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Luke 2:1-14

Key verses 2:10-11


“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”


Merry Christmas! It sounds good. It is better than Merry Holiday. Greetings, you who are highly favored! I am so happy to share good news of great joy for all the people with you today. What is good news for all the people. 2016 presidential election brought bad news to some people and good news to other people. There is no good news for everyone. Where is such a good news for all the people? It is the birth of Jesus, our Savior. Today, let’s think about the content of good news for all the people. May the birth of Jesus fill us with great joy in our hearts.




Look at verses 1-3. “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 Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.” The author of this gospel, Luke, was a historian. So he paints the historical background of the birth of Jesus. It was the Roman world. Caesar Augustus emerged as the victor of the bloody wars among the Roman generals and colonial people. Finally, the peace came to the Roman world. Caesar Augustus proclaimed Pax Romana which is Roman peace. Caesar declared from his palace, “I promise peace to all Roman citizens and all colonial people if you obey my command.” But people suffered under his rule because he ordered the census to collect taxes and draft soldiers for the Roman army. Mary was in her full term pregnancy but she had to travel to register from Nazareth to Bethlehem- around 90 miles on foot.  Caesar’s command must be observed absolutely without exception, not even for an expectant mother like Mary. Humanly speaking, Joseph and Mary seemed to be one of poor travelers who obeyed Caesar’s decree. But spiritually speaking, God was using Joseph and Mary as his instrument to send the Savior of the world Jesus Christ into this world. Though they were poor and helpless, they were precious in the eyes of God because they were the history makers not Caesar Augustus. Joseph was a righteous man and Mary was a pure virgin who refused to follow the trend of the world. God chose two senior citizens Zechariah and Elizabeth to be the parent of John the Baptist. They were humble people who devoted their entire life to pray for their son and the coming of the Messiah. God used the humble and praying people to prepare the coming of the Messiah King Jesus. In the same way God is using us as humble praying servants of God to expand the kingdom of God and to prepare the second coming of Jesus in these days.


Look at verses 6-7. “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.” What was the surroundings of the birth of Jesus? There was no guest room available in Bethlehem for Mary. Joseph found an animal stable and Mary delivered her firstborn son. The Son of God was wrapped in swaddling clothes laid in a manger. Why did God allow his Son to come into the world in such poor surroundings? It was to be with all sinner. God lowered himself to the lowest position so that all men could come to him. Jesus was born in a manger to give all men access to God. Caesar’s place was too high to have access. No one allowed to enter Caesar’s palace without a special permit. President-elect Donald Trump invited all cabinet candidates one by one for interviews to Trump Tower in New York. Ordinary people were not allowed to enter to the house of Trump without invitation. Those who were invited felt special when they entered into the elevator. But Jesus invited all people to come to him freely. No permit or security clearance were required. Caesar enjoyed his power by killing people. The baby Jesus came to serve sinners and give his life to set us free from the bondage of sin. Caesar ruled the world with his military forces but Jesus ruled the world with peace and love. The birth of Jesus was peaceful as we see the nativity. God used Caesar’s decree to fulfill his promise that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Here we learn that God is the master of human history not Caesar Augustus. Kingdoms of this world comes and goes like flowers which are beautiful today but wither soon. It is ebb and flow. But the kingdom God is eternal. Incarnated Jesus is so beautiful. When we see him, we receive full of grace and truth and one blessing after another. We are so joyful to welcome our King Jesus into this world to become our friend in this Christmas.




Who heard the first Christmas message? Look at verse 8. “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.” God blessed the humble shepherds to hear the first Christmas message because they were awake in that dark night of the birth of Jesus. They were faithful in their shepherding. God blessed their faithfulness. Though they were forgotten by the politicians and religious leaders and main stream media, God did not forget them. God recognized their humble state and faithful shepherding life watching their sheep in the cold night faithfully while others were sleeping in Bethlehem Inn. They had privilege to see Mary and the baby Jesus in the manger with their own eyes. It was their lifetime opportunity. Their long suffering shepherd lives were rewarded by God. They are like our missionaries, shepherds and YDJ members who participated in our early morning prayer meetings. They got up in the early morning rain or shine or storm or snow and offered their intercessory prayers for the flocks of God daily. God heard our unceasing prayers and blessed us so much in 2016. Though the world may not recognize your shepherding life, in the eyes of God you are the most beautiful people in College Park like the shepherds out in the fields in that silent night of Jesus’ birth.


Look at verse 9. “An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.” The shepherds were terrified when they saw the glory of the Lord. What was the angel’s message to the shepherds? Look at verses 10-11.” But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”


The content of good news of great joy was the birth of Savior in the town of David. What kind of Savior is Jesus?


First, Jesus is our Mighty Savior. Luke 1:69 says, “He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.” Jesus nickname is a horn of salvation. Horn is a symbol of power and strength. A bull with a strong horn defeats other bulls in a bull fighting. God sent Jesus to rescue us from our enemies at that silent night. Jesus can defeat all our enemies with his mighty power. Who is our enemies then? People are not our enemies. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12) Satan is our number one enemy. God blessed Adam and Eve our first parent to live in the paradise, the Garden of Eden. They were glorious because God created them in his own image. They were happy and blessed obeying God’s word and taking care of the Garden and loving one another as one. But Satan had jealousy over their happy life in the paradise came to Eve and tempted her to disobey God. Eve listened to Satan and ate the forbidden fruit in order to be like God and gave some to her husband Adam. Eve swallowed the fruit all the way but Adam remembered God’s word half way. So men have Adam’s Apple but women did not have it. If men did not have it, something is wrong with you. Adam and Eve fell into temptation and brought shame, guilt, sin, death, and judgement to all human beings. All people became prisoner of Satan since the fall of Adam. In Adam all die. But God promised to send his Son to crush Satan as an offspring of the woman. (Gen. 3:15) Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit through virgin Mary. Jesus came into this world to tie up Satan and plunder his house. (Matt. 12:29) How can he do that? Jesus is our mighty Savior. Jesus has power to set us free from prison house of Satan.

Jesus is mightier than Satan and he saved us from the power of Satan. Jesus saved a demon-possessed man from two thousand demons. Jesus restored this crazy man and gave him a new life. He became a missionary to Decapolis. The story of Jesus’ healing power never ends. The birth of Savior Jesus is good news to all people. Where can we find such good news other than our Lord Jesus Christ? What was God’s relational language at the birth of Jesus?

It was “Jesus.” God showed his love for sinners through his Son Jesus.


Second, Jesus is a servant Savior. Though he is the Son of God, he came to serve sinners. Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus was not a demanding Savior but a serving Savior. Serving and giving were all Jesus did as our Savior. These days serving is not a cool thing. No one wants to serve others because it is a burden. In order to avoid in serving others, people join Face Book friends. It is easy to post cool pictures and latest news or sensational stories. You do not have to buy a dinner or listen to other’s complaints. You just look at the pictures and write a comment. Recently I created a Face Book and there are 51 people requesting to be my friend. I am thinking about accept or delete. People do not meet or serve others in the convenience of Internet age. But Jesus served his disciples from morning till night. Jesus washed their feet one by one to show examples of love. Jesus served his loved ones to the end. Jesus gave fish burger sandwiches to 5000 hungry crowds after Bible studies. He commanded his disciples, “You give them something to eat.” (Mark 6:37a) Finally, Jesus gave his life on the cross to take away the sin of the world as the Lamb of God. (John 1;29) That’s the reason why the birth of Jesus is good news of great joy for all the people. Jesus gave everything his blood and flesh on the cross to save us from the power of sin. Jesus was naked on the cross because he gave everything that he had. His finally was on the cross, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) Jesus finished serving and giving his life as the serving Savior of the world. Because of Jesus’ serving and giving, the world became a better place to live. Serving and giving became the symbol of highest form of Christian life. We all are the product of serving and giving life of Jesus. Mother Teresa imitated Jesus’ serving and giving life in Calcutta India. She dedicated her life in serving the poorest and sickest people like orphans in slums of Calcutta. She said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Jesus said, “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” (Mark 10:43b) Dr. Banerjee is from India with Hindu background and he also in physics PDD. It was not easy for him to become a Christian. But Dr. Bora Sul served Dr. Anand with love and the word of God. He became a new creation through her serving and giving. Dr. Anand was baptized this year and accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. Bora’s faith and serving gave him new life. We served our students and children and fellow coworkers and family members and guests with humility and love in 2016. God built the Christ-centered community that builds, loves and supports and serves each other. You are so beautiful in the sight of God because you constantly serve God and people around you. When I look around, I see so many serving people in our ministry. God saved many students and gave them new life through our serving and giving. I pray that we all may imitate the life of Jesus in 2017.


Third, Jesus is the Messiah Savior. Jesus is our anointed King. Levi the tax collector served money as his king but he was not happy. Samaritan woman served husband as her king but she was thirsty all the time and had no satisfaction in her life. When Levi followed Jesus King and he was transformed to become Saint Matthew. When Israel was ruled by the judges, they demanded to have a king. God granted their request. The first king was King Saul who was tall and handsome but failed to follow God. The second king was King David who became a man after God’s own heart. David was a shepherd King who ruled Israel with love and peace. He was a good shepherd because he knew God as his own shepherd. He wrote many Psalms of praise to honor and give thanks to God. He brought peace and prosperity to the kingdom of Israel. David became a symbol of the Messianic Kingdom. Matthew 1:1 says, “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David and, the son of Abraham.” Indeed, Jesus was born in the city of David Bethlehem and as the descendant of David. Jesus is our shepherd King. Jesus knows each of us by name and goes ahead of us so that we may follow him. He is our personal Savior who understands each of us. He is our security and shield and rock of salvation. God saved Aaron Gentle in Belize from four robbers. God protected M. Moses and Sarah by his hands.


Though the world may reject us and misunderstand us, Jesus accepts and understands us because he is our Shepherd King. Isaiah 53:6 says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Jesus was condemned and suffered endlessly to cover our sins and to carry the iniquity of us all. By his wounds we are healed from our sin sickness. Praise Jesus who cleansed our dirty sins again and again as white as snow by shedding his own blood. John 10:11 says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” We are blessed to have such a shepherd King Jesus as our Savior. We can have fullness of life as long as we follow our shepherd King Jesus, our Messiah. He will guide us to the green pastures and quiet waters all the days of our life. God has been good shepherd to me. When I went astray, he found me and led me to the right path. When I went through dark valleys, he found me and brought me to a safe place. God blessed me to finish the building project this year with many rooms and parking lot. I was planning to retire but God postponed my retirement because the chosen servant did not come. God has a different plan. Still I am looking for my successor to lead Washington ministry for next 20 years. God gave us 20/20 vision to raise up 20 disciples for next 20 years. God blessed me to have three sons and three daughter-in-laws and 7 grandchildren. God blessed me to have supporting and praying partner M. Esther. Now I found my relational language for her. This is to wash dishes for her every day. This is my love language for her.

What was the sign of good news of great joy? Look at verse 12. “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” How in the world a baby wrapped in cloths be a sign of good news? Come on and we need a bigger sign if this is a really good news of great joy. The sign looks too small and insignificant. Yesterday I had group Bible study with Abe Song, Jonathan Deibert, and Danny Hong. At the end of the Bible study, Danny Hong said, “I passed CPA exam.” It was good news because we prayed for Danny several months. Abe Song suggested to found “Song & Hong LLC” in the future and gave a big bear hug and Jonathan shook hands with sheepish smile. It was good news for Danny but there are other people who failed. There are winners and losers in this world. But the birth of Jesus is good news to all. It is win/win good news. Though the baby Jesus is lying in a manger and looked small and insignificant, Jesus is the author of life and his ministry will grow to save all people of the earth. Jesus began his gospel ministry in Galilee most insignificant and despised land and called blue color fishermen to be his disciples. He had a humble beginning but expanded to all nations to save people from idol worship. Apostle Paul began his ministry in a rented house in Rome but later the gospel of Jesus spread to all Roman Empire. God’s work is manger ministry. It is small in the beginning but it grows because there is a life-giving work in the manger ministry. Our ministry began in a small rented apartment called CPT210 and it grew to become one of the largest UBF centers in the world. God’s kingdom is like a mustard seed. It is small in the beginning but it grows to become the largest once planted. I believe that Washington ministry will grow like Antioch Church as the world mission center to make America as the kingdom of priests and a holy nation.


What was the first heavenly Chorus? Look at verses 13-14. “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  As the angel was giving the good news of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds, a great number of angels joined praising God: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  The birth of Jesus is peace to all who believe and glory to God for his faithfulness to send his Son as our Savior.


In conclusion, it is time to make room and welcome the baby Jesus as our Savior King. It is time to remember God’s grace and renew our faith in Jesus. I pray that we may have mind-set of Jesus by serving God and others with humility and love. May God fill your hearts with joy of heaven and thanksgiving in this Christmas!


Let’s read the key verse 10-11.


“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”



Merry Christmas and a happy new year!