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The Paradox, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
December 17, 2021 12:00 am

The Paradox, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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December 17, 2021 12:00 am

How is it that no man can see God's face and yet people saw Christ? This is the paradox of the incarnation. Although we can perceive the mystery, it will take all of eternity for us to understand it. LINKS: Visit our website: Make a donation: Free ebook: Free issue of our magazine:

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The paradox of this means you will create the appearance of a contradiction who they really are. Listen as long as they live.

They will never have their reputations back again in the opinion of their world and I wonder. I cannot help but wonder how many people listen to me today who are unwilling to follow Jesus Christ because of primarily what it might do to what people might think is our culture moves in a direction away from God. Those who remain faithful to Christ will be countercultural. That's a hard situation to. Are you prepared for the difficulty and pressure that comes from living that way. Well, you're going to be better equipped by this message today on wisdom for the heart.

Stephen Devi looks at the coming of Christ and the implications for those of us who believe. Well, as far in our Christmas series of studies with noted the prophecy of the coming Messiah and in our last session we unpacked the pedigree of the coming Messiah. And today I want to talk about the paradox of this setting here related to the side of the work paradox simply means seemingly self-contradictory. True statements that seem apparently contradictory to each other. They can also use a little more broadly of something that might be contradictory to popular opinion or accepted opinion Christianity is certainly surrounded with paradox in that we are in the world but not what of it while knowing our culture will not last.

We are to serve of the betterment of our world around us. We we serve with confidence and invisible God. Yet our faith in him is the evidence of things not seen. We enter into a season marked by materialism and yet we consider not, it really worth anything right. Apart from the gift of God through this impoverished teenage girl who delivers the Savior in this makeshift barn.

What narrative of of of the parents contradictions. Wonder hello. Thinking about it this week. I wonder if celebrating Christmas is a contradiction of terms for the believer. Is it something that we should even avoid is the history of the season and was released with unbelief and and idolatry. Certainly, the Romans decorated their temples and their pagan authors with greenery during this winter solstice time it and candles December 25 was part of the celebration of one of the Roman gods until Constantine, wrestled it away, declared it the day that we would celebrate the birth of of our Lord. By the fifth century. All of these icons mistletoe poly and Evergreen trees have all become part of of churches Christmas tradition. The Puritans you know where all that happy about it.

They tried to stamp out any observance of Christmas. In fact, they passed a law in England in 1644 outlawing any breaking of mince pie or the making of the plum pudding. They knew that if people were baking that high and making that putting on December 25 of they were more than likely celebrating it and so they sort of outlawed it was people got around at all by making those pies and puddings on Christmas Eve. Even Great Britain's parliament met four years on December 25 as as a way to show their disdain for something so closely tied or at least in its past the Roman I think the apostle Paul answers the question for us and he certainly answered the question for the Jewish nation that had a lot of issues and in this regard. When he said in a one man will regard one day above another, another regards, every day alike. What I want to do is let every man be fully convinced in his own mind so that he who observes the day, any day, observes it on to the Lord at some point I was not really any more special than another, but if you choose to make one day or you choose to make one season special.

Make sure here's the point that you make the most of it for the glory of God given redemptive gospel meaning which I believe we've done. In fact, like Martin Luther, the reformer who many believe was the first want to take the Evergreen and is in and in and in his own home and and attached to it below candles to represent. Yes, this pagan icon. The regular use it to represent the birth of that one who was and is the light of you took something pagan and David redemptive purpose.

The fact that we observe. Christmas isn't really the issue. How we observe it and why matters. That's why it's exciting together as a body of believers to give it that redemptive purpose. By the way, if you decide not to observe something because it is worldly associations or ties back into Roman idolatry.

You really need to avoid studying history, that'll ruin everything effective in a few weeks. Make sure you don't reference the new year, or even write out the month January that January comes from Janos, a Roman god with two faces when looking back at the old year and one looking at the new year affect the writing of New Year's resolutions has pagan roots and on the more I thought about are there so many different things in our Western culture while you're at it, don't drive a car made by Mazda. That name Mazda was one of Persia's chief God's mighty anybody here driving a Mazda. Now you know eBay while you're at it take the fish symbol off your bumper symbol was in use long before the church adapted, among other things, mark their secret places of worship. In fact, the reason were so I wasn't only funny thing about it it was it was a symbol associated with the mother goddess side ways look like a fish standing upright.

It represented the womb of the goddess you track all the way to China. The goddess Courtney in is often portrayed in the likeness of the fish in Egypt.

Mrs. Rice is the mother goddess was called, among other things, the great fish of the abyss in Greece. The fish goddess Aphrodite's Alicia was worshiped by her followers and oh by the way they worshiped her on the day they designated which was Friday and they commemorated her on that Friday by eating fish so if you want to avoid pagan roots entirely. You don't eat fish on Friday if I don't even mention the name Friday because that's a transliteration of prayer day, another goddess to have tied up or with me there you are in your Mazda with a new fish symbol on your bumper in the drive through Burger King to pick up your fish combo and it's Friday and you get to go home and hang mistletoe you're in deep trouble. Well, the Christmas story. Frankly, the narrative is filled with one paradox after another that would contradict what we truly believe in who we truly want anything about it. First and foremost, God becomes a man of God baby coming of God in the form of a newborn baby. God made with paradox lyrics to wonderful song that usually rolled out of the season bundle all of my love. Some of the lyrics they read Mary did you know that your baby boy is come to make you this child that you deliver will soon deliver you a love for us. Mary did United your baby boys walk were angels tried when you kiss your little baby or you kiss the face of God.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation. Did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb this sleeping child you're holding is the great I am repaired ox. Imagine this paradox of virgin who conceives those are self-contradictory terms.

Take a look at that particular paradox will just pull a few things out of the narrative go back to Matthew one more time. In chapter 1, and I want you to notice the rather startling news and it will be tragic news to at least one individual Matthew chapter 1 verse 18 now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way.

In other words, this is how it happened when his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit is read that again a little slower when his mother Mary had been betrothed from our former study. We talked about the Kitty seen the betrothal. The second part of this three-part Jewish wedding tradition in this key machine. They have declared their valves in the eyes of their countrymen, they are legally wed and their law other not to the third stage, which is the consummation or they will literally live together. That's a year away, but they are wed considered husband and wife during a normal Jewish betrothal. The man was typically going on to his father's house while the Brian was preparing her trousseau getting the linens household items that they would need in their new home. You need to understand that a Jewish betrothal was a great deal more binding than our Western agent. They were actually pledged in marriage.

In fact, according to Jewish law.

The only way betrothal could be broken was by a writ of divorce. The presence of witnesses that should the man die before the marriages is consummated, the woman will be referred to as the virgin widow they've been betrothed, pledged now to preparing notice when Matthew clarifies his rights in verse 18 when his mother Mary been betrothed to Joseph notice before they came together as before they consummated in the final stage with that wonderful and grand ceremony. She was found to be with child, you can literally understand and read. She was found out the idea she was found out.

This is this is devastating news. Let me let me try to get you deposits you know the rest of the story more than likely, but imagine all you know if you're reading this for the first time as they been pledged and now she's found out to be carrying somebody's baby Joseph knows it is those around them. It would be really obvious or easy to jump to the conclusion that Joseph and Mary. More than likely just couldn't wait out the year, betrothal, and they consummated their valves before the ceremony.

What happens next will prove that they have not intended to jump the gun here effect instead of hurrying the ceremony forward like David and Bathsheba to cover up her pregnancy so that nobody could do easy math. Joseph makes a decision and it isn't to move up the ceremony.

He's getting keep following Jewish law. He's a righteous man. Notice verse 19 and her husband. Note that her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame resolved to divorce her quietly and others to get a break off the betrothal give a writ of divorcement with few witnesses she's easy to skip over the astonishment of merit which we haven't looked at it long because the Angels already informed her that she has supernaturally conceived with the Messiah by means of the Holy Spirit is touched one of her eggs and brought it to life by understanding that will that's the story that she more than likely personally will tell Joseph that he is a boy. It is easy to skip over her amazement, it's even easier skip over Joseph and his activity what what an absolutely gut wrenching heartbreaking tragedy this is and what a disgrace to his name first century Jewish law virtually left him with no option to recover his credibility that expose her publicly entering infidelity and then divorce her. Keep in mind is one New Testament scholar pointed out a wonderful new study expository series and through the book of Matthew the Jewish society. He pointed out a loud little privacy. These range marriages Joseph had probably never gotten to know Mary very well at all. He would have had little reason to believe her protestations of innocence and in fact if we slipped into his sandals. What shows it is more than likely thinking is I really didn't know her very well who wish anyone been terrified to marry her take her through the extension of the conditioning of the vets are terrified to do that, given the fact that this girl he thought he knew didn't know very well has evidently rest her future security her own reputation and name by willingly is leasing associate notices kindness, though he is going to avoid a public shame. The text tells us he's going to divorce her quietly and is going to pick up his shattered life is broken heart and his mind still reeling on to do the best. The last thing the Joseph a righteous man do we fear doing would be to keep Mary and she begins to show allow people to assume that he was the father that he had not kept the law that he disgrace God in his betrothal, which is why the angel comes to Joseph in a dream that night.

In verse 20 and his first words are Joseph, don't be afraid that most often when Angel said as if you are terrified of the site that was night vision during I think it. Don't be afraid to take her to that ceremony and and to consummate pretty well as he's instructed until my month later, but at least bring her in legally finish this threefold ceremony or this these stages make her publicly wife so what happens is he's being asked to verse 20 Joseph do not fear, that is, don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife on. By the way. It really was the Holy Spirit. You know, it would've taken a dream to convince it would've taken revelation God graciously gave Joseph is now being asked to take Mary through the betrothal. And then Mary and obviously expected woman, probably a private ceremony. Now that public ceremony were all the village turns out noisemakers and merriment. That's all scuttled. That's all over with the very beginnings of their early days are more with such heartbreak factor. Both can live with the accusation of immorality for the rest of their lives. Some always struck by the fact when Jesus Christ was 30 involved in his ministry. The Jewish leaders accused them.

John 841, of being worn as a result of sexual immorality. Throw that in space, effectively saying we know what your mother did, and also the implication is you are illegitimate you probably don't even know your father.

You're not the Messiah you're the son of a godly woman she don't. Don't rush forward because getting it somehow that Staples firm for Joseph and and for Mary, don't ever forget what the paradox of this narrative means for them. It will create the appearance of a contradiction of who they really are.

Mary loves God shall burst into song filled with Old Testament scripture and love for God. Joseph loves God is he's not is a man who follows after what is it looks like they could care less about God and his word. Listen as long as they live. They will never have their reputations back again in the opinion of their world and and I wonder. I cannot help but wonder how many people listen to me today who are unwilling to follow Jesus Christ of because of primarily what it might do to your reputation what people might think you the last thing I do is follow that stuff and that person factors the church becomes more and more marginalized as it is viewed as more and more, and out of step with culture. We are going to see people drop off because we will not ruin our reputation by following Jesus Christ. Here's the message from Joseph and Mary to you and me.

Don't worry about what will happen to your reputation. Don't worry about what will happen to your business.

Your future just follow Jesus Christ. Let him take her maximum is wonderful words in this narrative in the biography of this man found in verse 24 were told very next morning, Joseph awoke from sleep.

He did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. He took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son and called his name Jesus is.

There are a couple other people will point out here ungodly people to whom the incarnation of of God in Christ is going to really really present a contradiction of terms for them and settle with Luke's gospel can effectively hold your finger. Matthew Trevor Luke Luke chapter 2 fills in the blanks and he tells us what happens nine months later familiar text by government growing up as a boy that would gather the four songs in the living room in front of the jury in the presidencies and out before we do anything you read Luke chapter 2 and we would say her breath. Hurry, don't stop to expound on anything.

Please read it in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed or registered political leader effectively then wants to make sure that is registered back to the place of their chief descendent Chris David comes from Bethlehem. So Joseph and Mary up to track back to to Bethlehem, Bethlehem, means house of bread there going back there to to register. He wants to make. Caesar wants to make sure everybody's on the role so that everybody pays their taxes.

What's fascinating here is that you consider Bethlehem.

This is where they're going to go effect verse four tells us that they take off for that. Her more than likely going to travel 60 or 70 miles. This is where David kept his sheep as he was then apprenticed to become king.

This is where earlier one of his forefathers by the name of Boaz farmed where he would meet his bride Ruth and now God providentially arranges what Joseph and Mary. Don't miss this they would never volunteer to do this they had to be made in Anbar, 60 mile journey plus expecting your first baby and is nothing in the Christmas story by doing this is that a donkey nothing they don't want you probably were to port on one minister arrived with the others were traveling back to the house of bread they they may not even know that Micah had prophesied centuries earlier that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Got to get them to Bethlehem Caesars ID. This is God, the bread of life would be born in the house of bread. I have a fascinating book in my library entitled to 12 Caesars and I often pull it out to to reactivate myself to the world in which Jesus was born, and also the early church.

Later, hi. I pull that netbook out again because I've never really studied much on Caesar Augustine's eyes are red that fascinating chapter by the way, Caesar is simply the word Kaiser or czar.

They could also be Pharaoh.

If you are in Egypt and simply means the supreme ruler and they believe the Caesars especially all affairs of their lineage tracked back to the gods. They claim divine parentage by just a few years before Jesus is born. This particular Caesar from Luke chapter 2 verse one Caesar Augustus Mendes brand-new coinage along one society is Julius Caesar's predecessor, marking him as divine and on the other side of the client and has his image, Caesar Augustus, and he is captioned as the son of a God. So what you have here is you have Caesar Augustus inheriting the throne of his predecessor practice. It is further interesting that that Caesar inherited the throne from Julius Caesar, and when he did not long after Julius Caesar died comment was observed in the sky for several days. The Empire filled with superstitions, much like our world is today believe that it was some kind of omen that is somehow delivered the truth of the soul of Julius Caesar was now received among the immortal gods and Caesar Augustus sort of jumped at that opportunity to further establish his own divine parentage, so he had a star chiseled into a brand-new statue of Julius Caesar adopted father and had it placed before. So here you have here you have God incarnate little G incarnate.

Supposedly testified by a star in the heavens, and now his son is claiming the throne sounds only slightly familiar Satan well knows the Old Testament prophecies counterfeits and prepares the world believe zone falls gospel. Can you imagine I can wrap it up I would say this way the birth of Jesus Christ created scandal never the true gospel is scandalous today is the birth of Jesus and his gospel are scandalous is because the human tendency is to worship ourselves and worship the work of our hands. It's not just true of the Caesars that Stephen was talking about in this message. It's just as true today. People may like the idea of Christmas and even the baby Jesus, but the implication that Jesus is the rightful king over their heart and life. Well, for most people that's unacceptable and unbelievable. Thanks for joining us today. This is wisdom for the heart.

The Bible teaching ministry of Stephen David. If you're new to wisdom for the heart, I encourage you to spend some time browsing our website this month we have a free resource. It's actually this current series and indescribable gift as a free e-book.

Our website is wisdom online.have a great weekend and then join us Monday right here on wisdom

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