Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (God with us)

History is full of men who claim they are from God or are messengers from God — Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed and even founders of new religions today but none were ever pre-announced except Jesus, the Christ. (See Dr. Ken Boa’s book on Cults and World Religions)

Both reason and history, along with the Scriptures, support Jesus’ claim to be Who He claimed to be — the Son of God. Even secular historians from the East and West wrote about the coming of Christ. "People were generally persuaded in the faith of the ancient prophecies, that the East was to prevail, and that from Judea was to come the Master and Ruler of the world." (Tacitus — Roman historian) "It was an old and constant belief throughout the East, that by indubitably certain prophecies, the Jews were to attain the highest power." (Suetonius —Roman historian) Even the Greeks expected Him for Aeschylus in his Prometheus (Greek mythology) wrote, "Look not for any end, moreover, to this curse until God appears, to accept upon His Head the pangs of thy own sins vicarious." Plato and Socrates spoke of the Logos and of the Universal Wise Man "yet to come". Thus the Jews and the "world" were expecting the King’s arrival, not Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed and founders of new religions today. They were not pre-announced.

Our faith is embedded in space, time and history and the Scriptures that speak of Jesus’ humanity and Divinity: Matthew 1:1 "A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:" Mark 1:1 "The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God." Luke 1:32 "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David," Luke 2:6-7 "While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger."

God is in Control: God protects His infant Son and powerless parents from the evil and powerful King Herod through angelic intervention and Divine dreams. Matthew 1:20 "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." Matthew 1:24 "When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife." Matthew 2:1-2 "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."" Matthew 2:12-13 "And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they (the magi) returned to their country by another route. 13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." Matthew 2:19-23 "After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead." 21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."" We even see the providential provision of the Lord in the gifts from the magi for Joseph and Mary to live and travel to and from Egypt..

"You are to give Him the name Jesus because He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21) People are looking for deliverance from trials, a hard life, oppression, addictions, but the ultimate deliverance is not from all these but deliverance from our sin and the power of sin and thus deliverance from a life of bondage and ultimately from eternal separation from God and all that is good.

Application: God is in control over all the powerful forces in our lives and nothing can thwart His will for our lives except our own disobedience. Secondly, King Jesus baffled the Romans, the Jews, his own disciples and mankind today as the King of kings became the humble, suffering servant of all. God’s Love = sacrificial giving, not warm feelings or passionate pleasure as the world defines it. God so loved us that He gave — sacrificed His Only Son, and Jesus gave His life: "Greater love has no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) And sacrificial love and worship of Jesus produces sacrificial love for others (Matthew 22:37-39). As we give our gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Lord (i.e., our sacrificial love and worship of Jesus) it produces the fruit of the Spirit in us -sacrificial love of each other. (E.g., see Ephesians 5:25) A reading from The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

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