God Played by the Rules

Luke 2:1-20

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 Glory in the Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them,"Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. NKJV

This message was preached December 21, 2003 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at ToulonBaptist.com

Have you ever seen someone get special treatment because they were related to the boss? Have you ever seen nepotism by sone political person? How many of us if we had the money the power would make sure that our children never experienced many things that we had to endure. We have all known of people who were born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouths.

When I worked construction, there was this one kid that was about half baked and was not really a good worker but he kept his job. You see his dad owned the company. If the kid had not played the prodical he would have been more than that. What about Prince Charles, although he has not been an exemplary son he certainly has continued to enjoy the privileges of being heir to the throne.

How is it then that when God sent His only begotten son into the world that He receive no such special treatment?

How is it that God did not take special care as to Jesus' welfare and comforts?

It is because when Jesus came to earth, God allowed Him to experience all the sorrow, pain, frustrations, hunger and disappointment that any of us would ever go through.

  1. God played by the rules in His life
    1. His birth
      1. In that quaint little town of Bethlehem.
      2. Under the Roman occupation that caused His mother to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
      3. No reserved room
      4. No physician attended His birth
      5. There were no servants to make sure all was well.
      6. Born in a barn, a cave where animals were kept.
      7. Laid in a feeding trough.
    2. His childhood
      1. He was raised in Nazareth.
      2. He was raised in a common laborer's home.
      3. He grew and learned as any child does
      4. Trained to be a carpenter
    3. His occupation
      1. Not a philosopher
      2. Not a doctor of the law
      3. The one who engineered the universe would build yoke for oxen.
      4. Just a common carpenter.
    4. In family relations
      1. He had a mother and father who didn't understand Him.
      2. When He had stayed in the temple, they didn't understand.
      3. Later during His ministry his family comes to take Him home because they suppose Him deranged.
      4. Even His brethren did not believe on Him the gospel says.
        1. Not even all the miracles He did was enough to convince them that Jesus was God's Son.
      5. It took His resurrection to bring them to faith.
  2. God played by the rules in His death
    1. God who knows all things from the beginning allowed wicked men to conspire against His Son.
    2. He who knows the thought of all hearts allowed the betrayer to be one of Jesus' closest companions.
    3. God allowed His own Son to suffer one of the most humiliating deaths man has ever been able to invent.
    4. When Jesus came to the end, He bowed to the will fo the Father and took that cup of suffering for you and for me.
    5. That is what Christmas is really all about.
  3. After that God was done playing by the rules
    1. Three days later Jesus was raised from the dead.
    2. He is going to return to execute judgment and justice.
    3. He is coming to destroy all we know today because it is all tainted with sin.
    4. He is coming to truly bring peace on earth.

What will your Christmas be like this year. All about you, your family, gifts, decorations and the rest of all that.

Nothing is wrong with those things except if you leave Jesus out you can't really have Christmas.