Christmas Verses – Luke 1:26-28

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:26-28.

Gabriel, who would be known from his appearances in Daniel 8 and 9, appears now to Mary to announce Jesus’ birth. Jesus will be a descendent of David, and born to a virgin. God was about to do amazing things, and this announcement was just the beginning.

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Christmas Verses – Galatians 4:4-5

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“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4-5.

These verses show that God’s timing in sending Jesus to this earth was not sporadic, but instead at just the right time. He was born under the Law, that is, subject to it, so that He would be able to save all those who were under the Law. God’s Son came to this earth to redeem us in order that God the Father might adopt us as His children.

Christmas Verses – John 1:14

“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.

This wonderful verse speaks of the eternal Son of God taking on human flesh and being born as a human baby. Think about those truths! God Himself, the Creator of all things, became part of His creation. The One who spoke all things into being was now dependent on a human mother and father. Through His time on earth, and now through His word which speaks to us about His life, we behold the glory of this eternal Son.

In Jesus birth we have an event that has never before occurred nor never shall again. God became man. The supernatural has invaded the natural. Incredible, unbelievable! Why would He do this? John 3:16 tells us:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Christmas Verses – John 1:1-5

Jesus took on humanity in the incarnation, but the person of the eternal Son of God has always existed with the Father. Nowhere in Scripture is this more clearly communicated than in John’s Gospel:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:1-5.

Here we learn that Jesus (the Word made flesh, v. 14) was in the beginning with God, and was God. This shows the unity and diversity within the Triune God: God is one in essence, and yet three persons. Jesus possesses all the totality of the divine nature (Colossians 2:9), and yet is distinct from God the Father.

Jesus was also actively involved in creation (“all things came into being by Him”). He is pictured here as true life and light, bringing life and light to all, and shining light into a dark world. Jesus’ entrance into the world in His birth was the coming of God among men in a human person, bringing life and light, now available to all. The words of the familiar Christmas hymn “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” show the divine and human natures of Christ united in one person. Ponder the words of the second verse especially:

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King,
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with th’ angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King!”

Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
late in time behold him come,
offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
hail th’ incarnate Deity,
pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King!”

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die,
born to raise us from the earth,
born to give us second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King!”

Christmas Verses – Micah 5:2

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2.

This verse gives the birthplace of the Messiah. He will be, like David, from Bethlehem, a small Judean village often considered insignificant and unimportant. This shows again that “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,” (1 Cor. 1:27).

The Messiah, from Micah 5:2, will go forth from God, will be ruler in Israel, and has an ancient heritage, even stretching back into eternity. Jesus is both God and man perfectly united in one person. As man, He was born in a manger to a human mother in a temporal moment and spatial location. As God, He had always existed with the Father in eternity. This verse speaks of His humanity while hinting at His deity.

Christmas Verses – Hosea 11:1

“When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.” Hosea 11:1.

There is much debate about how this verse relates to the birth of the Messiah in its original context, or whether Matthew adds new meaning to this verse. I think it best to see in the name Israel the concept of corporate solidarity: what is true for the nation of Israel as a whole is true for the perfect Israelite, the Messiah. Jesus’ personal history, then, mirrors Israel’s history in that He was taken down into Egypt in His youth and then came up out of Egypt later. Jesus also would be God’s chosen one to deliver His people from their sins, a greater deliverance even then when God delivered His people from Egypt.

Matthew uses this text to point to Jesus’ Messianic connections and His identity with His people. Remember, the name Jesus means “He will save His people from their sin,” (Matt. 1:21). Jesus is Savior first for Israel, and then for all people everywhere.

Perhaps Matthew also uses this text to make clear that Jesus is the Son of God. As the Son of God, He is the descendant of David, the divine ruler with the right to power and authority.

Christmas Verses – Isaiah 9:6-7

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7.

These wonderful verses, given 700 years before Jesus’ birth, predict the coming of the Messiah and the ultimate fulfillment of the promise of an everlasting kingdom made to David. The child born would have divine titles, showing His connection to and empowerment by God.

In Jesus’ birth this promise finds its ultimate focus. Christmas means the kingdom promised by God is coming near in the person of its king, Jesus the Messiah.