Have you ever messed up? I mean REALLY messed up. Most of us have. The people of God had messed up, too. God had a special relationship with His people, Israel. But they slowly turned their backs on Him. Everything was great under King David, but it started going downhill after that. There were several kings that sat on the throne of Israel, later called Judah, and all of them David’s descendants. But they slowly fell further and further away from God and eventually lost everything. Israel was destroyed. They were kicked out of their land and overtaken by their enemies. They’d blown it. But God is good, all the time. Even though they had messed up, He still promised that one day He would send a Savior. Lots of prophets said it would happen. They knew it would. And they waited. And they waited. And nothing happened for a long, long time. But then one day an angel shows up and says, “It’s Time!” It was time for God to make good on His promise and send the long awaited Messiah, who would not only come to save His precious Israel, but He would come to save us ALL. Way back in the beginning of the story, God told Abraham that one day all the world would be blessed through him. And it was time.
The birth of the baby Jesus was a world-changing event. All of history would be changed by it. It was a miracle. It was finally time for God’s promise to come true. That’s why we celebrate Christmas and the miracle of the Baby Boy that was born of a virgin. That was part of the prophecy that said we would know when God was at work making His promise come true.
I hope you won’t just take my word for it, but read the story for yourself. It starts with lots of hard-to-pronounce names. That’s just saying that the promise to Abraham, that one of his descendants would be the Savior, was true. It also linked the Baby Boy up with the kings who had once ruled Israel. They were His forefathers. He came from a line of kings and that made Him eligible to be a King, too. Not just of Israel, but the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Here’s how the story goes. I hope you read it and see just how much Grace is found in the story.
Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38 — The genealogies of Joseph and Mary
Luke 1:5-25 — John’s birth foretold
Luke 1:26-38 — Jesus’ birth foretold to Mary
Matthew 1:18-24 — Jesus’ birth foretold to Joseph
Luke 1:39-56 — Mary visits Elizabeth in Judea, then returns home
Luke 1:57-80 — John is born
Luke 2:1-5 — Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem
Matthew 1:25 and Luke 2:6-7— Jesus is born
Luke 2:8-20 — The angels appear to the shepherds and they go visit Jesus
Luke 2:21-38 — Jesus is presented at the Temple, met by Simeon and Anna
Matthew 2:1-12 — The visit of the Magi
Matthew 2:13-18 — Joseph, Mary, and Jesus flee to Egypt
Matthew 2: 19-23 and Luke 2:40 — Joseph, Mary, and Jesus return to Nazareth
(If you want to read this online, go to www.biblegateway.com and type the references in the search bar)