15. So that you may know …

Dr. Luke’s testimony about the birth of Yeshua, the Christ …

“Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught….

“… 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 conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus [Yeshua]. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants 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 on 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 unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For NO WORD FROM GOD WILL EVER FAIL.”

“’I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.” (Luke 1:1-4, 26-38, NIV)

NINE MONTHS LATER …

” In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place whileQuirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

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. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 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.

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 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. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” (Luke 2:1-12, NIV)

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PROPHECY CONNECTIONS: Remember that Jesus is directly related to David, who was directly related to Judah, who was the son of Jacob — a.k.a. ISRAEL — who was the son of Isaac, the promised son of Abraham and Sarah, who were directly related to Shem, son of Noah, a direct descendant of Seth, son of Adam and Eve!

With the birth of Messiah, the Savior, a key promise to Abraham is STILL in play: “ALL PEOPLE OF THE EARTH WILL BE BLESSED THROUGH YOU.” (Genesis 12:3b)

HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOU AND ME? Well, I am not a direct descendant of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Jacob. And probably neither are you. Which means that we were not included in the promises made specifically to that extended family. But the promise says “ALL PEOPLE OF THE EARTH WILL BE BLESSED.” That DOES include you and me. That’s why Jesus came — so that GENTILES (non-descendants of ISRAEL) could be grafted into the family tree and become heirs to the promises!

The apostle Paul put it this way …

“But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

“Before the coming of this faith [in Christ], we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

“SO IN CHRIST JESUS YOU ARE ALL CHILDREN OF GOD THROUGH FAITH, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ JesusIf you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:22-29, NIV)

So the journey to the cross begins …

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