Posted by Peter Thompson

Luke 2:1-20

Jesus: The Great Work of God

INTRODUCTION:  The greatest work that God ever did in human history was the bringing of God the Son to the earth.  Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us is by far His greatest work ever.  From this story God would have you to learn some actions that you should take as God works around you.

  2. This story starts with a very inconvenient government decree
  3. Of course Rome was in charge at that time
  4. And Caesar Augustus was the emperor
  5. And solely because he wanted to see how much land and how many people he ruled
  6. He decreed that everybody in the known world had to go back to their place of birth to register
  7. The word tax here, is the Greek word for census
  8. So Joseph goes to Bethlehem because that is his home town
  9. He takes Mary, his espoused wife with him
  10. Espoused is not officially married yet, but in those times it was as good as married
  11. Mary of course is not pregnant with Joseph’s baby
  12. She is pregnant with the Son of God
  13. But here is says that she was “great with child”
  14. That means that she was very pregnant
  15. The journey would have taken about a week to 2 weeks according to the scholars
  16. And soon after they came to Bethlehem, she had the baby, so this is a woman that is 9 months pregnant
  17. She is huge and uncomfortable
  18. And they are going to make a week’s journey, probably with her riding a donkey and him pulling it along
  19. What a terrible time for a decree, that made this 9 month pregnant woman travel for over a week to have Joseph write her name down and what land he owned
  20. I’m sure that Mary or Joseph neither one was very happy about this
  21. It was hard, Mary was no doubt in pain for most of the trip
  22. And then when they get there, there is not even a place to stay
  23. They have to stay in the stable
  24. But look what came out of that hardship
  25. While they were there, it came time to have the baby
  26. She birthed her first born son
  27. Wrapped him in strips of cloth
  28. And laid him in the manger-and Jesus the Savior is born in Bethlehem just like the prophecies said that He would be
  29. What looked like great hardship-turned into this wonderful miracle that fulfilled prophecy
  30. Your hardships too, can turn into great works of God
  31. God is always accomplishing His will in your life
  32. He is always working, and whatever work He does is going to be great
  33. When you lose a job
  34. When your car breaks down
  35. When you get sick
  36. When a loved one gets sick
  37. Yes, you hate it, and its hard
  38. But during those times, think about the great things that God is going to accomplish through that
  39. When you come out on the other side, God is going to have done something great
  41. The story turns to the shepherds
  42. They were abiding, or living out in the field
  43. They were watching the sheep as shepherds do
  44. They were going about their business with no idea that God had done something great
  45. I’m sure the Messiah was not even on their mind while they were out there
  46. An angel shows up to tell them the news and they are terrified
  47. (Read what the angel said in vs. 10-14)
  48. They find out that Jesus, the Savior is born in Bethlehem
  49. The anointed one of God-that is what Christ the Lord means
  50. Then a host of angels join the one angel to shout out praises to God
  51. What a scene
  52. But look what the shepherds do after the angels are gone
  53. They said, let’s go see this great work of God
  54. They went with haste, it says here, that means they hurried
  55. And they came to the place the angel had talked about
  56. Sure enough there was a baby in a manger, wrapped in strips of cloth
  57. They were the first ones outside of Mary and Joseph to see the Son of God in the world
  58. Because they decided to go and see what God was doing
  59. They could have decided that it was too risky to leave the sheep
  60. They could have decided that it was foolish to leave their camp
  61. But instead they decided to look to see what great work God was doing
  62. You too, need to be on the hunt for the great works of God
  63. I know some people that never seem to talk about the great things that God is doing
  64. They complain, they look at the bad all the time
  65. They question God and get angry at Him
  66. Then I know some other people, who seem to see God working in everything
  67. They share the blessings of God with people around them
  68. Did you know that the difference in those two kinds of people is not the work that God is doing
  69. Did you know God is not working in the one person’s life more than He is the other person’s life
  70. It is just that one of them is looking to see the wonderful works of God and the other one has their eyes on the trouble
  71. It is a matter of perspective and attitude that allows us to see what God is doing around us
  72. As you go about your life, look for the great works of God, you might get to see something amazing!
  1. Now sticking with the shepherds, when they have seen this great work of God, they go and tell everybody
  2. Look what it says here, “they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child”
  3. They went around telling people about what they had seen and heard about this child
  4. They were excited to share with others this great work of God
  5. And look what the people did when they heard
  6. They wondered at what the shepherds were telling them
  7. These things the shepherds were saying were extraordinary
  8. We have extraordinary things to share as well
  9. Yes, we need to tell people how we were saved by this same baby when He died on the cross and rose again
  10. We need to tell people that they can experience that same great act of God
  11. But don’t stop there, as you look for the great things God is doing around you in your life, you can share those things with people too
  12. There is too much negative going around about God these days
  13. You should be God’s greatest PR rep
  14. You should tell everybody how great He is and be specific about the great things He has done around you
  15. So that they will want to know more about this God, that you are bragging on all the time
  16. So they will want to come to Him through the Savior Jesus Christ
  17. So they can be saved and have eternal life
  18. Spread the great works of God to everybody you can
  20. But Mary, she does something different than the shepherds
  21. She pondered these things in her heart
  22. You see it was amazing to her too, that God had sent shepherds to worship her baby
  23. She had a front row seat to the great acts of God
  24. She pondered, which means that she thought about, considered it, took it all in and tried to understand it all
  25. In her own way, I think Mary was marveling at what God was doing with her family and with the world as a whole
  26. The shepherds were not so quiet about it
  27. They returned to their sheep
  28. But they were praising God and glorifying Him all the way there
  29. We are not really talking about 3 shepherds here like you see in the play
  30. There would have been lots of shepherds out there in the field that night outside of Bethlehem
  31. And so this great group of shepherds were going back out to the field
  32. Can you imagine the talk and the carousing those guys were doing
  33. Praising God, glorifying God for His wonderful work, for allowing them to see His wonderful work
  34. That means they were talking about it, they were shouting about it, they were putting the spotlight on God for what He had done
  35. We have no less to praise and glorify God for than these shepherds
  36. God sent this baby to save you
  37. If you have believed and confessed Him as Lord
  38. God has given you eternal life, all because of this same baby
  39. God has done great work in your life on top of that great work
  40. God is doing great work in your life right now
  41. God will do great work in your life in the future
  42. You need to praise Him, you need to shine the spotlight on God in your life
  43. He needs to get all the credit for the great things that He does around you

CONCLUSION:   Sometimes you have to trust Him that He is bringing about great things through your hardships.  But start looking around to see the great work that God is doing so that you can share it with other people and praise and glorify God for what He has done.