Nativity of the Nazarene in Tumultuous Times

By Sean Finnegan

Matthew 1:18-19   The birth of Christ begins with a scandal. Mary is found pregnant though she’s betrothed. Joseph decides to divorce her quietly. The law was clear about this situation (Deut 22:13-14, 20-21; 22:23-24).

Matthew 1:20-21   In Hebrew, "Jesus" sounds like the word “salvation.” Jesus will save his people from their sins. Just like the Joseph in the book of Genesis, this Joseph is a dreamer.

Matthew 1:22-23   In Isaiah’s time, the kingdom of Judah faced an alliance between the kings of Israel and Syria. God provided a sign child to indicated He was with His people and would deliver them (Isaiah 7:14-16). Jesus likewise was a sign child.

Matthew 1:24-25   Joseph believes in the dream and acts accordingly. Even though there would be scandal, he chose to obey God.

Matthew 2:1-2   The wise men (magi) came from the east, probably from Arabia. They came to pay homage to the king of the Jews.

Matthew 2:3-8   Herod was a shrewd politician with a good deal of paranoia, especially in his old age. He carefully weaves a net to catch this so-called king.

Matthew 2:9-12   How encouraging it must have been to Joseph and Mary to have these visitors come! Their gifts would fund their escape and sojourn in Egypt.

Matthew 2:13-18   Another dream instructs Joseph to flee. He does not take his time but gets up and goes. In the meanwhile, Herod slaughters innocent children in Bethlehem. It’s telling that God didn’t exempt His son from difficulty throughout his life. Jesus understood human suffering.

LHIM Weekly Bible Teachings
LHIM Weekly Bible Teachings
Nativity of the Nazarene in Tumultuous Times

Weekly Bible Teaching Archive

2 Responses

  1. Hi, really enjoyed your message. Thank you. I was once a Trinitarian but due to your talks, and other people's talks, and watching debtaes, and my own investigation of Gd's word, have come to no longer believe this. I just wanted to ask (as I struggle with this issue) I note you had a decorated pine tree in the your place of meeting. Was just wondering about this as I have read that the Christmas tree is of pagan origin and that while, the argument can be used that, for us now, it represents new life say, this to me is a very dangerous approach to perpetuate pagan practices. In one article I read, it reads "Long before Christianity appeared, people in the Northern Hemisphere used evergreen plants to decorate their homes, particularly the doors, to celebrate the Winter Solstice. On December 21 or December 22, the day is the shortest, and the night is the longest. Traditionally, this time of the year is seen as the return in strength of the sun god who had been weakened during winter — and the evergreen plants served as a reminder that the god would glow again and summer was to be expected." Wondering your reasoning behind having one.
    • Sarah DeCamp
      We have freedom in Christ to celebrate or not celebrate Christmas, however the 3 trees on our stage are not Christmas trees, but simply part of a winter scene.

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