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Luke 1:1-4 The Gospel for 21st Century Americans

God reveals the fulfillment of His prophesy in Malachi 4:5-6. A lesson that presents strong evidence for those who doubt or view prophesy with skepticism.  Additional material available upon request. from gspencer@waukeshachurch.org  Next week come prepared by reading Luke 1:26-56.

A brief glimps of Mary and her life in Nazareth along with a close look at where faith in truth comes from and what it can accomplish through the least likely of people...like us.

God keeps his word by fulfilling his promise by the birth of John the Baptist and the prophesy of his father Zechariah.

When we view a manger scene, our hearts are warmed by the picture of Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus surrounded by farm animals, shepherds and three wise men, but we don't often stop to consider the misery and suffering the characters in Luke's account had to face because God chose them for such an extrodinary purpose. There is, however, a way to understand how God can allow suffering and still love us.

Joseph and Mary's journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus in a stable was probably the most difficult challenges they ever faced.  Joseph was forced to find day work to provide for his new family.  They needed food and shelter, in eight days provisions to observe Jesus' circumcision and naming ceremony.  Then a month later The Law demanded they offer a lamb and turtle doves for the dedication and cleansing ceremony in the temple.  How did God guide them to know his will as to where to live, escape the murderous hands of Herod, and fulfill all His will.  The answer is the same we he guides us.  God's GPS- God's Plan of Salvation.

Why did the Holy Spirit have Luke record this narrative, which perhaps raises more questions than it answers?  The answer lies in the Jewish traditon of Bar Mitzvah and cries out to us as Christians to train up our children by example and teaching to worship God before it's too late.

Did you ever wonder why John the Baptist wasn't stoned by those who came to hear his message?  He proclaimed that they were a sinful people and must turn away from their sin, get dunked in water and live right.  He started by calling them a brood of vipers!  Why did people listen?  God doesn't do things like mankind does.  What is the secret?

How did God's people view themselves in Jesus' day?   How did God view them?  We must ask ourselves the same question or we will never realize no only what we need, but also where to get it so that we might become what God desires us to be.

This examination of the temptation of Christ in the wilderness looks at the depth of God's love for us in that He was willing to become a frail helpless human and face the temptations of life and the extrodinary trials of the devil not by the power of His Diety but in sinless faith totally obiedient to the Law and dependant on God's will.

Jesus preaches before his family and friends in the Synagogue in Narzareth. He finds them little moved by the reports of the miracles God has done through him and their shallow response to His declaraton that he is the Savior about whom the Prophet Isaiah wrote.  Jesus rebukes their worldlness and unbelief in the power  of God and forces us to look in the mirror to discover why our lives are so shallow and empty.

Jesus' miracles and teachings were meant to bring about repentance, but it is so much easier to find shortcuts and back doors to  offer to god as a substitute.

Jesus himself was faced with the temptation to offer God shortcuts and backdoors.  How did He choose what to do and are we willing to follow His example?

Jesus invests the most in those who come to him with the least of offer.

Who is your perfect image of god?  Policeman, Doctor, Santa Clause, Superman? Must we become lepers to learn his true nature?

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Waukesha Church of Christ
2816 Madison Street | Waukesha, WI 53188 | Phone: 262-470-3644