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January 17, 2021 5:00 am
Hi there this is Lon Solomon and I like to welcome you to our program today. You know it's a tremendous honor that God is given us to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truth of God's word as it is uncompromising and straightforward and I'm so glad you tuned in to listen and be part of that. Thanks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio and now let's get to the word of God with the very first person ever give a Christmas gift know that your on the very first Christmas he inaugurated that day by giving us the greatest gift in the history of the universe. The Bible says for God so loved the world that he gave, he gave his one-of-a-kind song. That's what the word really means in Greek, his one-of-a-kind son. And why did he give him so that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. And if you're here and you've never embraced Jesus Christ as your Messiah and your Lord and your Savior. And folks, God is still anxiously wanting to give you the most life changing Christmas present that he has to give and I hope that you won't let another Christmas go by without taking hold of the greatest gift. Anybody's ever offered you Jesus Christ and his salvation purchased on the cross for you. Now you're here and you've already done that in most of you have been this morning I want to talk to you and I want to talk to you from Luke chapter 2 the familiar story of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I want us to look at the story and then asked the question, so what you let's look together.
Okay and were continuing in our series on the life of Christ.
This is part three in the title of my message is our Savior who understand a Savior who understands. Let's see if I can make that title makes sense to you. First one in those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria and everyone went to his own town to register.
Caesar Augustus began what we commonly have called pox Romana. The great Roman peace over the whole empire. He became emperor in 27 BC he was emperor until 14 A.D. and his time of ruling over the Empire was a time of tremendous stability, tremendous peace, but the man also had a penchant for good organization and one of the things he began.
We know from secular Egyptian records is he began the practice of taking a census of the entire Roman empire every 14 years. In fact, that practice continued for several centuries after the death of Caesar Augustus that one of the reasons he did this was because every body except for Jews, but everybody else in the Empire had to serve in the Army has all the way to find out who was of draft age as you took a census and so he would take the results of the census and he would give it to the Roman draft board and they would know they could draft but the other reason they did. It is to keep accurate tax records so they knew who was where and how much they had in so they could tax them so he also took a copy of the census and he gave it to the Roman IRS so the IRS got a copy and the draft board got a copy now this census that was taken here.
While Quirinius was governor of Syria for years has been used as one of the great examples of an error in the Bible, a case where the Bible is explicitly wrong and therefore undependable you say will I don't understand what's the problem here's the problem. We know from Roman records that Quirinius was governor of Syria was the formal governor of Syria. Beginning in six A.D. that's when he was appointed as governor of Syria right six A.D. got that your mind now. We also know from the Bible.
Matthew chapter 2 that King Herod was ruling over Israel. When Jesus Christ was born right at this time, when Quirinius supposedly was governor of Syria right but we know from secular records that King Herod died in four BC also be a problem though because Quirinius doesn't get to be governor of six A.D. and Herod dies in four BC so there's 10 years in between these two dates. They can't possibly refer to the same event. Therefore the Bible is wrong.
Therefore the Bible has a mistake.
Therefore it's undependable now.
Recently, however, we discover that indeed it's true. Quirinius did not become the formal Roman governor of Syria until six A.D. However, the man who was governor of Syria during the time when Luke chapter 2 Takes Pl. his name was Quintilian's Boris DAR US we have learned from records recently found that forest was actually out of the country for several years. During the time of this census fighting Germans on the northern border of the Roman Empire, and while he was gone. Guess who he appointed acting governor in his place with the guest. Quirinius you get the Goldstar this morning because that's exactly what we appointed, and so Luke in saying that Quirinius was governor of Syria.
When the first census was taken because there was another census taken 14 years later when Quirinius was actually now the formal governor with me. Luke is actually more historically correct than anything we could have documented from records until just recently, and I find that exciting, that the more we dig out of the ground the more right.
The Bible proves to be moved had it right all the time and we had it wrong until just recently. To me that's exciting and it confirms the trustworthiness of the word of God once again.
Well it's going showing one of the results of Augustus Caesar's decree is that Mary's baby who would normally have been born not in Bethlehem but would normally been born in Galilee and Nazareth. Instead, was born in Bethlehem, because the prophet said Micah chapter 5 from you, Bethlehem will come forth.
One who will rule over my people Israel had it not been for the census Jesus would not of been born in Bethlehem, but because of the census, he was and so I like what one commentator said he said Augustus Caesar was ruling, but God was still in charge. Not good. Augustus Caesar might've been ruling the world would God was still in charge and everything worked the way God said it should work first four so Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and the line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child and when they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the in the traditional picture that we get here. As of this cozy little barn with all the fresh hay all around and you know nice kerosene barn lanterns hanging from the rafters and all the cows moving lassie looking on, you know that's how we picture this thing happening but that's not how this happened all you see the word that's translated here manger literally means of eating trough a common feeding trough where they put the slop out for the animals. It was usually hewn out or cut out of just a big piece of rock and they made just a little trough in it.
That's where they put the animal food and Mary was not in a nice clean barn with fresh hay.
She was probably in a cave where this trough was where they tied up animals and left them. She was probably in a cave that was muddy on the floor that had manure smell all around. That was cold and damp and she probably had a frantic husband running around when she was delivering her firstborn son because she did not have a doctor. She did not have a midwife. She probably caught her son's own cord and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, swaddling clothes, merely the ranks. That's all just rags rags that you tied together with some string or some other pieces of cloth. She wrapped him in rags to protect him from the cold of the evening and there in an environment that no lady here would, except for her delivery room. She cuddled to her breast, the son of God. It's not like you think verse eight and there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night and an angel of the Lord appeared to them in the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, do not be afraid, for I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people today in the town of David a Savior has been born for you and his name is Christ the Lord. Every time I read this passage I think of Handel's Messiah that beautiful course with the angel suddenly appear and sing goodwill to men, goodwill to men that must've been something like this was like but notice here that when they announce the birth of Christ. They give Jesus Christ three very significant title. First of all, verse 11 says for today in the town of David a Savior has been born a deliverer that's with the word literally means, and Jesus Christ came to earth to be a deliverer in two ways for us. First, to deliver us from the guilt and the penalty of our sin. The Bible says.
Colossians chapter 1, for he has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the son of God, where we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin. That's the first kind of deliverance Jesus as our Savior came to bring, but there's a second kind. He came to bring as well, and that is to deliver us from living empty, meaningless live here on earth in dealing with Zach ESU member we lose acting as Zacchaeus was a wee little man over him, and we little man was he. He climbed up in the Sycamore tree don't know the song OSHA the Lord he wanted to see well psyche is was a guy who was affluent on the outside but empty on the inside and Jesus, when he met Zakia's turned and said to the people, he said. For the Son of Man and pointed to Zakia's.
He said I have come to seek and to deliver those who are lost and he didn't just mean lost in the eternal sense he did come to do that. But even those who are lost here in the earthly sense groping around in the darkness. Try to find some meaning and purpose to life. Jesus came to deliver us from living empty, meaningless lives and give us a purpose and a reason to exist is our Savior are deliverer. The second thing the angel said is that he is Christ the great work Christoph. Simply as an attempt to translate the Hebrew word machine which means Messiah, Messiah, or anointed one, because you see for centuries God had been promising Israel that he was going to send them an anointed descendent of King David who would sit on the throne of David and rule the people of Israel for all eternity.
And when the angels appeared to the shepherds, they said, you know that anointed descendent of David that we been promising you always been born. He's the Christ, the Messiah. Finally, he is Christ the Lord, the Lord you see this baby was not just an anointed king and his baby was not just a special deliverer. This baby was God himself.
Bible claim wrapped up in human flesh and so he was our Savior, and he was our Messiah, and he was our Lord. I mean, that's an awful big package wrapped up in that little baby you know that. And yet that's what the angel said was lying in a manger in Bethlehem for the shepherds to look the angel said this will be assigned to your find a baby wrapped in rags and lying in a manger and I'm sure the shepherd said when I look were members of the Bethlehem Granger.
We know every single trough over the areas that's go look at every single trough do we find enemies gotta be in one of me. How many babies could there possibly be lying in troughs over there and so suddenly there was a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests. And when the Angels have left them and gone back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another.
Let's go to Bethlehem will look at every manger that's there and we will see this great thing that the Lord is told us about. So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby was lying in the manger. And when they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them, they were probably jumping up and down a talking book and you believe this. Can you believe that, but Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. I think Mary was a real special lady. You know, and rather than getting all excited and going. She said nothing frequent interested think I better think about this. What a special lady and then it says that the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, which things were just as they had been told, God told him the way it was. And that's just the way they found in here in the Bible's account of the most important birth in human history, but it still leaves us asking the question, thank you so what that's exactly right. So what. All right we all know the story want to mean we all just celebrated Christmas even read it on the radio but what differences that make for us today.
I mean, in the 20th century, Bethlehem was a song that was popular back in the 60s.
The title of the song was walk a mile in my shoes. Anybody remember the song anybody willing to admit they're old enough to say that they remember the song you member that one of the lines when before you abuse criticize and accuse walk a mile in my shoes, and of course the point of the song is that compassion comes from common experience. In other words, you walk a mile in my shoes you experience life the way I experience it you see it the way I see it, and you'll feel differently about me about my weaknesses, my shortcomings, my fears instead of judging the ending so quick to condemn me you walk a mile in my shoes and share some of my experiences and you might just have sympathy for me and understand. Instead of judgment whether you member the song or not we agree with the principle is not true that compassion comes when people have shared an experience like the one you've had one of the greatest parts about being a Christian is being able to fall on your knees before God and in the midst of your worst pain in your worst heartache to be able to say Lord you know how I feel Dolch and to have God be able to say back to you with authenticity.
Yes, I know exactly how you feel. You don't have to try to explain. I know exactly how you feel and the reason I know how you feel is because of what happened on that very first Christmas day the word became flesh and lived for a while among us, Jesus Christ had all the same experiences you and I have that's why understands he was born the regular way I mean right down the birth canal and everything he had in infancy where he was helpless and somebody had to wait on him just like our children to. He had an adolescent's and a puberty. He knows what it's like to be a teenager your teenager and you say nobody understands is like be a teenager wrong Jesus Christ and states he knows what it's like to be part of a family with all of the relational challenges and stresses of the family. Remember, he had younger brothers and there is no challenge like a younger brother and found you have a younger brother you have an inter-family relational stress problem. Younger brothers are born for that. That's what they're good at, yet all the same weaknesses of human nature that you and I had the Bible says he got hungry, got thirsty, he got tired, he required sleep. He needed to get away from people for a while and go up in the hills. He needed a break.
All of the things you deal with. He deals with Sabal on I'm experiencing grief. I lost a loved one.
Well Jesus Christ experience that say really with well it's interesting at 30 years old when he shows up in the Bible. His dance not anywhere to be found.
What you think is dad went saved. He divorced Mary no I don't think so. I think you.I think Jesus Christ knew what it was like to bury a father because he had to bury his own you facing hardships and struggling to make ends meet. Guess what Jesus Christ knows what that's like, because that's how he live. So how do you know that look right here in Luke chapter 2 down in verse 24.
The Bible says in Luke chapter 2 verse 24. It says that when they came to dedicate Jesus Christ at the temple. They brought a pair of dogs to dedicate now if you look back in Leviticus chapter 12 what you will find is that the gift you were supposed to bring as a lamb but the Bible says in Leviticus 12. If you are too poor to afford a lamb and you can bring two turtledoves instant Jesus Christ family was a poor family. That's why they brought turtledoves and after his father died. You think things got any better at home when he had to go to work and try to support his mother and his younger brothers and sisters think these people have a lot of money to get you think Jesus doesn't know what it's like to try to struggle to make ends meet. He knows because he didn't you having conflict Jesus had conflict with the religious leaders of Israel every day you having verbal abuse heaped on your credit when Jesus hung on the cross. The Bible says that those who pass by hurled insults at him as he hung on the cross, helpless people making fun of you. The soldiers made fun of Christ. The Bible says they mocked them right there as he hung on the cross.
Some of us here feel very rejected and we been very reject