Many spiritual truths are difficult for us earth-bound people to grasp. We relate much better to things we are already familiar with in everyday life. To help people understand spiritual truth Jesus used parables. And He used a lot!
The writers selected stories portraying Jesus the best for their audience, and wrote in a way their readers would understand. While they were selective in what they revealed, what is written is everything they thought important for their readers to know.
We now begin the second phase of our safari through Scripture. Our desire is to see all 27 books as a whole—to see how they fit together, how they relate to us, and the value of each section to the person who reads and believes the Bible. Of special interest is the “flow” of thought carried through these books and letters of the New Testament.
Dr. Luke, Paul’s travelling companion, was probably the only Gentile writer of any part of the New Testament. His Gospel focuses on providing a complete account of the life of Jesus. Certainly, none of the other three evangelists gave us a more detailed or descriptive analysis of the Saviour’s birth, childhood, and manhood.
Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, and Herod all heard God’s message. So what accounted for their different reactions? Zacharias doubted, Mary and Joseph believed, and Herod rejected the message. And each of their responses had significant results.
“Do not be afraid.” We see this phrase recur throughout the Christmas story and it’s easy to gloss over without fully comprehending it.
Nazareth isn’t some holy hamlet. It’s a rugged and dirty place, always has been. But it was there, in that lonely town, Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel and told she would bear the Messiah, the Saviour of the world.
As followers of Christ our history becomes His story. God has created and shaped each of us on purpose, with a purpose, and for a purpose. For the Christian our life-message is rooted in declaring the glory and grace of God.
The doctrine of the virgin birth, or perhaps more accurately the virgin conception, is important for many reasons. On it hang the doctrines of original sin, the inspiration of Scripture, who Jesus was, and what Jesus did in salvation.