Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

12/25/2016 A.M.

 

Joy To The World

 

Song...1001... Hark The Harold Angels Sing... Lee McCain

 

Announcements & Prayer.... Charles Cash

 

Song...997... O Come All Ye Faithful

 

Devotional Thoughts... Randall

 

We’re gathered here this morning to celebrate Jesus. It matters not when He came... the Season... or the Day... The important thing is that He came into the world to forgive us and save us... And... That today he is alive and well as he lives in us.

 

Let us celebrate His coming... Every Day we live... Amen?

 

It’s interesting isn’t it that certain details of His... Birth... Life... Death...Resurrection... Ascension... and promised return are recorded by four different writers...We call them Gospels... Matthew... Mark... Luke... John.

Why?... Why four accounts?

Because every good preacher must know his audience....

• Who he’s speaking to...

• What their needs might be...

• And how to touch their heart effectively.

 

Now...Since the Holy Spirit is the... Ultimate... Perfect... Preacher...He knew his audience... Their need... And how to reach them... So we have four Gospels.

 

You recall that when Jesus died... there was a sign above His head proclaiming... This is Jesus of Nazareth... King of the Jews.

 

This designation was written in three languages... representing the three dominate cultures of the Mediterranean World of that time.

• Hebrew...

• Latin...

• And Greek.

Each of these cultures needed to know Jesus... And understand His Coming from their own perspective.

 

Come... Let’s see what we can learn...

 

The Holy Spirit knew what the Children of Israel needed to Hear and understand about Jesus... So... He selected and guided Matthew.

 

Matthew was a Jew... a Tax Collector... Converted to a new way of thinking because of his time spent with Jesus.

 

Indeed...The purpose of Matthew’s Gospel was to prove to the Hebrew nation that Jesus was...

Messiah...

• The anointed one...

• The Old Testament promised and prophesied Deliverer....

• The One anticipated by every faithful Jew.

 

Matthew uses 50 direct quotations from the Old Testament... and some 75 allusions to Old Testament events... as Powerful evidence that this Jesus of Nazareth was the Promised One... The son of David... The son of Abraham.

 

It’s interesting to note that even His last words from the cross were a direct quote from Psalms 22... Eli... Eli... Lama Sabachthani... My God... My God... Why Have You Forsaken Me?

 

Reading – Isaiah 53.1-12 – Jeff Grisham... Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

Matthew 1.18-25... Jeff Grisham... This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”--which means, “God with us.” When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

 

Song... 4... To God Be The Glory... Lee McCain

 

Randall... Mark was a well-known follower of Jesus.

• We know his mother was named Mary; that she was a believer... Serving Jesus...

• Mark was a cousin of Barnabas...

• We know that he had a close relationship with Peter.

Most scholars believe Mark’s Gospel was aided by Peter’s intimate knowledge of Jesus.

 

In a close reading of Mark’s narrative... It’s easy to see that he was writing to a Non-Jewish audience... A Latin audience... a roman audience.

 

• For instance... There are times and places where he takes time to explain... Hebrew traditions... Jewish customs.

 

• Mark Latinizes two mites into the Roman Farthing... Our King James reads... There came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

 

This clues us that Mark is writing to the Roman world... So they too could see Jesus.

 

• Mark emphasizes... The good deeds... The benevolent work... of Jesus.

 

• He records more miracles of Jesus than did... Matthew... Luke... and John.

 

• Mark uses Latin words and terms to speak of Jesus as a Servant.

 

The Roman world needed to see Jesus as the Servant Son of God... They wanted a God who could powerfully meet their deepest needs.

 

So...Mark records Jesus saying... For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

 

Consequently...It should not surprise us that Mark would begin His Gospel... Not with a linage of Jesus... But with the Son submitting in obedience to God the Father in baptism.

 

Reading – Mark 1.9-11... Dan Moss... At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

 

Reading –Philippians 2.5-11... Dan Moss... Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Song 147... I Stand Amazed... Joshua Grisham

 

Randall... As far as we know... Luke was the only Gentile writer in the Bible.

He was writing to the Grecian World.

Luke was a Physician...

He was a Historian... Giving us dates and times of events.

 

Interestingly...His Gospel and the Book of Acts constitute about one-fourth of our New Testament. These two Books were written to THEOPHILUS....A word meaning “Lover of God”... Or “Loved by God.”

 

So...It’s unclear... Is Luke is writing to a person... Or to a group... God Lovers... Those loved by God.

 

What we do know is that the Holy Spirit wanted... the Grecian world... Gentiles... To know Jesus... And that He came to forgive and save us.

 

Luke seems to focus on the humanity of Jesus...

• His linage is traced to Adam...

• He emphasizes many of Jesus’ human traits... His weeping over Jerusalem... His sweating drops of blood.

 

Even though Luke lets us see Jesus’ humanity... He also lets us see His Godliness...

Luke was a physician... Yet he accepts the Virgin Birth...

As a scientist... he affirms the genuineness of Jesus’ supernatural miraculous works. He writes that he carefully investigated these claims of Jesus and found them to be true.

 

Luke’s Gospel tells us that... Jesus was and is the God-Man... God in human flesh...

As much a man as if He were not God at all...

As much God as if He were not man at all.

No not half God and half man...

Not all God and not man... But The God-man.

 

Luke tells us... This God-man came to this earth... Born of a virgin... Lived a sinless life... Was nailed to a cross... Died to save us… Was raised to give us eternal life.

 

Indeed...Luke’s gospel brought good tidings and great joy to... all people... Even Gentiles... That includes us here this morning.

 

Reading – Luke 2.1-20... John Bowman... 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. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,“Do not be afraid. 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 to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly 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.”When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 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. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

 

Song... 356... I Believe In Jesus... Joshua Grisham

 

Randall... Well... John wrote to each of us... The purpose of his Gospel is clearly stated... These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

 

Can I ask you a question... A sobering question?...

What is your... What is my... Relationship with Jesus this morning?

 

Have we accepted the fact that He is the... Messiah?... the Anointed One?... God in the flesh?

 

Do we see Him as God in the flesh?... Come to die for us?... To forgive and save us?... To make eternal Heaven possible for us?

 

Are we striving to be like Him?... Placing the interest of others before our own...Not wishing to be served... But to serve.

 

Let me encourage you to resolve during this song...

• To celebrate Jesus...

• To pledge our faithfulness in serving Him...

• Becoming like Him... Becoming God’s instrument of righteousness.

 

Invitation Song... 924... Just As I Am... Lee McCain

 

Randall... One of the last things Jesus did on this earth was to set apart a memorial we understand as the Lord’s Supper...

• A time each week to celebrate Jesus...

• To contemplate Jesus and what He means to us...

• What He did for us...

• A time to look forward... Anticipating the day of His return...

 

Song... 364...Come Share The Lord... Lee McCain

 

Communion Thoughts...Bruce Roskam

Communion Served...

 

Song... 1018… “Joy To The World”… Lee McCain...

 

Shepherd’s Prayer...Tracy Bowman