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December 31, 2019 12:00 am
Exactly who and what is Jesus Christ, your Stephen baby with a short list of who Jesus is sentence suite around to the father is the blood of the Lamb of mercy see he is the that will be ripped apart as the high priest who will be seated. Having completed the work of redemption.
Once and for all. Is everything.
They are looking for.
No one sees stop and consider all the nation of Jesus Christ and how critical he is in our redemption.
It's clear that Jesus really is the answer to all that we need but you likely know some men and women who avoid the truth of Jesus Christ. Some people are even hostile to the truth. But even more surprising than the priests and the kings who missed out on the birth of Jesus Christ were the peasants and the shepherds who didn't miss it. Lowly shepherds were some of the first people to encounter and learn about the Savior. Stephen Davies calling today's lesson unlikely messenger boys this past year I have driven into my neighborhood in past home that is making the announcement of a baby's birth and the blue balloons of the pink balloons attached to the mailboxes seen those I would buy one home in our neighborhood and in early storks stuck out in the yard, each one bearing the announcement it's a girl to girl to girl and 1 More Way of a couple making the announcement and also going into debt as their babies born announcing to the world. This child is come whenever I drive driven by these homes. I tend to be the kind of person.
I wonder how it's going inside their mixed and my feelings with joy for them and concern on how to doing now their lives especially with the firstborn. Their lives are turned upside down for the first time you have sleepless nights upside down schedules and sink is probably filling up with formula bottles and cups and damn pajama tops and crib sheets are overflowing. The laundry baskets and not smell that smell sort of a syrupy sweet you know baby lotion baby powder, antiseptic dirty diaper all rolled up and clings to your close as kind of blurry been through that maybe some of you are in it. The blur of those first days and first weeks when life changes and will never quite be the same in here you are, you know you're bleary-eyed you're tired and going to church and undoubtably to run into another new mom whose bright-eyed and full of energy and she comes up to you baby wonderful from the first night we brought her baby over the hospital. He slept through the NIAID takes a four hour nap every day shooter Christian love scores. Life will never be the same. Multiply all that buyout of a billion trillion or whatever and you have the birth of Christ.
You have the birth of our Lord to change the lifestyles of Mary and Joseph.
Their lives are turned upside down from the very moment it occurs on even before there are announcements you know of the birth there are any storks in the yard there shepherds in the barnyard income they're kneeling there worshiping right there aren't any balloons on the mailbox, but there are parades of angels, the highest of the heavens are chanting. He asked Tom how's that for an announcement. Fathers arranged it all. We learned in our last session, the celestial glory of God appeared university professors and scientists more than a thousand miles away. I believe even now are currently packing for their journey. The angel Gabriel is made a few personal appearances himself. What makes these announcements and all of this flurry from God so amazing even above the simple fact that they occur. We talk about the angel apparently had to understand this after 400 years of silence, no angel, no star, no profit, no revelation.
No message from God silent and all of a sudden interacts have all of these announcements, the birth is about to take place. It is soon coming all these messengers arrive on the scene from shepherds to angels as I thought about and meditate all of these different messengers we could address. I want to take you to two different scenes very rapidly where God made announcements of Christ's birth and of who Christ was, I want you to turn in your Bibles to the gospel by Luke and chapter 1 Lenny sort of set the stage for you just to save time, the angel Gabriel has made his first appearance, and he has shattered the silence of God. This is the first announcement he's come to Lonnie's told her you're gonna have a baby boy visited Mary and Elizabeth relative and it is a baby boy named Jesus. It's a baby boy named John. We know this profit and will know him by his prophetic stink that he's an Old Testament prophet were still actually in the Old Testament, even though you're in the New Testament portion of your Bibles will know him by his distinctive will call him John the one John the Baptist or John the baptizer and with the announcement of Gabriel to Zacharias's priest father, you have this 400 years of silence now shattered and this is the prophetic fulfillment of what Malachi said when Malachi put down his quilt that was it for 400 years and now were told, the forerunner of the Messiah will companies coming like Elijah. He will be bold and courageous, he will tell the truth to the nation and to the Gentiles. Now Elizabeth we pick up our story here is six months pregnant and when she is six months, the angel Gabriel appears again, only this time to another woman named Mary and informed her that that she's also about to become pregnant to. That's where the similarity between Elizabeth and Mary and of course marries a virgin and well conceived by the overshadowing miraculous hand of God through the Holy Spirit.
No doubt she's filled with questions. Most scholars that I have read putter at about 13 or 14 years of age as the youngest and as the oldest, maybe 16 or 17. She's in her betrothal. That's why most would put her within the Jewish economy at about age 13.
Maybe's youngest 12 we don't know but no doubt this young girl is filled with question her mind would be racing. She's given the news before Gabriel leaves Mary.
He leaves this tremendous word of encouragement to her.
Would you look at chapter 1, verse 37 adds this on as he ends his message to Mary he says for nothing is angel turned preacher, nothing will be impossible with God. He ought to know. He's seen the creation of the universe he's seen so much that we would love to see but still introduces this wonderful truth that Mary will remember nothing with God is impossible. You can imagine can weigh how encouraging this will be why add that because I think Mary will hear at one time shall hear a thousand times over. That's impossible, Mary. No man is involved in your pregnancy that's impossible. God is involved in this. That's impossible. You're carrying the Messiah that's impossible. Mary would count the words that would be so encouraging. She would probably say something like this well the angel of God knew you'd say that.
He told me and I'll tell you with God nothing is impossible.
Where does Mary turn this young girl. Where did she go to understand as you listen to her. She cry before work. She get advice and counsel will Gabriel actually hinted at it. I think he was, you know, telling her something and she certainly picked up on it in the prior verse. Look at verse 36.
Gabriel says behold now you take note of this. Mary even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age and hours Mary are not the only one that's walking around in a daze. You're not the only one is being shocked by the work of God, your member Elizabeth you're running while she's six months pregnant. She's an agent woman well beyond childbearing years. In fact, Gabriel says you know she, who has been called the Baron is now in her six month. Another miracle baby is on the way. Another impossibility is about to come to pass like Abraham and Sarah of old. Here are Zacharias and Elizabeth expecting their first born son.
We all know if Mary told her parents what Mary told Joseph the text simply says in verse 39 she just with Hayes got up and ran. She ran this two or three day journey to meet with Elizabeth and their lives together would perform this statement of God's impossible work and I want you to notice this announcement and this incredible encounter.
Look at verse 39 now at this time Mary arose and went with Hayes to the hill country to the city of Judah and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth and it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leads in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit that she came under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and she cried out with a loud voice and said blessed among women. Are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb and how does it happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me for behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears. The baby leads in my womb for joy.
Can you imagine this is no prenatal kick lap in the pool we are turning over. This is the same Greek word used for the skipping and the leaping sheep in the field. This probably took Elizabeth's breath away know why what Elizabeth baby boy jumped and hit his head on her ribs.
Because of this. Well, for starters, we know the Holy Spirit induced him to do so already having prepared to be the announcer, the Messiah understand this baby as an Old Testament prophet and the Holy Spirit, what influence would fill the word could be translated dominate Gabriel's message to Zacharias listen this leave was John's first prophetic demonstration. This is his first prophetic utterance as amazing as it sounds from Elizabeth's uterus, was John's first audience is only about 9 inches long.
Anyways less than 2 pounds and he is overcome with joy. Apart from the fact the Holy Spirit is involved… Tell you about human life in the womb I tell you what it says it says it's life. It's human life that six months. John is able to experience emotion. He responds with spirit induced worship is able to hear the sound of Mary's voice. He reacts physically to his Messiah's presence because the Holy Spirit is allowing them to know that he storage is not bored with this sentiment of adoration and you know what's going on. John is doing a dance in the dark. What an incredible encounter between these two women. Imagine in this uncommon seen all they had in common. They were both miraculously expecting Elizabeth by man, married by God. They were both experiencing a pregnancy that only God could've arranged both sons had been announced by the prophet Gabriel is the silence of God was shattered. Both would have sons that would fulfill Old Testament prophecy, Luke informs us in verse 56 here that Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months either just before the birth of John or soon after and then came home.
Came home to her parents came home to Joseph.
Fortunately during her absence, the angel came to Joseph probably were not told what is probably go Gabriel, again making another appearance telling Joseph relax. It's true she's telling the truth. This is the hand of God and you're going to rear Messiah. If I could fast-forward the tape for you, take you to another announcement that is equally overlooked and yet very significant.
I would take you to chapter 2 verse 21. The birth of Christ, as occurred and there's about to be some fulfillment of the law and then announcement let's just take a few minutes and set the scene. Verse 21 when eight days were completed as Jesus is now eight days old before circumcisions name was then called Jesus. They did that in the course of the law, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. Yes, you. This is the Old Testament counterpart to this name is Joshua the Redeemer. Verse 22 and when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought up to Jerusalem to present to the Lord. This is at the 40th days I gone home and to come back in between verses 21 and 22 something that combined events. I think there was some gap in time they're coming back to Volvo.
Oh, look at verse 23 as it is written in the law of the Lord, every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord as part of their ritual, the redemption of the firstborn son with five shekels were not told that occurred here. Some believe it didn't happen.
I believe it did follow the wall perfectly.
It's not mentioned by Luke or the gospel writers that Joseph and Mary and the fulfillment of the law, bringing as Moses commanded in the book of Leviticus sacrifices for the cleansing or the purification of Mary.
She is considered at this point, unclean, after the birth of the son.
The mother would not be in attendance at the sanctuary for these 40 days and at the 40th day she would bring offerings and they would be made on her behalf and she would be returned to full communion with the assembly she's considered at this point. Unclean yet understand Mary's not a sinless saying she was not above the law of Moses, and she like every human being was responsible approach God in this era through the sacrificial system that pointed to the Messiah and his sacrifice so according to the law.
She's unclean and after the sacrifices shall be clean as there made on her behalf. Now since Mary and Joseph are close enough to Jerusalem, they make the 6 mile journey and they personally bring these sacrifices and if you notice in verse 24 latter part they are bringing two turtledoves or as according to the law to pigeons. They could take their choice and they brought either turtledoves or pigeons. Now we had time to look at the gold offerings laid out for us in the Old Testament for the mother you would discover that Moses actually called for a lamb to be brought for the offering of mothers. Leviticus chapter 12 outline the laws of motherhood and it defined this offering, but then Moses made an allowance for God through him that poor women who could not afford to buy a lamb could bring turtledoves or pigeons that cost just a few pennies. This was actually referred to as the offering of the poor that we know the men haven't appeared yet as you understand the chronology of these events properly. So then brother gold. Had they brought the gold they be able to buy the finest lamb on the planet and I'm sure Mary would allow dual purchased one of them because their poverty-stricken they have to bring birds instead of a land that money for a lamb but you're ahead of me. I'm sure you see it, don't you, they are bringing they only he will be sacrifice later there bringing the lamb.
Can you imagine here they are presenting their sacrificial animals in the temple of the same time holding their baby who would be the final sacrifice and there was someone who knew the verse 25 behold, there was a man in Jerusalem.
His name was Simeon and the man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel and the Holy Spirit was upon him again.
The Holy Spirit is working these details all and it had been revealed to him earlier by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Verse 27. Mary and Joseph got the little cage with her birds are holy Jesus and this is Simeon. He's not a priest is a layman.
He comes up to then maybe since cannot hold the baby for a while and most mothers is a please you know for a week or so take can I just call him and so he takes so many holds him aloft and he says now Lord now.
This led by bondservant, depart in peace, according to thy word. Verse 30 for my eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples allied a revelation to the Gentiles in the glory of thy people Israel. Could you imagine the scene verse 33, as father and mother are amazed or just stay there. There jobs are open pondering on the simile at 40 days to process all of these announcements in all of these appearances. All of these gases that are interrupted by an old man is seen what an announcement to give you some observations as we tie this study appear and make a few comments along the way. Things that I believe her time was taken from these texts that can encourage us today.
One just because God is been silent for 400 years doesn't mean the goddess stopped working. He hasn't stopped working. Silence and sovereignty are a combination we do not like we don't like it difficult from this tax take heart may be for you today. Take hearts take-home during your dark days. Maybe you're going through them God is at work. Another thing strikes me from these two announcements and it is this the message from God tends to be heard by those who want to listen you think about this one here with Simeon. We have no record in the text of priest gathering around Simeon nobody's asking questions.
They know I'm sure his reputation is the Valdez righteous. He followed God is an old man he come off and I'm sure is looking for the Messiah in the spirit of God somehow communicates to him now is the time the couple is coming.
The baby will be on the temple grounds so we because I imagine he looks around what other couples are coming to redeem their sons firstborn. There are lambs being led by some more wealth either turtledoves and pigeons going there all kinds of people and he appears and he watches and then he sees them and goes over and he makes his messianic statement where the priests hustling over to them. The people rushing over, let me hold this is the Messiah. See money is Mary and Joseph and her birds and her baby's old man throw busy take little notice of the introduction of the one to whom temple that surrounds them, looks toward he's the shewbread he's the candelabra is the light of the world. He's the incense of sweet aroma to the father. He is the blood of the lamb on the mercy seat is the sacrifice on the altar. He is the man know that will be ripped apart. Here is the high priest who will be seated. Having completed the work of redemption once and for all. He is everything.
They are looking for.
No one sees when here's white in the here Simeon maybe for the same reason one of you does not hear me now you don't want to hold them either. You have embraced this Redeemer for yourself. Maybe today message of Simeon will be message for you Messiah as we give you one more thought God chooses to act most often uses ordinary people to accomplish his will.
I'm glad for that.
Arjuna means he can use me and he can use you. He decides he chooses to use ordinary people, poor carpenter and a poor bride and agent priest and his elderly wife, an old man who isn't even a priest holding Christ aloft.
He is the one by the way, God of weighted visit where the priests notice that you would think it would be the high priest who would make this announcement know the high priest didn't want to hear used in ordinary man was the one of the professional clerk making and I think on this last day of 2019. It gives me a great opportunity to thank all of you like me ordinary people who are working together, partnering together in this wonderful ministry of wisdom for the heart, overtaking the work around the world.
I thought I join you, Scott here in the studio as we reflect just a little bit here at the close of this year on the goodness of God and the faithfulness of his word that's been delivered to so many people it's true wisdom for the heart is a small ministry a simple ministry. We have a small but dedicated staff all committed to one thing. The proclamation of the word and Stephen that's really what resonates with our listeners to, and that's what I think they appreciate about wisdom for the heart is your focus on teaching God's word faithfully and clearly your toys.
Great to hear from you as well of friends and there are so many more than could ever be read. I remember in the early days Scott we would long for a letter or a maybe a little email and we would make the most of it. Whatever we got it. But now we have so much you were grateful to hear from you like a Richard you wrote recently from Texas. He says I can't begin to tell you how much this broadcast is meant to my life and my family's life might teenage children. The radio is is turned on, the wisdom for the heart. Every morning as they get ready for their day. That's so wonderful, isn't it in on the end of the age spectrum. Here's a 72-year-old Charlene from Tennessee who says I listen to your program every day. I've been saved for 66 years, but I'm still finding.
I have so much yet to learn about God's word.
My husband's health is failing in our favorite time together is sitting with the word of God, open listening to wisdom for the heart, either on the radio or on your website. God is been so good to us and we appreciate you without what a sweet picture Scott that presents an anonymous individual dropped a note on our email page online. I cannot find the words to articulate how much this ministries been a blessing in my life. I listen every morning on my way to work and it truly sets the tone for the rest of my day.
I pray often for you at wisdom for the heart that God will give you the support you need to continue to do his work and that the Lord will not let his word return void in the lives of so many listeners. Thank you that the prayers been answered.
This year hasn't Scott yet really has been. Stephen likes to remind us here on the staff team that we are empowered by your prayers and were enabled by your gifts. Thank you so much for praying for this ministry and thank you for supporting us in making this ministry possible staff is not in the office today as they celebrate an extended holiday with their family and friends.
However, you can go to our website which is wisdom online.org you can take the ministry of wisdom for the heart wherever you go. Stephen has one more lesson to go in this series and we will have that for you tomorrow at the same time join us for that neuron wisdom for the heart