Last week we learned about 2 odd and wonderful pregnancies.
Elizabeth is pregnant and Zechariah didn’t believe the angel, so he is mute until the baby is born and named John.
Mary is pregnant and is engaged to Joseph and is a virgin. Joseph thought to divorce her quietly but was persuaded by an angel to still marry her.
Elizabeth gives birth to a baby (Luke 1:57-80).
Elizabeth and Zechariah name him John. … The relatives there did not understand why the baby was to be named John. It was more traditional to name the first male son after his father.
Zechariah is able to speak again, and he praises God. …
Mary gives birth to a baby (Luke 2:1-21).
Joseph and Mary journey to Bethlehem. … Caesar Augustus issued a decree that everyone should return to their ancestor’s hometown for a census. Joseph was a descendent of David, yes, the David who killed Goliath and later became king of Israel. Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth, but had to go to Bethlehem for the census.
The baby is born in a place where livestock are kept. … Mary and Joseph couldn’t find anywhere to stay, probably because so many people came back for the census. They ended up in some type of livestock holding area. It may have been a cave where animals were kept or structure like a stable.
Angels announce the birth to shepherds. … In and odd and wonderful way, the first birth announcement is to some shepherds. The shepherds are just out there watching their sheep for the night and angels appear to them, declaring the birth of the Christ.
The shepherds find the baby and praise God. … The shepherds were told the baby would be in a manger and go to find him. Imagine this group of shepherds enthusiastically knocking on doors and asking residents if their was a baby in their manger.
When the baby is 8 days old, He is named Jesus. … The name is important.
Joseph and Mary take Jesus to Jerusalem (Luke 2:22-28).
When Jesus is 40 days old, they go to the temple. … When a child was 40 days old, the mother was required to offer a sacrifice for cleansing. Also, the first born was to be consecrated to the Lord.
Simon and Anna recognize Jesus as God’s salvation. … Anna, an old lady, prophecies to Mary and Joseph about Jesus. Simeon, an old man who had asked God to show him the Messiah before he died, recognized Jesus as that Messiah and knows salvation is here and on the way. … Anna and Simeon knew Jesus was how God would save the world in an odd and wonderful way.
Salvation is not a philosophy. Salvation is a relationship with Jesus. We all need saving from our sin. For those of us who have already accepted that salvation, we sometimes need to ask for forgiveness for our failings too. For those who have not accepted it, consider doing so by starting that relationship today.