ’s birth drew the ATTTENTION of the Mary and Joseph and the Angels in heaven. His birth also drew the attention of the shepherds from their fields.
That is point 3 this morning
III. CHRIST’S BIRTH DREW THE SHEPHERDS FROM THEIR FIELDS.
Shepherding was considered by the culture at this time to be the lowest of all occupations. Shepherds were considered to be thieves and roving vagabonds. Sheep are smelly. She are considered one of the dumbest animals to handle and care for. Of those in society who could have witnessed the Messiahs birth why the lowly shepherds? Why the lowest of society? Why not the elite? Why not those who have made something of their lives?
WHY? Because the shepherds represent the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ, coming to the outcast and sinners of this world. To the poor, to the outcast, and to the downcast, to those that society may look down at. Christ would later be accused of eating with and being friends with sinners. He would die a shameful death upon a cross on Golgotha’s hill hanging between two thieves. This truth all ties directly to Christ’s earthly ministry as we read about in MATT. 9:12-13, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
The shepherds also strengthen the connection between Jesus and David. David himself was a shepherd and writes on a very personal note “The Lord is my shepherd…” Ps 23:1
Isaiah 40:11 “He tends his flock like a shepherd, He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart.”
The shepherds of Luke 2 may easily represent all the ordinary people who have joyfully accepted the Messiah as their Savior and Lord. So it was that Christ’s birth drew the attention of the shepherds from their fields. They hurried off to go find the Christ child that was wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manager. They soon found him and the text tells us that they hurried off to spread the good news of the birth of the Messiah!
The Birth the Christ drew the attention of the whole Universe and so it should draw the attention of every human being today. Christ deserves the attention of your whole heart and soul. If you are not a born again believer, than today is your day. Surrender to God’s divine will for your life and accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior. As well, Jesus desires to be the Lord of your life. If there is any area of your life you have not surrendered over to the Lord Jesus Christ today, to do now! Christ indeed deserves the attention of your whole heart.
Jesus is the reason for the season and He needs to be your first love. He desires to have a intimate relationship with you. To be Immanuel-GOD IN YOU AND GOD WITH YOU! SO GIVE CHRIST THE FULL ATTENTION OF YOUR HEART AND SOUL TODAY!
Christ’s Birth drew the attention of the whole Universe. The angels, Joseph and Mary and the Shepherds. Don’t be left out, give Jesus Christ the utmost attention of your heart and soul today and always! Now, like the shepherds who encountered the Christ, hurry off to tell others of the good news!!
WHAT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT SAYING TO YOU THROUGH THIS TEACHING?
In Christ’s love