TELL ME THE OLD, OLD STORY!
INTRODUCTION: Luke began his gospel with: Luke 1:5. Recall another story that started with “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” Both of those phrases began stories not equal in terms of value or importance; but stories nevertheless. We all use stories, just as our Lord Jesus did so people could better understand His teaching of sometimes very difficult to understand principles.
- THE POWER OF STORIES!
Bible stories are woven into the very fabric of our nation even though many are Biblically illiterate today. When we speak of “The Good Samaritan” people understand what we mean. When we say “The Prodigal has returned.” People get the message. Many of the stories in the Bible about the time of Jesus birth gave the Israelite nation a real twist. Mary’s song: Luke 1:46-53. The apostle Paul’s story of the Christ’s birth gave another great twist to the Jewish mind: Philippians 2:6-11. The Christmas story itself was very subversive to the Jewish mind of that day.
2. THE DIFFERENCES OF THE FOUR GOSPELS!
One of the things we learn as we go through the Gospels is that we find some similarities and then we also find some differences. In the book of Matthew Jesus is presented as the King of the Jews. In Luke, He is “the son of man.” In Mark, He is “the servant.” In John, He is “the Son of God.” As we put these views all together we a composite picture of our Lord. In Matthew we see it start out just as the Jewish mind would expect with the genealogy of Christ. But chapter two throws a money-wrench into the story. It is full of foreigners. The magi that came to see the King of the Jews were actually magicians: Deuteronomy 18:9-13. The sorcerer was one who studied the stars to foretell the future by them and God’s people were not to associate with them.
3. OUR LORD IS LONG SUFFEREING!
So the question comes: Why would God lead these sorcerers by a star to His Son? We need to go back 500. Years to see why God, who is longsuffering used these sorcerers to do His will. Daniel 1:17-21. Daniel was later made the chief of all the magicians in the kingdom: Daniel 2:46-49. One of the Old Testament prophecies was given in a very subversive story: Numbers 24:15-19. So God communicated with the star some 500 years after Daniel taught the magi, and 1,300 years after Moses had recorded what Balaam had predicted. The Magi asked the wicked king Herod about the King Whose star they were following to see where the Messiah was to be born: Micah 5:2. The subversive story told here is not to say God loves those who are bad people more than good people or the other way around. The point of the subversive is to show that our God loves all people and that if anyone will come to worship Him, regardless of their background if they believe the message of God, He will receive their worship. The subversive of this gospel story is that God reveals Himself to all kinds of people. It is often the least likely ones that are the ones that are actually open to God. God’s Word is there for everyone. The question is: “Are we listening and believing God’s revelation?