“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11 ESV)
Somewhere, sometime, someone first said, “Merry Christmas.” Though a familiar message, it is nevertheless a timeless truth. We can associate the word, “Merry,” with the birth of Christ for it is a message of hope that our world desperately needs to hear.
THE PEOPLE FOR WHOM CHRIST WAS BORN, “For unto you…”. Who received this message? Lowly shepherds—common folk and it is a reminder of the social status of most who respond to God’s call:
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Cor.1:26-29)
The rich often are unconcerned about eternity because they have so much on earth. That’s why Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God," (Mark 10:25). Yet, with God all things are possible. So it was a lady of nobility who declared she was saved by the letter “m.” Paul said not many noble, but he did not say, not any! We must admit that we are sinners who cannot save ourselves. “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”(1 Tim.1:15)
THE PERIOD IN WHICH CHRIST WAS BORN, “is born this day…”. It was particularly planned in history. Gal.4:4-5 says, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” It was providentially planned in urgency. Three times in Hebrews 3-4, the appeal is made, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…”. Then, in 2 Cor.6:2, “behold, now is the day of salvation.”
THE PLACE IN WHICH CHRIST WAS BORN, “in the city of David…”. God set the whole world in motion to fulfill a minute prophecy that the Messiah would be born in the little town of Bethlehem. It is a reminder that the promises of God are to be trusted and He can even use a pagan emperor and his system of taxation to accomplish a glorious work! We can believe all the promises of God. The prophecy of Christ’s first advent was fulfilled with precision and so will the prophecies of His second coming!
THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH CHRIST WAS BORN, “a Savior who is Christ the Lord.” Jesus came to be the Savior. Jesus Himself testified, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10). So that baby was born to die. The Son of God became the son of man that the sons of men might become the sons of God. Jesus came to be the Sovereign, “Christ the Lord.” Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. He will complete that task when He reigns as King of kings and Lord of Lords. We are reminded of the twofold nature of Isaiah’s prophecy in 9:6-7,
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”
That speaks to the purpose of Christ's coming the first time as Savior, a Child born in Bethlehem and Son given on Calvary and His coming the second time as Sovereign to Jerusalem and "the government will be upon his shoulder."
Dennis Thurman, AMS