Dec 2 2018 - BibleGeek Advent 1- God Invites Us into His Purposes
3rd December 2018
The 4 weeks of Advent this year: Hope, Peace, Joy, and love – this week is HOPE.
BibleProject – Word Study Yakhal – Hope – to Wait
Let's hear what the BibleProject guys have to say:
As I have studied Advent this year – Some of you may groan – I like to call this Bible Geek Advent
Matthew 1:1 This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Here it is – the introduction to the gospel of Matthew. What does the word Genealogy mean – come from? The G(r)eek word is GENESIS!
The gospel – what Matthew is going to do – the good news of Jesus Christ – He will take us to page 1 of the Bible. All the way back! And what he does, over and over – is showing us – he is saying that the story of Jesus is a retelling and a continuation and a fulfillment of the story of Israel. Everything He does has been done – throughout the history of Israel – He is doing it – but more importantly, He will fulfill it.
Matthew will go through the history of Israel – All of these things that have happened – Matthew is written to Jewish Christians – and asking – how does it tie back to what we have known. If you have ever read the genealogies in Matthew and Luke – they are different, aren’t they?
Matthew starts with Abraham. Why? Because Matthew is showing that Jesus is the fulfillment.
Luke begins with Jesus – and goes back to Adam. Luke is concerned about showing Jesus as the Savior of ALL MANKIND – so he takes it back to Adam.
What Matthew does – there are lots of allusions to the Old Testament – Jesus is a second Moses. Really, the ultimate Moses. And Matthew will refer to David – and Jesus being a second David – really – the fulfillment of David’s kingdom.
18 Now the birth (GENESIS) of Jesus Christ happened this way.
This is a creation story. If you need proof -
While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
Verse 2 of the Bible – the Spirit of God was hovering over the deep – over the formless and void.
We think we know how things work. We know a lot of skeptics. The virgin birth is ‘biologically impossible’ – or so we think. So Matthew is saying – this is not a BIOLOGY story – it is a CREATION story. In fact, the birth of Jesus is the ULTIMATE creation story.
We have been looking at Genesis in Sunday School – Genesis 1 and 2 are detailed Creation Stories. But there are MANY Creation stories throughout the Bible.
God becoming man is not BIOLOGY – it is NEW CREATION.
Incarnation – the theological topic that is most overlooked. Oh yeah, we believe all that, but the Incarnation is the foundation of all of it. This is the incarnation that God wanted and purposed from before the beginning of time. His desire has always been to become one of us that we might be with Him. It is UNBELIEVABLE – because God became human.
Now He calls us brother and sister. Imagine saying, Hey brother! To Jesus! That might sound sacrilegious – but He might do that to you!
No longer master – but friend. God wants this unbelievable intimate relationship with us – the kind of relationship we can appreciate.
Think of all your best friendships – what made those relationships so good? Those good things will be translated with you to when we are with the Lord. Those relationships that mean so much to us. All the best things about our relationships.
Speaking of Christ:
Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, 16 for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him– all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers– all things were created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him. 18 He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son.
This creation. This incarnation – is preeminent. Supreme. In every way.
For us, this is amazing and cool. For Mary and Joseph, it was a practical problem.
She was betrothed to Joseph. This is different than in our world from engagement.
If things don’t work out, she throws the ring at him.
In their world – it was a family thing. A contract we could say – it was legally binding. The community would come to witness this betrothal. Dowries and fees were paid – and not to the church or reception place!
The betrothal may last a year – during which the man would prepare a place for him and his bride – usually a room outside his parents’ house. Their time together was restricted. They were normally not allowed to be alone together – and then – Mary is found to be pregnant.
They lived in a town of about 500. Anyone from a small town?
If Joseph is the father, they could get married in shame. But if it is not Joseph, it would be more than shameful and disgraceful, it would be criminal.
19 Because Joseph, her husband to be, was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to divorce her privately.
Joseph had a great reputation. This was the highest description – to be called a righteous man.
He is not the father. So he intends to divorce her privately. Normally they would shame the woman – but he chooses to do it in such a way that she receives the least shame.
Matthew 9:13 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
This is about compassion. This is a story of compassion.
I was talking to someone after men’s group – as we get older – we become more compassionate. I said – that is because we have suffered. If you want to become compassionate, you have to suffer. Those who have never suffered cannot know full compassion.
Matthew 1:20 When he had contemplated this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
Joseph – what he is afraid of, is losing everything he has worked for. He is a pious, faithful, righteous Jewish man – and if he takes Mary as his wife, he loses all that.
Even later in Jesus’ ministry – they ask – isn’t this the one who is supposed to be Joseph’s son?
because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
Matthew is writing to the Jewish people – and the name Jesus means Yahweh Saves. So for the people of Israel – Jesus goes from being the Savior of Israel to sending the message out to the entire world in the end of Matthew.
This is the mission God has called us to – to be saved from our sins. We are all sinners – and because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we are wholly forgiven of everything – no matter how bad we are.
22 This all happened so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: 23 "Look! The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call him Emmanuel," which means "God with us."
His given name is Jesus – Yahweh Saves – but what He is fulfilling – is Emmanuel – God is with us. Fully and completely. In the Garden, God is with Adam and Eve. We think how awesome that might have been? But it is far better THIS WAY – our circumstance – having Christ in us – is superior to the garden and what it was like then.
And what is to come in the new creation – in the Garden, there was one tree of life. In the new creation – there will be 12 trees of life!
In Sunday school, we are talking about ‘spaces’ God is dividing the spaces – land from water, night from day – and there is a heavenly space and an earthly space. And throughout the Bible we see where the two connect – like in the Garden – but that connection comes COMPLETELY in Jesus Christ – He is both heavenly and earthly spaced in fullness.
24 When Joseph awoke from sleep he did what the angel of the Lord told him. He took his wife, 25 but did not have marital relations with her until she gave birth to a son, whom he named Jesus.
Joseph demonstrates his wisdom by fearing God and listening to God rather than fearing what other people think.
In our culture, we are so controlled about what others think. This happens in communities and schools – but also in the church. The solution is to fear God. He is the audience of 1 that we play for.
Because of Joseph’s faithfulness
1) God gives Joseph a greater purpose. We have events that take place in our lives – some pleasant, some not so much – but in them, God wants to give us purpose. There is something He wants to accomplish in and through us. These events are stepping stones to that happening. He wants to turn those things into accomplishing His purpose. It sounds inspiring until we are in the midst of it! There is stuff there that God is trying to accomplish.
2) God invites Joseph into His purposes and plans as a partner. Joseph and Mary became partners with God in raising Jesus. What an amazing partnership.
Finally – He invited Joseph and Mary to live in the presence of God 24/7. They were LITERALLY in the presence of God daily! (Except for a few days when He was 12 and left them for a bit.)
And now, we, because of what God did – are in His presence.