The Sign Of The Savior

Luke 2:6-20 (KJV) And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 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 earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

I love this time of the year. Yes, it is over commercialized. Yes, a lot of people miss the fact that Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Yes, the stores are crowded. But I love Christmas. Christmas is a reminder to us all that God is not an impersonal God sitting in the heavens. God loves us. God cares for us. And God wants the best for us. God made us in His image and after His likeness. God is immense! The Apostle Paul said:

Acts 17:24-31 (ESV) The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. …. 28 for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’ …. “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

It’s ironic that God does not NEED us, but He WANTS us. God is all sufficient. He has everything He needs. Yet God WANTS us because He LOVES us. Yet sadly throughout this season we call CHRISTmas many people will have time for the parties, time for the presents and the meals and the family – but no room for God.

1 There Was No Room For Them In The Inn. We are told in

Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Mary and Joseph made a 70 mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. I don’t know how she made the journey, but God must have been watching over them. Mary was, the Bible says, “Great with child”, and the Child that she carried was the Messiah – God Incarnate come to this earth.

This Baby is the most important Person Who will ever live on this planet. Yet few people know who this Baby is. When Mary and Joseph come to town that night the little town of Bethlehem was packed. The little tyrant who ruled Israel was called Herod, and Herod – a puppet king – did something he shouldn’t have done. He offended the Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar. Caesar, in turn, demands a census and a tax on Herod’s people the Jews. Everyone must go to their home of birth, and for Mary and Joseph this is Bethlehem. Here their names must be recorded, and the name of their baby as well. When the Messiah came He was supposed to be of the line of David. What sign would show that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Savior of the world. When the Angel goes to announce His birth to the shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night what “sign” does the Angel tell them to look for? The Angel says:

Luke 2:12 And THIS SHALL BE A SIGN unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

““THIS” is the SIGN you shall look for. You’ll not look in the best hotel in town. You will not head to the Governor’s Mansion. You won’t even find Him in a Motel 6. No. You will find Him – the Savior of the world – lying in a manger.”

In our world today we have parking garages in the basements of hospitals, malls, and fancy stores. I have often had to visit Vanderbilt Hospital and park in it’s garages. I would not think of staying there – camping out – in that dark and dank place. In the ancient world many houses and places where people stayed had “parking garages” for their animals. This was a warm and comfortable place for the animals to be kept safe from theft or harm. The “manger” is not a place where you would normally find a baby. The “manger” is where animals rest and feed. Yet this is a perfect place for the Messiah.

His entire life there was “no room at the inn” for Him. Jesus was not received with fanfare. When the British Crown had a baby Americans talked about that child with wonder. When the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to her second child at St. Mary’s hospital in London it was on every news channel and reported in every paper. Yet when Christ was born He was born in a manger.

a Jesus Was Born To Die. He was born in a manger because of what His future held. Jesus was born to be:

John 1:29 Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Jesus came to this earth to give Himself for our sins. Throughout the Old Testament God taught two things to His people. He taught them that they were sinners in need of a Savior. And God taught them that they could not save themselves. To cover their sins, God’s Old Testament people brought a lamb or a goat without spot or blemish to the Temple. The people then laid their hands on that creature, acknowledging that they were sinners. Symbolically transferring their sins to the animal it was then killed, it’s blood collected, and the blood sprinkled on the people.

Salvation came by the shedding of blood. Yet no animal can bring about the salvation of a person. We are sinful creatures – humans created in the image of God. Christ was born to be the Savior, the Lamb of God Who takes away our sins. See Him. The Scripture says of Jesus that He was discounted from the very beginning.

Isaiah 53:2-9 (ESV2011) …. he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 ​He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 ​But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6 ​All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Jesus Christ was born to die. The sacrifice of animals could not pay for the sins of man. Christ came to be our Savior. He was laid in that manger as the Lamb of God. The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was born in that manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes by His precious mother Mary. 33 years later He would be wrapped in swaddling clothes once more.

John 19:30 (KJV) (Jesus said) It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

John 19:40-42 (KJV) Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never man yet laid. 42 There laid they Jesus …

Jesus was born, bathed by His mother, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lay in a borrow cradle, a manger. When Jesus died He was taken from the Cross, bathed by His friends, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lay in a borrowed tomb. Why was this Man born? To save us from our sins. Why did this Man die? To save us from our sins. The Scripture tells us …

Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Hebrews 10:12, 17-18 But {Jesus}, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God. . . . AND THEIR SINS AND INIQUITIES WILL I REMEMBER NO MORE. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

Praise be unto God for the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ our Lord!

b Jesus Was Born For All. If Jesus had been born in a palace or in a castle many would have thought He had not come for them. Jesus was born and lay in a manger. C.H. Spurgeon wrote:

The manger and the cross standing at the two extremes of the Savior’s earthly life seem most fit and appropriate to each other. He is to wear through life the clothes of a peasant; He is to associate with fishermen; the meek are to be His disciples; the cold mountains are often to be His only bed; He is to say, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head;” nothing, therefore, could be more fitting than that in His time of humiliation, when He laid aside His glory, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, that He should be laid in a manger.”

Jesus would not be like that tyrant Herod or the monstrous Caesar. He was born in the lowest of places so that He could reach the lowest of people. The Angel told the shepherds that night:

Luke 2:10-11 Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

Fear not”! Those of you in want and in pain need not be afraid. God is giving you the Greatest Gift He can give you. God is giving you HIMSELF. This is “good tidings of GREAT joy, which shall be to ALL the people”. Jesus was born for all to die for all. He is a Savior.

No one can save us but God. God tells us in:

Isaiah 43:11 (KJV) I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no Savior.

Hosea 13:4 (KJV) …. I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no Savior beside me.

Jesus Christ is God incarnate, God in the flesh. He saves His people from their sins. The Angel said “Unto YOU is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord”. Jesus gave Himself for you. He came to this earth for you. He lived for you. He died for you. He rose again for you.

2 Make Room For Jesus In The Inn Of Your Hearts. God made room for you in His heart – do you have room for Jesus in YOUR hearts? When the Angel finished announcing the birth of Christ we read:

Luke 2:13-15 (KJV) 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 earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven …

The Christmas Cards and the Children’s Plays often portray the Angels singing at this point. They aren’t singing – they are PRAISING and SAYING. They are glorifying God for this wondrous gift. Do you realize that when Lucifer fell from Heaven and led a third of the angels in revolt against God, that their fate was sealed. The Bible tells us that:

Matthew 25:41 (KJV) …. everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Everlasting Fire is prepared for the devil and his angels. Hell is where fallen angels go. When Lucifer fell and recruited a third of the angels, God never reached out in love to save them. But Jesus was

Hebrews 2:9 (KJV) …. made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

God became man to die for man – but He did not do the same for the angels. When the angels saw this they glorified God, for they who have no second chance realize what a great gift this is that God offers us.

The Angels rejoiced over this miraculous manger. Yet after announcing the birth of Christ the Angels did not go door to door throughout Bethlehem and beyond spreading this good news. They told the Shepherds. Now it is up to them. Will they receive this wonderful gift or not? What will they do? We are told that:

Luke 2:15-16 (KJV) And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste …

Told of the sign of the manger the Shepherds – “who were keeping watch over their flock by night – immediately dropped everything they were doing. They looked at one another. “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass which the Lord has made known unto us”. They don’t bother gathering up their sheep. They don’t herd their sheep back into a fenced area or into a manger. They came with haste. Everything else took second place, for seeing Jesus was first place.

They made room for Jesus in their hearts.

Luke 2:16-18 (KJV) And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

I was struck by the fact that the Shepherds went with haste, and when they saw the manger they went out and told others about the Child. Yet the world just wondered at those things that was told them. Here we see the two mindsets. Those who are saved will drop everything and run to the Christ. They want to see Him, to worship Him, to be with Him. The world, however, just wonders. Though the shepherds made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this Child the world just wondered. There is no indication that anyone else got out of their comfort zone that night.

They just wondered.

They did not act.

True saving faith acts. It hears of Christ, and goes to Christ. The things that occupied the heart before are put out of the heart, and room is made for Christ. The Shepherds made room for Christ. Those who make room for Christ will find themselves blessed of God. If you have made room for Christ, God has made room for you. Your sins are paid for. Your eternity is sure.

The world wondered.

Mary pondered.

But the Shepherds celebrated.

Luke 2:19-20 (KJV)19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Charles Stanley wrote:

Imagine the wonder of the shepherds when an angel of the Lord spoke to them, followed by multitudes of the Heavenly host filling the night sky with otherworldly light and music. … Yet the most life changing experience they had that night was meeting the Messiah face to face. It moved their hearts to worship. …. Likewise when you encounter Jesus and see Him for who He is, the realization of His love and glory will fill your heart with thanksgiving and make you want to know Him better.”

Make room in your hearts for Jesus this Christmas. Come to where He is. He is available for you. He loves you. Receive Him as Lord and Savior this day, and every day will be blessed.

May God touch your hearts with his Word.

“Mary Did You Know”

by Mark Lowry (lyrics) & Buddy Greene (melody)

Mary, did you know – that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know – that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?

Did you know – that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?

This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know – that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know – that your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand?

Did you know – that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?

When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

The blind will see. The deaf will hear.

The dead will live again. The lame will leap.

The dumb will speak The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know – your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know – your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?

Did you know – your Baby Boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?

The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great, I Am.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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