Glory to God in the Highest!
Glory to God in the Highest! Luke 2:1-40
I. World Politics
God used and uses world politics to bring about His will for mankind. Jesus’ parents traveled to obey the law of the land and to fulfill the purposes of God. Galatians 4:4 – “In the fullness of time…” God had prepared the world for the birth of His Son.
II. The Birth
The Lord Jesus Christ was born as a baby in Bethlehem. In the meanest of all places and because there was no room in the inn.
III. The Messengers
An angel and soon an entire army (host) of angels announced this most notable of events in all of time. God became human and dwelt among His creation. The angels who sang at the creation and watch over all that God did and does now heralded the greatest news of all – Salvation!
IV. The Message
Do not be afraid. Good tidings (the evangel), great joy, a Savior – Christ the Lord wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
V. The Recipients of the Message
Mary, Joseph, all people, shepherds, Simeon, Anna
The Character of the recipients
Mary – highly favored – chosen as mother of Jesus – marveled
Joseph – obedient, diligent, faithful, marveled
Shepherds – obedient, trusting, believing, simple, knew that God was speaking to them, worked together,
Simeon – Led by the Holy Spirit, just, devout, patient, peace, knew the Scriptures, had Spiritual perception and sight
Anna – prophetess who lived in the temple – served God with fastings and prayers night and day – thankful – spoke the message of Jesus’ birth
VI. The Obedience to the Message
Mary’s pondering – Mary pondered in her heart all that was spoken to her of her son.
Joseph’s poverty – performed everything required by the law
Shepherd’s sharing – went with haste, made widely known (witnessed) what they saw, those whom they told marveled, praised and glorified God for the message they received
Simeon’s prophecy – blessed God, spoke for God
Anna’s fasting and prayers – night and day Anna fasted and prayed. Now she gave thanks and spoke of Jesus “to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”
Jesus – ‘And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.’ Jesus became the Message. The Creator became the Message!
VII. Religious Politics
Simeon prophesied –
• A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles
• The glory of your people, Israel
• Prepared before the face of all people
• Blessed the family
• This child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel.
• He is a sign that will be spoken against
• A sword will pierce through Mary’s soul
• The thoughts of many persons will be revealed by their response to Jesus
Simeon prophesied that Jesus would be the dividing personage of all of history. The thoughts of persons will be revealed by their acceptance or rejection of the angel’s message and the teachings of Jesus. People will rise and fall by their recognition of Jesus. Many speak against Him. Many will choose to live in darkness instead of accepting the light and glory of God. Church history and politics prove Simeon’s prophecy true over and over again.
Notes and Questions –
Why did God choose these people to receive His message? There was a very powerful political process and formal religious structure. Why did God not speak to them? Actually, He had spoken to them through His Scriptures. They had His written Word but missed His Living Word.
Shepherds were earthy people –lived with the sheep – hard hands, rough life, not accepted in society. Mary, Joseph, Simeon, Anna were obscure personalities. They had no real power in the halls of human justice and religion. They were the simple, believers of their day. They were the chosen of God to receive His message.
If God had asked or told the religious leaders to go to see the Messiah in a barn, what would they have done? He told shepherds to go the see the Messiah in a barn. That was home to them. They were comfortable there. No problem.
Why does God cloak His working in seemingly unacceptable things?
A virgin conceive? Who would believe that story?
Why does God cloak His working in obscurity?
Through whom and to whom is God speaking today?
Are they being heard?
Lessons of the Angels of God for Christmas
Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace
Among those with whom He is pleased. ESV
The message is clear. Glory to God is the highest calling for us.
If we will give all glory to God, the result will be
Peace on earth among those with whom He is pleased.
Why would God be pleased?
Because we are done with our selves and our plans and politics and
Because we are “living our lives to the glory of God.”
• If you live for the Glory of God the results will be:
Peace, good will among men, great joy, salvation, redemption…
• If you do not live for the Glory of God the results will be:
Living for your own Glory
Living for politics and pleasing men
The thoughts of your heart will be revealed
You will live and speak against God’s purposes
The Glory of God or politics –
• What about you?
• What about your church?
• Which will it be?
• Which will it be for you?
• What will you decide?
• How do you make your decisions?
• There is no middle ground
• You must decide either for or against Jesus
• It is your decision today
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
Do all to the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31