The Great Reversal

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The Great Reversal
Text: Luke 2:1-20
Occasion: Christmas
Audience: General
Theological Tradition: General
Topic: Value, Power
Author: Brian M


Direction

Through God, the smallest thing can be bigger than an empire.

How to Get There

  • The Jews had been longing for a Messiah for generations.
    • They wanted a ruler, a peacemaker, a king, someone who would found a nation that would never end.
    • They wanted money and respect and power. But mostly they wanted peace.
    • They wanted a gift from God of a Messiah, just a piece of God's strength and power. They knew how mighty God is, and just wanted a piece.
  • A man appeared, Augustus. Ruler of 2.5 million square miles of land, with an army that would be in the top 10 largest even today.
    • He practically owned the nation, and had brought peace to the entire known world.
    • Augustus had destroyed all of Israel's old enemies.
    • People called Augustus a savior, and revered his birth as the "beginning of good news through his coming."
  • Israel was at peace for the first time in its history, they even had a temple again.
  • And right at that moment in history, comes Christmas.
  • God could have used Augustus as his savior, or made someone even bigger.
  • But instead, a savior came to a poor unwed girl, in a small corner of the world, born in rags.
  • The biggest, badest, most powerful person couldn't save.
  • God took the world and flipped it upside down with Jesus. The lowest got angels and the most powerful man in the world was passed over for the title of king and savior.
  • The way the world counts value is wrong. 2000 years later, we know who the savior was.
  • The world says go big or go away. That isn't Christmas. Christmas says that when God acts, a poor baby celebrated only by shepherds can become savior of the world.
  • We have to choose whether we want to follow the big or follow the baby.

Things to Watch For

  • The Roman Empire was extremely powerful, but make sure to get the facts in a row.
  • Concentrate on the cult of the emperor and some of the language used to describe the worship of him.

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This Message is part 5 of Luke: Advent to Easter message series.