The Christmas Story

Luke 2

DATE: 22 Dec, 2002                       PLACE: BBC Mallow


I.         Introduction


A.      How many of you know the Christmas Story? I mean, could tell it to someone who either:


1.        Had never heard

2.        Or, had it all mixed up


B.       It could be summarised simply this way


1.        The Birth (2:1-7)

2.        The Broadcast (2:8-33)

3.        The Bitter Pill (2:34,35)


C.       I intend on reminding you not only about the Christmas story, but trying to get you to stop and take it all in this Christmas – make it part of your memory


II.       Message


A.      The Birth (Luke 2:1-7)


1.        The Tug  (Luke 2:1-4)


a.       Here is how God gets 2 people INTO the will of God so that Jesus could be born in the right place as described in Micah 5:2


1)       Mary lived in Nazareth

2)       Joseph, her soon to be husband lives in Nazareth

3)       The Messiah has to be born in Bethlehem

4)       Bethlehem was both their birthplace


b.       God moves Caesar to tax not just a section of his empire – No, he wants the WHOLE WORLD to be taxed


1)       Notice the taxation!

2)       There is nothing new under the sun


c.       Shows that God even uses megalomania for His purpose

d.       God motivates two nobodies (Joseph and Mary) down to Bethlehem


2.        The Timing (2:2; Num 24:17; Gal 4:4; Eccl 3:10) – didn’t just happen


a.       They say, Timing is everything - God is the one who settled that

b.       The birth of Jesus has to match the following events


1)       Has to be after the birth of the Messenger – John the Baptist

2)       Has to be when the whole world is under the Roman Empire

3)       Has to be when Israel is in her land

4)       Has to be while the Temple is built and standing

5)       Has to be 483 years from the decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, until the coming of the Messiah into the gates of the city of Jerusalem

6)       So, allowing for Jesus being 33 when He came into the city, His birth has to be 450 years after Artexerxes’ decree


c.       Do you see how that a lot of things had to be in place? Same is so true for God’s answer to your needs!

d.       Just remember two things:


1)       God knows already what you need and waits for you to realise what you need and ask Him for it

2)       God is already working on supplying your need, and just waiting on everything to be right


3.        The Troubles (2:5-7)


a.       Joseph and Mary have to travel 60 miles with Mary on the back of a donkey to get down to Bethlehem

b.       Mary was so near to her delivery time – VERY uncomfortable

c.       There was no room for them ANYWHERE in the village (normally about 300 people, but it had swelled to thousands

d.       They ended up in a barn with animals

e.       They were very poor – only two classes of people – rich and poor

f.        Mary had to have her baby in that barn, and had to place that baby in a feeding trough, a manger


1)       They probably thought it was awful to have to do that

2)       But God used it for His glory – He used it as a sign to everyone that HIS Son had come!


B.       The Broadcast (2:8-33) God got a lot of people to announce this miracle birth


1.        The Tidings (2:8-12)


a.       Tidings are breaking news stories

b.       Tidings went first to shepherds


1)       God likes shepherds best

2)       Notice all the shepherds in the Bible, and how great they were: Abel, David, many of the prophets, Jesus, Abraham

3)       Notice the Scriptures about shepherding (Psalm 23, and John 10)


c.       Tidings were first announced by someone called THE angel of the Lord – Jesus

d.       A Baby had been born (Isa 7:14; Isa 9:6,7)


1)       Glad tidings – good news

2)       Great joy – where is the joy today? Not in ANYTHING else, but in that BOY!

3)       For YOU and all people has He been born


a)       The Saviour

b)       The Christ

c)       The Lord


e.       The Sign – look for a baby


1)       Not in a hospital

2)       Not in the palace

3)       Not in some warm and cosy home

4)       But in a MANGER in a BARN, STABLE


2.        The Tribute (2:13,14) – All glory goes to God – not to Mary, or Joseph


a.       All of the greatest of creation praises God – so should we

b.       Peace has come to earth – through this baby

c.       God’s good will toward men is proven by this baby


3.        The Treasure (2:15-16)


a.       Off goes the shepherds

b.       Searching for this baby like you would lost treasure on an island

c.       And just seeing THE BABY was priceless – why?


1)       Because all of God’s promises about a redeemer and Messiah were wrapped up in that Baby

2)       Because Jesus does this to people – He makes everything beautiful (just like looking at the Brazen Serpent, and looking unto God for salvation – remember the thief on the cross).


4.        The Talk of the Town (2:17,18,20)


a.       They repeated the good news

b.       That is OUR job – to just keep telling the wonderful story

c.       Notice that these were shepherds doing the talking


1)       Shepherds were the lowest of society – like sewage managers

2)       Shepherds had very little education

3)       But these shepherds had the TRUTH!


d.       The world keeps changing the story


1)       Into a fat snobby santa instead of a Saviour

2)       Into the miracle of a sleigh delivering thousands of tons of gifts at the speed of light, instead of the miracle of Gift of eternal life

3)       Into a time of GETTING instead of giving

4)       Into cribbing instead of a crib

5)       Into Mary not being a virgin but just a young women, no miracle


5.        The Tenderness (2:19) – in the midst of all that, Mary is just sitting and pondering and making a memory


a.       How tender is your Christmas time?

b.       How many memories have you made this year so far?

c.       Memories every person needs to make, or help make for others:


1)       Family together

2)       Children, especially babies

3)       Gifts and giving

4)       LOTS and lots of love

5)       The centre-piece of the Christmas story

6)       No other competition for your attention – no santa, or shopping

7)       Rest and joy and meditating on God’s goodness!


6.        The Thankfulness (2:21-27)


a.       Eight days later, Mary, Joseph, and their new baby heads into Jerusalem for the Temple

b.       It was time to thank God for the gift of a baby – especially the Messiah – they were still numb to it all – how can you comprehend it all?

c.       Their only offering was a pair of two small turtle-doves

d.       It’s not the size of the gift that counts, but the joy with-which it is given


7.        The Triumph (2:28-34)


a.       Simeon understands completely what this birth means

b.       The Baby means:


1)       God’s salvation (2:30)

2)       God’s preparation (2:31)

3)       God’s light in this very dark world (2:32)

4)       God’s life changing, and even nation-changing power (2:34)


C.       The Bitter Pill (2:34,35) The Tears – The Cost of Christmas (2:34-35)


1.        To accomplish the transformation of individuals, even entire nations like Israel, God is going to have to pay a great price

2.        That price was:


a.       God humbling Himself and becoming a human

b.       God humbling the nation of Israel

c.       God dying as a Man on a cruel Cross

d.       Everything being broken, so that it may be made new again – including Mary’s heart!


III.     Conclusion


A.      So, This is the Christmas Story – in Summary


1.        There was This Tug on World Events

2.        There was God’s perfect Timing

3.        There were These Troubles that Joseph and Mary went through

4.        There were some Glad Tidings declared by angels

5.        And they gave Tribute and all the glory to God

6.        The Shepherds immediately went searching for the Treasure of the Baby

7.        The Talk of the Town turned to the birth of such a Baby

8.        Mary enjoyed and relished the Tenderness of all that was happening

9.        Both Joseph and Mary showed their Thankfulness

10.     Simeon and Anna shout in Triumph at just the sight of the Baby

11.     We are all reminded at the cost of Christmas – Tears


B.       Never forget the Christmas Story – it is the only reason for having Christmas

C.       Let’s keep it just the way it was meant to be

Craig Ledbetter

Check Out More Sermons at

Find me on AOL Messenger: IrishPreacherkjv