JESUS, THE SAVIOR KING (I)
Key Verses: 2:10,11
"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good
news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the
town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the
1. What do verses 1-7 teach about the times when Jesus was born? (What
do you know about the Roman Empire, Caesar Augustus, etc.) What does
this event reveal about the suffering of colonial people?
2. Describe the beauty and sorrow of the scene of the birth of Jesus.
What does "there was no room in the inn" tell us about the people of
that time? How have people past and present tried and failed to make
the world better?
3. Why do men need a Savior from sin? Who is Jesus that he can be our
Savior? (Jn 1:3) How does his birth in such fatalistic circumstances
make him better able to be our Savior?
4. How did sin come into the human race? What are sin's consequences?
(Ro 6:23a; Heb 9:27; 1Co 15:32) How did Jesus help a lonely,
fatalistic tax collector? (Lk 5:27,28) Think of others he also
5. How can Jesus rescue those pierced by the horn of Satan ("horn"
represents power)? And those living in darkness? (Lk 1:69,78,79) Who
is Jesus (Lk 1:32b,33), and what did he do about our sin problem?
What does he give us? (Jn 3:16; Lk 9:25; Mk 10:45; Da 2:44-45; 2Ti
This passage is the Christmas message to the shepherds living out in
the field, keeping watch over their flocks at night. The angel said to
them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will
be for all the people." Bible narratives are written mostly in
understatement. The Bible never exaggerates. But it says good news plus
First, the time when Jesus was born (1-7).
Luke the historian depicts the historical background of the time
of Jesus' birth. Verse 1 says, "In those days Caesar Augustus issued a
decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world." The
Roman Empire extended westward to England and east ward to Asia Minor
and to North Africa across the Mediterranean Sea. The world was a Roman
world. Rome ruled the world with the slogan, "Peace of Rome," which
meant the Roman Empire rules the world with peace. But the census
reveals the cruelty of Caesar's inner motive of squeezing poor colonial
people. As much as the Roman Empire prospered, the colonial people
Look at verses 4-5. "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." This story reflects the social unrest of that time. All the
people of the colonies had to stop what they were doing and go to their
own town to register because they knew that Caesar was despotic and his
decree was inflexible. Because of the decree, someone might have
postponed the day of his wedding ceremony. There was no exception to
the decree. Joseph knew that it was not good for a woman who had
reached the full term of her pregnancy to travel such a long way. But
there was no choice. He went to his home-town to register with Mary,
traveling 100 miles on foot, risking the lives of both the baby and
Look at verses 6-7. "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
room for them in the inn." This story tells us about the dis tressing
situation of the times. Maybe someone who made a hotel reservation
wanted to give his room to Mary when he heard Mary crying with delivery
pains. But for his own survival, he hardened his heart and turned deaf
ears to a woman crying with birthpains. Many people might have done
As a man, Joseph should provide a room in which Mary could deliver
the baby. But he could not afford it. Probably, he felt like dying. So
with no choice, Joseph and Mary went into the stinking stable of an
animal, where many flies were buzzing around, and she gave birth to a
son and placed him in a manger. To be the mother of Jesus was literally
a suffering servant, and it was indeed glorious.
In view of history, people have toiled too hard to live in this
world, hoping that the world would be better off, and that they would
live a better life. But the world in which sin reigns had never been
better off. In the time of the Renaissance, people hoped so, but they
failed to see the world become better. The communists hoped so, but
they failed to see the world become better. The communists only
victimized 50 million husband candidates, in order to materialize their
utopian dreams. As a result, 50 million beautiful Russian women could
not marry and became endlessly sorrowful, for only lucky ones could
marry. The people in the democratic countries believed that they would
live in a paradise if only they could enjoy unlimited freedom. But
instead of paradise, they live in a restless and fearful world. In the
name of human freedom, people enjoy the life of sin at random. In
result, violence and immorality ruin the fibre of this nation. Without
Jesus the world can never be better. The world needs a Savior.
Second, Jesus saves men from their sins.
Thus far we thought about why we need a Savior. But how can a baby
in a manger save men from their sins? Even though he was laid in a
manger, he is the Creator God. John 1:3 says, "Through him all things
were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." But in
order to save men from their sins, Jesus gave up everything and was
born in such a fatalistic way so that he might save all the fatalistic
people. Jesus was born in such a fatalistic way so that he might be a
comfort to sorrowful people. Jesus was born in such a fatalistic way so
that he might be a friend to us.
There are many problems. But fatalism seems to be the worst
problem and it is the source of all sin. Many American people are
rancorous about the insidious influence of John Stuart Mill or Jean
Jacques Rousseau, thinking that their skeptical relativism influenced
most Americans not to keep the law of God. As a result of their bad
influence, many American people lost the fear of God and a holy
mission. They are now taking the consequences of relativism, such as
moral depravity and lethal violence and so on.
But the Bible says that through one man Adam's disobedience, sin
came into the world. And sin made man very fatalistic. Romans 6:23a
says, "For the wages of sin is death." After death, the ungodly are
supposed to stand before the judgment seat of God. After judgment the
ungodly will be put into eternal condemnation. As we know well, death
makes men very fatalistic. All those who have the fear of death are
kind of pessimistic philosophers. Their theme is, "Let's eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die" (1Co 15:32). They are endlessly sorrowful, living
under the power of sin and death, working until their bones are
cracking. In the fatalistic view of the world, they want to live an
easygoing life and want to enjoy physical pleasure like the people of
Sodom and Gomorrah. They think that hard work does not make sense to
those who are perishing. Men cannot live without dreams and vision. The
Bible says, "...your young men will see visions, your old men will
dream dreams" (Ac 2:17b). Fatalistic people have no eyes to see
There was a man named Levi. He did not want to live a poor life
like his father. So he decided to become a tax collector in order to
make money, thinking that he could buy happiness with money. In order
to become a tax collector, first he sold his conscience, next he
betrayed his people suffering under the Roman yoke. He made some money.
But his people isolated him like a leper. People's isolation made him
too sorrowful to work any more. He was perishing. One day Jesus visited
him and said to him, "Follow me." Suddenly, Levi felt that the power of
darkness disappeared from his heart and the bright heavenly sunshine
smeared in his soul. He was happy. So he cried many tears quietly and
loudly. After crying, he bought a ton of groceries and invited his tax
collector friends and had a heavenly feast. When Levi followed him,
Jesus helped him and raised him as the best teacher throughout history.
Levi later became Matthew, who quoted Jesus' words, "You are the light
of the world." There is no fatalism in Jesus.
Jesus can destroy the power of sin and death. Luke 1:69 says, "He
has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant
David." Zechariah nicknamed Jesus the horn of salvation. Zechariah
understood the power of sin. Satan has seven heads and ten horns (Rev
12:3). The horn of Satan is the symbol of sin and it is the most
powerful on earth. There is a story about Pedro, a very handsome and
popular bullfighter. One day he didn't feel like fighting. But because
of his people's nagging and for the sake of his own popularity, he went
out to fight. When he saw an angry bull paw the ground several times
and dash toward him, suddenly, he became blank. The angry bull pierced
his ribs on the left side. Pedro was badly injured and was popular no
more. Likewise, there are many young people who look nice outwardly,
but inwardly each of them has incurable wounds caused by the horn of
Satan. One young man was pierced by the horn of Satan when his mother
di vorced. His wound is so deep that he cries endlessly.
There are so many young people whose souls were pierced by the
horn of Satan while enjoying the darkness of sins. But Jesus saves
them. Luke 1:69 says, "He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in
the house of his servant David." To rescue us, Jesus destroyed the horn
of Satan through his crucifixion and resurrection. As a matter of fact,
we wanted to serve God. But we could not serve God because we were
fearful of everything, even a dog Mike. Now we can serve God freely
without fear in holiness and righteousness.
Sin is compared to leprosy. Sin is incurable like cancer. Most
importantly, sin makes man meaningless. There was a very handsome young
man. He studied hard and obtained fame and wealth in his twenties.
Before obtaining fame and wealth, he was good. But after obtaining a
Sanhedrin seat and a golden chariot, he felt empty. Whenever he fought
against political opponents and won to keep his honor and position, he
felt a sadistic joy, not a real joy. But whenever he wanted to get some
sleep he always felt uneasy. Finally he could not sleep well. He could
not eat well. The townspeople envied him, but he felt he was falling
down from the peak of a mountain to a bottomless abyss. He confronted
human limits comparatively earlier. So he disguised himself and visited
Jesus at night secretly with his several bodyguards. As soon as he saw
Jesus, the heavenly sunshine shone in his soul. He was saved from his
life of darkness. Jesus could save him because he is the rising sun.
Luke 1:78,79 says, "because of the tender mercy of our God, by which
the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in
darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of
peace." Man cannot obtain true happiness with money and fame. One must
come to Jesus to rescue him from the shadow of death.
Third, Jesus gives us eternal life.
What is the most important to anyone in the world? We agree that
each one's life is the most important. We can trade many things with
others. But we cannot trade our lives with others. Jesus said, "What
good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit
his very self?" (Lk 9:25) John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall
not perish but have eternal life." To save us from our sins, God
crucified his one and only Son Jesus Christ, and made him a ransom
sacrifice. Jesus gave his life to give us eternal life.
Fourth, Jesus is the Savior King.
The baby Jesus was wrapped in cloth and was placed in a manger.
The Bible teaches that Jesus' life began in a manger and ended on a
cross. Humanly speaking, Jesus was born and lived the most tragic way.
But Luke the evangelist and historian says Jesus is a sign of the
Savior King. Look at verse 12. "This will be a sign to you: You will
find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." The baby Jesus is
the sign that God came to this world to save men from their sins. This
baby laid in a manger is a sign that God's will for world salvation is
fulfilled. This baby is a sign that Jesus is the Savior King. In order
to become a Savior King, Jesus gave up his heavenly glory and humbled
himself, and came to this world. Without knowing humbleness, we cannot
come to Jesus, the Savior King. Hum ble Jesus became a friend to a
lonely tax collector. Humble Jesus became a father to a smelly
Samaritan woman. Finally Jesus took up all our sins and shed his holy
blood on the cross as a criminal. Jesus gave his life for us.
Fifth, Jesus gives us the kingdom of God.
As history attests, the kings and kingdoms of the world are temporal.
There is nothing eternal in the world. The agony of the kings of
nations in history is that they wanted to keep their kingdoms forever.
Only the kingdom of Jesus is forever. There are many stories about
nations and kingdoms in the Bible. Among them, the kingdom of Christ is
uniquely eternal (Dan 2:44-45). The Bible says that this kingdom is the
climax of God's will for world salva tion. And all Christians' ultimate
destination is the kingdom of God. The purpose of our Lord Jesus'
coming to this world was to bring us back to his eternal kingdom. The
Bible says that we will reign with Jesus forever (2Ti 2:12). When we
have faith in the kingdom of God we can live a life of holy pilgrims
with no anxiety for our future security. When we have faith in the
kingdom of God we can have hope to raise 10,000 Bible teachers in Amer
ica. The world is too sorrowful to live in, but we can have joy and
hope when we have faith in the kingdom of God. Luke 1:32b,33 says, "The
Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will
reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
The birth of Jesus is glory to God and peace to men (14). God
tried to fulfill his will for world salvation. But his people disobeyed
God's will for 42 generations. At last, through the birth of Jesus, God
reveals his love for his lost children. Also, the birth of Jesus is
peace to men on earth because Jesus, the Savior King, sets us free from
the power of sin and rules us with love and peace. The baby Jesus gives
eternal life and the kingdom of God to those who believe in him.