Focal Passages: Numbers 24:17; Matthew 1:16-21; 2:1, 7-11
On Christmas Day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God with us. During this time our family often reads the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ birth in Matthew and Luke. In Matthew’s account, as we see in today’s lesson, Jesus’ birth was not a new idea, but rather a fulfillment of what God had promised long before. The Holy Spirit inspired Matthew not only to consider Jesus’ family lineage, but also to trace it out for us as evidence of God’s fulfillment of His covenant promises.
The lesson’s reference to Numbers 24:17 highlights just one of many Old Testament prophecies pointing to the coming Messiah. Immediately after man’s fall in the Garden, God promised to send One who would crush the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15). He promised the Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). He promised the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Matthew notes on several occasions that the events surrounding Jesus’ birth were in fulfillment of what God had spoken “through the prophets.” Scripture is clear. God is faithful. He keeps His promises.
There will continue to be much “Christmas talk” over the next couple of weeks.
The questions will come: “What did you do for Christmas?” “What did you eat for Christmas dinner?” “What gifts did you get for Christmas?” The question for us as followers of Jesus Christ will be: “Will we be faithful to make the most of these opportunities and share with others about the Messiah who has come – the Christ of Christmas?”
In Jesus Christ, God has given us the greatest of gifts – Himself. And, God’s gift of salvation to us in Christ is not just about what we get, but also about what we get to do. In Christ, God saved us for Himself, so that we might live our lives for Him and for His glory.
We have the great opportunity and responsibility of sharing with others about our glorious, faithful God who has given us salvation through His Son. We must go and tell – the Messiah has come!