Merry Christmas. Thank you for reading. I pray you are enjoying this Christmas season.
As we have so far this Christmas, I ask that as you scroll the readings today, please pay attention to the miracles. Not just in number, for there are many, not just in the common Christmas scriptures, for these are familiar and easily taken for granted. But please pay attention to the miracles that happen from above, across thousands of years, involving God’s relationship to mankind. For these miracles across time, with an overview of mankind’s history, can only be conceived and instigated by the loving God Most High.
We will begin today with a familiar passage from the Christmas story in Luke. Luke 1:26-38,
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’”
“Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’”
“‘How will this be’, Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.’”
“‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.”
Here in this familiar passage of scripture, we have a miracle encounter with an angel, describing a miracle conception of a miracle child, a miracle delivery, a miracle reign over a miracle kingdom for eternity, which is another miracle. Then, on top of all these miracles, the angel throws in another miracle, Mary’s relative Elizabeth ( is pregnant with Jesus’ cousin, The baby we will know as John the Baptist.
Another happening here that could be considered a miracle is this: Mary, a young teenage girl, processes all of the angel’s announcements in real-time.
All of these miracles have happened. This is why I warned us, in the beginning, to not take any of these miracles for granted. But, for today, I want us to narrow down our focus now, let’s look at just three verses, Luke 1:31-32,
“‘You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.’”
Jesus, Son of the Most High. Meaning Jesus, Son of the Most High God.
The Most High God is the God with the capital G in the front. All other gods are spelled with a small g. This is where the world likes to begin, in their humanistic ruminations, to criticize God and who does he think he is? God with a capital G. How dare he.
Well, he’s the God Most High. heavens and earth. Creator of the Jesus is his Son, with a capital S.
Well, I want us to look closely at the meaning of the name Jesus. Let’s go to Matthew 1:21, this passage is from the angel in Joseph’s dream.
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
The name Jesus is important. The angel told Mary what to name the baby. Then the angel in Joseph’s dream made sure to tell Joseph what to name the baby. Jesus, name the baby Jesus.
Jesus is an important name. The meaning of Jesus is important. Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which means the Lord saves.
Jesus, the Lord saves. Here now we have the somewhat hidden overarching miracle. You and I, being born again children of God, having read the Bible containing both the Old and the New Testament, we understand this: The name Jesus makes perfect sense to us, because this child, having a name that means the Lord saves, because he is obviously going to save his people from their sins. We get it. We’ve seen the movies, read the book, and experienced the grace.
But the Jews of Jesus’ day had not. What you and I take for granted, they cannot yet conceive in their minds. This is because they expected the Messiah that was foretold, that Jesus really is, the Jewish people expected him to save his people by redeeming the entire nation of Israel all at once. They believed that Jesus was going to overthrow the rule of the Romans and establish an earthly kingdom. Jesus will do this, but it will be as a result of his second advent, when he returns as the conquering King of Kings. Even the disciples were slow to distinguish the difference in how Jesus was supposed to save his people. Luke 24:25-27, here Jesus, catches the disciples up to speed on what his real purpose really is.
“‘How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”’ And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures (at that time the OT only) concerning himself.”
This is the lesson for the Jews. The mind-blowing miracle is that the Messiah was anointed first to deliver his people spiritually. This means that Jesus, the Lord saves, as Messiah, meaning the Anointed One or Chosen One, will redeem his people individually from sin, one heart at a time, one person at a time, for as long as it takes.
This to me is an incredible miracle, in a story filled with miracles.
That the Lord Most High so loved the world that he gave his Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For the Lord Most High did not send his Son into the world to condemn and conquer the world, but to save the world through him.
Jesus saved us through love and sacrifice. The world and God’s enemies were looking for a conquering king, and they missed the Sacrificial Savior.
And the miracles continue…
Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year blessings,
and Harmony Church