VICYORY OUTREACH CAPETOWN CHRISTMAS MUSICAL ILLUSTRATED SERMON MESSAGE TITLE: “THAT NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM”
SPEAKER P.G. NDU
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 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.
5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6 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, because there was no guest room available for them.
According to Micah 5:2, Bethlehem was prophesied as the small town from which
the Messiah will come. And in fulfillment of this prophesy, Jesus was actually born in the small town of Bethlehem as God through prophet Micah had foretold.
THAT NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM WAS A GLORIOUS NIGHT
That night was not meant to be rowdy
That Night wasn’t supposed to be chaotic
That night was not supposed to be overtaken by the beehive of activities that greeted it. That night was supposed to be like every other night
In fact, when I look back and consider all that we read about that NIGHT, one would have thought that; that Night would have been a SILENT NIGHT
THE BIRTH OF JESUS WAS EXTRA-ORDINARY IN A NUMBER OF WAYS. HERE’S A QUICK SUMMARY OF THAT:
According to the accounts in Luke 1 and 2
- Angel Gabriel called Mary ‘the favored one’
- He declared that Jesus will be great
- He also said Jesus will be called the son of the Most High
- God will give Jesus the throne of His Ancestor David
- Jesus will reign over the House of Jacob forever
- He said of Jesus’ Kingdom, there will be no end
- Mary would receive the power of the Holy spirit that would impregnate her and therefore the child to be born would be holy
- He was born and laid on a manger even though he was a king
- His birth was announced by angel Gabriel
- He was born of a virgin
- His birth was first revealed first to the shepherds
- He was given a name before he was born
- The angels sang in praise of God during his birth
- His future role was given before he was born
SUMMARY OF EVENTS WHICH TOOK PLACE THE NIGHT JESUS WAS BORN
- Jesus’ Parents went to Bethlehem to attend the census ordered by Cesar Augustus.
- No room was available for Mary and Joseph to retire for the night and they had to go to the cattle shed…the barn.
- There were Shepherds looking after the flocks in the field that night
- Angels visited the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus. The Angels in turn sang praises and glorified God.
- The Shepherds visited Jesus in the stable as well as the visitation of the shepherds and the magi to the place Jesus was born (Bethlehem). They Brought gifts and glorified God.
- ON that Night in Bethlehem, we were introduced to a KING who was so willing to step out and away from His glorious palace and abandon all of ITS SPLENDOUR and GRANDEUR, its MAJESTY AND DIGNITY.
- HE stepped down into the ABASEMENT of our ABANDONMENT.
- Down to the ABYSS of the STABLE of life where He met us as symbolized by the animals around His birth.
- A king who considered it not shameful but willfully dwelt with us in the LOWLINESS of life that, He might REACH ALL irrespective or what strata or social class we might be.
- Whether HIGH or LOW, … .RICH or POOR, ….HAVE or HAVE-NOT
- Hence the bible says… “…And the world BECAME flesh and DWELT amongst us and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth….”…JOHN 1:14
OH WHAT A NIGHT IT WAS……IT WAS A HOLY NIGHT!
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
- Was announced by heaven through the Angel
- God interrupted the affairs and of men to announce the birth of His son.
- His Birth brings glad tidings of GREAT JOY to ALL THE PEOPLE according to Verse 10
verse 8Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And [c]behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them.
verse 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on
- Isn’t it interesting that the announcement of the birth of Jesus – the GOOD SHEPHERD was first made to shepherds who were in the field doing what God the father in Jesus Christ has come to do on earth.
- The EARTH is the field of God
- Jesus is the Good Shepherd and
- We are the sheep of his pasture.
WORTHY OF NOTE:
At this time of the year in ancient Israel, only sheep destined for
SACRIFICE at the temple service were tended close to the town.
ON THIS NIGHT; the only people who came to see the Good Shepherd at his birth were shepherds who tended sheep intended for sacrifice. Doesn’t that reverberate?
The shepherds and the sheep were only a shadow of Jesus and his mission.
- Like the Shepherds in the field that NIGHT, while we were all busy doing our own things;
- Taking care of our own businesses; sometimes through the DARK times of life
- God the Father sent His only son – The GOOD SHEPHERD to rescue us from ALL OUR CARES
- So scripture says… “Cast ALL your CARES upon Him for He Cares”….
Ø Jesus says “ Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”
AND SO THE SHEPHERDS LEFT ALL THEIR CARES AND CAME TO HIM
verse 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
THAT NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM;
- His Birth brought GREAT Joy, Peace and Goodwill to ALL MEN…..EVERYONE!
- It brought GLORY to God- the Father . PROPHET Isaiah in Isaiah 9:6-7 Said:
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, MIGHTY GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, PRINCE OF PEACE. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
- His Birth brought Gifts to mankind and all of humanity.
- Wrapped up in this seemingly harmless, innocent and defenseless bundle of joy are these 5 wonderful attributes and much more….Yes His birth brought much more to us.
- Gifts Carefully thought-out and lavishly bequeathed to us— you and I by the generous God-The Father.
- Such that when you receive Him, you receive ALL OF THOSE: WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, MIGHTY GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, PRINCE OF PEACE.
HOWEVER, I Wonder….. Yes I wonder and continue to wonder if we have wholehearted received these gifts.
On the night he was born…..A STAR AROSE IN THE SKY and was seen in the Far East.
2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, [a]wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
- This was a very rare kind of a star…..a one of a kind star.
- The wise men otherwise known as the Magi began their search for the child Jesus after seeing this rare star.
- And in the process of time they were led to the Place Jesus was by this STAR… His Star.
- These were astrologers from the Far East who were vast in the study of planetary signs and movements.
- The received a sign/signal from Heaven.
- They heard the word from scripture and
- Were led by a STAR to the exact place where Jesus was born.
- They naturally bowed and worshipped baby Jesus. Whom they perceived as the divine king.
- Their worship included the presentation of GIFTS to baby Jesus. Gifts fit for a divine king.
THAT NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM;
Was a night that changed the whole world
It was a night that brought change to humanity
It was a night that was to alter the trajectory of our lives for good and for ever
It was a night that officially kick started the journey to the rescue of MANKIND,
This Journey which culminated in the SALVATION of the SOULS of MEN,
The RESTORATION of LIVES, the release of hopes and dreams The BEGINNING of a new life in Christ.
A life of victory, power and success ……an overcoming, excelling
and a blessed life
BUT it all started on THAT NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM
AND HAS CONTINUED EVER SINCE ….even till this day.
- Everything He suffered that night was in exchange for us
- Including; Rejection, Abandonment, Poverty, Left in the cold
OH WHAT A NIGHT IT WAS IN BETHLEHEM
TODAY!….You and I can re-enact, re-appropriate and receive into our lives this JOY— Goodwill and PEACE to ALL MEN which started on that night as we commemorate the Birth of Jesus…
BUT beyond receiving this gifts, and for all His birth brought for us and did for us; like the men from the East, the MAGI, you and I have an opportunity to worship and adore Him……The reason for which we were created in the first place
SO I NOW INVITE YOU TO COME AND LETS ADORE HIM