The Miracle of Christmas – The Manger


Peninsula Community Church

The Miracle of Christmas – the Manger!

December 26, 2011

 John 1:1-4, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not an thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The birth and life of Jesus came with some amazing claims and promises. What does Jesus claim to be? Let me list just a couple of these for you.

  • One of the first things He and scripture claim is that He is the Son of God. On two occasions God Himself proclaimed that Jesus was the Son of God.
    • The first occasion was at his baptism in Matthew 3:77 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
    • The second occasion was at his transfiguration in Matthew 17:5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
  • Secondly he claims to be the Savior of the world. In John 3:16 John proclaimed that God so loved the world that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but will have eternal life.
  • Thirdly, He is the only way to heaven. I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me. John 14.
  • Fourthly, He has the authority to forgive sins – Matthew 9:6; Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24.
  • Fifth, He is the only path to eternal life – John 3:15

What do you do with these claims? There are some who would ignore them. There are others who are respectful to Jesus but don’t take His astonishing claims that serious. The religion of Islam teaches that Jesus was a prophet and teacher. The Hindu believes that Jesus is just one of many ways of finding God. Many people admire Jesus from a distance, but when it comes right down to it, He’s just a nice man who has some nice stories written about.

It interesting that these claims have been made by someone who:

  • Never led an army
  • Never wrote a book
  • Never ran a corporate enterprise
  • Never held political office

For some people these are extravagant claims. The reason this seems so is that for many today the problem is that we have been desensitized to believing and trusting anyone’s claims. We have all been given promises and had claims made about certain products and people only to find these products are less than their marketing make them out to be.

  • Scientifically – The earth is flat, the sun rotated around the earth and if one had an infection they would bleed them out.
  • Medically – Don’t drink coffee, eat butter not margarine; eat butter not margarine.
  • Politically – Don’t worry social security is safe, your taxes will never go up, I promise to keep you mind when I vote in Congress.
  • Relationally – I promise to love you.
  • Commercially – This car was driven by a little old lady from Pasadena.

You get the idea, promises made only to be broken. The problem is that we have become suspect of anyone that makes claims that seem impossible.

But what if His claims are true? What does that mean for us? How would we be changed if we truly believed?

You see that what we decide about Jesus has both eternal and earthly implications. What we decide will determine our eternal destiny and our earthly direction.
 

C.S. Lewis explained that Jesus did not leave us the option of just respecting Him as a good, noble teacher. His claims leave no room for that position, even though it is very popular. We really only have three options concerning what to make of these claims. He is who He claims to be, the Lord of All. Or, He made these claims knowing that they were false and therefore He is a liar. Or third, He made these claims because He believed them to be true but in reality they were not, which makes Him deceived or a lunatic.

But we know his claims are true and what he said can be trusted.
 

The question here today is what if his claims were true. What would that mean for us? It would mean that we can trust his words and believe that all he has said and done is true and that he has us in mind in all that he does.

  • It means that we can trust him with our lives.
  • It means we can trust him with our family.
  • It means that if we trust Him with our lives that we have the promise of eternal life in heaven with him.

Do you believe?
One of the Christmas classic movies is “Miracle on 34th Street.” An old man claims to be Santa Claus but no one believes in him. They end up going to court to prove that he exists and they present the court with bag after bag of letters addressed to Santa Clause. It is at this moment that everyone begins to believe that he is indeed the one he claims to be.

It is not enough just to believe but you must step out in faith to receive and live out all that he has given and promised. In believing in Him, He will wipe away the pain of the past and remove the burden of guilt and regret. He alone can give us a reason for living and can fill us with the fullness of His love, His life and His grace.

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