Four different Biblical characters in the Christmas Story point to answers which might change the way you see Christmas.
1. “How can I be sure of this?” (Luke 1:18 ESV)
Zechariah the priest’s question came not just from a logical curiosity we can easily relate to, but from underlying unbelief which we don’t wish to claim. Because, Zechariah saw only what was visible at that moment.
How many prayers lifted and how many tears fell throughout the long marriage of Zechariah and Elizabeth for a child that never came. Once frequent and raw with emotion his request had dimmed.
“Your prayer has been heard,” the angel said. “Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son.”
Perhaps it had been a long time since he’d prayed that prayer, but God remembered it.
“How can I be sure of this?” Zechariah asked.
Zechariah’s question held a challenge of unbelief. It demonstrated more than surprise, it revealed a familiar sort of distrust which asks, can I be sure of Him?
Perhaps you are approaching Christmas with unbelief in your heart, a kinda-maybe sub-par cautious trust. For whatever reason, you haven’t completely thrown yourself onto the grace of God. There is no better time.
Zechariah, a righteous man, allowed unbelief to blind him only for a brief time. Praise filled him at John’s birth. Zechariah’s question held a challenge of unbelief. It demonstrated more than surprise, it revealed a familiar sort of distrust which asks, can I be sure of Him? Click To Tweet
“And you child, will be called the prophet of the Most High.” (Luke 1:76 ESV)
2. “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34 ESV).
Mary, engaged to be married to Joseph, found herself before the astonishing announcement of the angel Gabriel.
“You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”
“How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
It didn’t make sense. The problem was simple. She had never known a man.
Yet, Mary believed.
The Deity of Christ is foundational to the Christmas story. The extraordinary birth of Jesus came about supernaturally. His Father, unlike earthly fathers, was sinless and holy.
Mary’s question stemmed from submission to God Who would miraculously bring her Savior to the world. Mary’s life would be forever marked by this pregnancy. Her heart would experience joy, sorrow, and humility. The Deity of Christ is foundational to the Christmas story. Click To Tweet
He is the Divine Son of God, and she accepted it.
It may be this Christmas you are being asked to believe despite difficult circumstances. Turn your eyes on Jesus. Put your faith in HIm.
“…for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Luke 1:49 ESV)
3 “And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Luke 1:43.
Scripture points to Jesus. Prophecies of his coming all throughout the Old Testament are parts of the story that give credence and never cease to amaze.
Elizabeth’s question showed her trust in the coming Messiah.
“He shall be called John,” the angel said. “He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.” (Luke 1:15 NIV)
And despite Elizabeth’s advanced years, a long awaited child moved within her.
When Mary entered Elizabeth’s and Zechariah’s house, pre-born John responded with ecstatic leaping within Elizabeth’s womb.
And Elizabeth recognized the Messiah growing within Mary. Overwhelmed to play a part in the extraordinary events, she asked, “And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Her question acknowledged the Lordship of Mary’s child.
Is He yours?
Perhaps this year you too need to recognize Jesus as Lord. Maybe you have never embraced His extraordinary grace as your own. Or, perhaps you need to be reminded of it. Marvel at the fact of His choosing. Linger in the undeserved favor He bestows.
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45 NIV)
4. “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” Matthew 2:2.
The wise men’s innocent question to a wicked Herod set in motion a series of events set for Jesus’ destruction.
They followed a star travelling many miles across rough terrain, until they reached Jerusalem and the palace of King Herod. Appointed by Rome as “king of the Jews,” Herod was ruthless. His list of murdered relatives included his sons and wife.
The wise men’s question threatened him. What? A new King of the Jews?
Only a little more than six miles away the light of the star rested over the place of the One Who came to be the Light of the world. The magi’s question led them to the King, but divided a city and brought tragedy and unrest.
In the violence and darkness of our world today we might ask, “where is He?”
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV
As you enjoy this season of brilliant light, ask yourself what wise men ask.
“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?”
May your answer this Christmas be from your heart. He is here.