ADVENT 2020: SIMILARITIES WITH THE TIMES OF JESUS’ BIRTH

There are several similarities between the triggered culture at the time of Jesus’ birth and the United States today.

A ruler appointed by a hostile country, Rome, gave himself the title, Herod, King of the Jews.

However, King Jesus had just been born in Bethlehem, the city of King David.

The first similarity between the time of Jesus’ birth in Israel and the United States today is one nation with two rulers.

HerodJesus
Ruler of IsraelRuler of the invisible kingdom of God
A position of powerA position of authority
Personal gainPersonal sacrifice
Temporary kingdomEternal kingdom
Placed by RomePlaced by Divine birth
Needed popular opinionLived to please His Father
Killed his wife, Mariamne, and his two sons, Alexander and Aristobulus, because they threatened his power.Gave His life, a ransom for many.

A second similarity between the time of Jesus’ birth in Israel and the United States today is the cancel culture.

The kingdoms of this world and their rulers have always been threatened by Jesus and His kingdom.

In fact, the slaughter of the innocents and the killing of Jesus, are the first two acts of the cancel culture against the kingdom of God.

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
    weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
    she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” Matthew 2:16-18

32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews. Matthew 27:32-37

In America today, many who claim the name of Christ have cast their vote with those who intentionally, methodically, and proudly continue the cancel culture of the slaughter of the innocents.

In America today, the cancel culture against those who claim the name of Christ, is expansive and is currently limited, mostly, to the silencing of freedom of speech. Yet there are already overtones of limiting when we can meet, how we can meet, and what we can do when we meet. Without a doubt, the call for conservative Christian values to be legally defined as hate speech is fast approaching.

We must be spiritually prepared for the days ahead.

You can’t live like Christians among us.

You can’t live among us.

You can’t live.

They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. John 16:2

A third similarity between the times of Jesus’ birth and our time in the United States today is the misunderstanding of the Messiah’s earthly rule.

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” John 18:33-38

Conservative Christians in the United States struggle, internally, with the wish for the USA to be “God’s kingdom on earth.”

However, the Bible is clear, God’s kingdom is not earthly, in fact, it is called the kingdom of heaven.

We continue, with in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, to make disciples of all NATIONS, knowing the nations will consummate in the new heaven and new earth.

The fourth similarity is that today, just like the first Christmas, God has a righteous remnant who sees what God is doing, is prepared for what God is doing, yields to what God is doing, and is not fearful of what the world is doing.

Joseph and Mary are our greatest examples.

Joseph

19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”           

Mary

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed[b] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”[c] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”[d]

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[e] will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[f] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1: 26-38

These four similarities invite us to be “Joseph and Mary’s” in our generation.

Y          Yield to the direction, guidance, and leadership of the Holy Spirit

            16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

            Galatians 5:16

E          Engage, fully, in the kingdom of God and Jesus’ work in our world of today.

49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? Luke 2:49

S          Sacrifice – We take up our cross and follow Jesus, through flames and flood, persecution and favor, and through sorrow and gladness.

23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:23-26

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