Jesus continues to offend the world because this baby is a prophet who calls people to repentance and obedience.
Scripture: Acts 3:17-26; Isaiah 53
- We cannot consider Jesus in isolation from the offices that He holds. He is God’s anointed One, the Prophet foretold by lesser prophets.
- Prophets in the Bible were set apart to speak to the people about God’s law, judgments, and promises of salvation.
- Jesus is the Prophet who would speak forth the Word of God with finality.
- Christians are called to loyalty to God and His concerns for the world.
- Myrrh reminds us of the death and burial of Jesus. Like Myrrh, the message of Jesus offers the fragrance of life for those being saved.
- Christians can expect to suffer and be persecuted for honouring Jesus.
- Jesus continues to offend because the baby in a manger is a prophet who calls people to obedience and repentance.
- To acknowledge the cradle of Christ requires that we honour His position as sin-bearer on the cross and as exalted universal king on the right hand of the Father.
- The coming prophet was foretold by other prophets (Deut. 18:15). Peter quotes Deut. 18 in reference to Jesus (Acts 3:21-23).
- To be under sway of any false master is to be enslaved. Christ comes to free us from every false power centre that would enslave us.
- Everyone who speaks God’s Word into a culture that has other gods is in danger. That is why Jesus was at risk from His birth.
- Man cannot be relied upon to offer security, rescue, or peace. This truth is not popular.
- Mary’s magnificat speaks of Jesus overturning political powers (Luke 1:52), and so some threatened monarchs declared it illegal to be read in church services.
- Christmas spells bad news for rebels who prefer sin and evil over God’s reign.
- Alternate prophets are offered in place of Christ. For example science is demonstrated to be both fickle and waffling, while it claims certain truth.
- The prophets foretold the opposition Jesus would face from those who reject God’s salvation (Isaiah 53; Luke 20:9-19).
- Christmas contains the themes of suffering and danger.
- Christ requires our worship; the Lord in the manger demands our allegiance.
- What is Jesus’ ministry in His office as prophet?
- What is the warning for us in the parable of the tenants (Luke 20:9-19)?
- Why do the kings of the world hate Jesus? What are some of the false power centres that hate Jesus today?
- Whose voice, whose word will we believe this Christmas?
- Evaluate the “science says…” truth claim.
- How can we help our contemporaries see Christmas as more than a bizarre vacation involving revelry?