- Rev. Thomas Abraham
Christ's Journeys as a Child (Part 1)
This will be a series of messages on the subject of the Journeys of Jesus Christ when He was a child
Journey No: 1 - Lk: 2: 1-5.
We see six journeys of our Lord Jesus Christ when He was a child.
In His childhood, his journeys were made by others and not by his own plan.
Even though He is sovereign Lord – almighty God, the creator of the universe - when He came into this world as a human, His Father had given him caretakers in this world and our Lord Jesus Christ fully submitted to his earthly authorities.
Out of six journeys four of them were recorded by Dr. Luke in his Gospel
Life is a journey – Right? Yes, journey! Journey from where to where?
Some people think life is a journey from birth to death – No! That is not right! According to the scripture that’s not true.
There are five great questions about life;
Where do I come from?
Why am I here?
Where am I going?
Does life end at death?
Can we live forever?
No philosophy or religion could give the answer to these questions, only Jesus answered these questions.
Because He is the beginning and the end – and the author and finisher of life.
Journey from where to where?
Yes, journey from Eternity to eternity through this earth as a human.
In other words, we came from God and we are going back to God. Since we came from God and we’re going back to God, God is the owner and the author of our life.
Our life is not our own, it was given, it was given with a purpose - God has a purpose and a plan on our life.
I am a part and parcel of my creator – I am a spirit from the super spirit that is God.
What is God’s purpose and plan for our life during this life span as a human in this world?
i. My Father has sent me to this world to do His will.
Lk:22: 42. Father, if you are willing take this cup from me; yet not my will, but your will be done
ii. My Father has sent me to this world to finish His work Jn: 4: 34. My food, said Jesus, is to do the will of him who sent me to finish his work. And on the cross Jesus declared “It is finished”
iii. My Father has sent me to this world to glorify my father Jn: 12: 28. Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”.
Our Life in this world is accountable. One day we need to give an account to God of our life.
Rom: 14: 10b. For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. Rom: 14: 12. So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
Eccl: 12:13. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
Journey No: 1 - Lk: 2: 1-5.
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
His first journey is from Galilee to Judea, or Nazareth to Bethlehem
Now Jesus is an unborn baby, inside the womb of Mary – “As weak as a baby!’ is a common expression that could not be applied to the baby Jesus in the womb.
While He was as weak as any baby humanly speaking, He was all mighty, all knowing, and omnipresent God, the word became flesh.
Ish: 9: 6. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Mary carried not just a fetus, she was carrying the promise of God, the hope of the world, the salvation of mankind.
The same Jesus is inside each of us, we are carrying the promise of God, the light of the world and the answer of the world’s questions.
Col: 1: 27b. This mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Mary thought she would give birth in Nazareth, but God’s plan was different – the prophecy has to be fulfilled - in order to fulfill God’s plan – we need to pay the price – we need to sacrifice a lot of our own plans, our own lifestyles.
This journey is result of the last four thousand years of preparation, when God said the seed of the woman will crush the head of serpent. Gen: 3:15
God had promised that the Saviour would be a human, not an angel, a Jew not a Gentile; from the tribe of Judah not from Levi; from the family of David, born of virgin, in the Bethlehem, not in Nazareth
Although Augustus Caesar was ruling, God was in charge – and Caesar unknowingly played an important part of God’s plan.
As one theologian said “History is His story”. God creates history with you and me. The church’s history still continues.
Humanly speaking, it was a wrong edict for Mary and Joseph, in a wrong season and time.
To God, everything is going smoothly according to His plan – we are the people of God’s planning.
If we travel according to our plan, things will make us miserable.
Mary and Joseph had to travel eighty miles all the way from Galilee to Judea. Because the Saviour was inside her, she never hesitated to start the tough journey.
Bethlehem means “house of bread” the ideal birthplace of the Bread of Life (Jn: 6:16-20)
The first mention of Bethlehem in Scripture is in connection with the death of Jacob’s favorite wife Rachel Gen: 35: 16-20
Rachel died giving birth to a son whom she named Benoni, son of my sorrow
Its rich historic heritage including the death of Rachel and the birth of Benjamin. So, the place of death was changed into the place of life and hope.
Till the birth of Jesus, that place was remembered with sorrow, but now we celebrate that place every year with lights of hope and joy.
It is an unexpected journey
It is an unprepared journey
Journey through the strange way – what shall we do in such a situation?
Our journey through this pandemic is also unexpected and unprepared, but believe the end will be more blessed and for the glory of God.
Since Joseph and Mary were from a poor family, they might have worried about the expenses of their long journey and their stay in Bethlehem.
Since it was God’s plan, God had already spoken to the heart of some kings at east to bring gold, myrrh and frankincense, which is more than enough for this family to live for years.
Ps: 23: 6a. Surely your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life
When and where? When I follow my shepherd – when I walk through the right path because he guides me – even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
I won’t be emotional, I won’t be stressed or panicking, because my shepherd is always with me through this valley of pandemic.
Traveling eighty miles on a donkey with a nine month pregnant woman is a terrible journey.
But Joseph was ready to face that challenge, one scripture touches my heart
Lk: 2:4. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
David was not a loser, he was the man who was an overcomer of all challenges, and he was a victorious warrior.
What family do we belong to?
I am from the family of the one who trampled the head of Satan on the cross, and the one who did not hesitate to suffer for me and was not ashamed to carry the cross through the streets of Jerusalem.
Remember, the suffering of Friday is not the end, there is a resurrection Sunday ahead of us.
Lessons from his first Journey:
i. It is an unexpected journey (Decree changed their plan)
ii. Not decree, but God’s eternal plan (Do not blame the circumstances but just trust God)
iii. Not in Nazareth but in Bethlehem (Not our plan but God’s will)
iv. Changing place of sorrow into the place of hope and joy (Bethlehem is no more a place of a death but a place of hope and joy)
v. It is an unprepared journey (Lord has prepared everything for your journey through wise men)