The Story | Ch. 8 - His Arrival
Topic: Gospel Passage: Matthew 1–4, Luke 4
Christopher Rich – April 9, 2017
Chapter 8 - The Story of His Arrival | Matthew 1-4 Luke 4
Introduction | Catch up with the story
Good Morning! Welcome to Damascus Road Church where we are Saved by Jesus Work. Changed by Jesus Grace. Living on Jesus Mission. Today we continue our series, The Story looking at the narrative of the Bible taking us from now until after Easter. We’ve seen The Story is all about Jesus. That God is the creator of everything, author of The Story and commissioned humanity to cultivate and flourish. The God that creates is good, wise, powerful. Things look harmonious for two short chapters as God’s people dwell with God in a garden paradise. The…. Story of Our Fall The enemy of the story is introduced, a serpent (satan/devil) comes to tempt humanity into rebellion from God by getting people to pledge allegiance to themselves. God’s word is challenged and twisted. Adam fails with his charge to hold God’s word in the face of opposition. Sin has entered the world. There is separation from God and people. Satan tempts, but we are the greatest enemy of joy in our own story. Paradise is lost. And yet there is hope given in Gen 3:15 one will come from women (Eve) a Son of Adam who the serpent will strike on his heal, but who will be victorious over satan, sin, and death when the serpents head is crushed by this savior. There is hope in a savior. Every chapter of The Story since has been seeking to answer the question who is the one offspring of Eve who will achieve victory over evil and return people to right relationship with the God who made them? Each chapter has fallen short of revealing the true identity of the savior while also providing more clues so God’s people can piece together a composite sketch of the Messiah. Piece #1 from Eve.. this person will be a person, not a wildebeest. So now we’ve narrowed it down to all of humanity ok “He will crush his head” so half of humanity. Piece #2 One will come from a specific family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Ok twelves sons become a minority and then eventually a delivered nation. Kings rise up and Piece #3 comes when God makes a promise to David that one will come who will have a kingdom with no end. So he needs to be a Son of David. Other shadows are seen in the Passover lamb sacrificed to keep people from God’s just wrath. As wicked and worthless kings rise and fall God keeps peppering in pieces of the promise though prophets. He will be a king, but he will suffer, will be born in Bethlehem, will suffer and die for His people. Oh and will be MIGHT GOD! God will call him His Son. All the sudden the pool of individuals who could fit that description gets PRETTY Tiny. OT chapter ends 400 years of silent darkness, including false saviors leading fizzled out rebellions, is broken. Only silence and anticipation remain… And then Jesus…..
Part I | The King has arrived | Matthew 1:1
Matthew 1:1 | The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
An angel appears to a young virgin women, a distant daughter of Eve. A child will come from you who will forgive sin and save His people. The promise from the garden is going to be realized. One from woman will come who will defeat Satan. An offspring from the family line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be a blessing to all the families of the world. A king from the house of David will inaugurate a new kingdom where peace and righteousness reign forever. Born from a woman, He is “Immanuel” (God with us). The promised hero of The Story has arrived taking center stage, the Savoir Jesus is God Himself come to save sinners. The Chapters of The Story that reveal Jesus, spend significant time breaking down the complex nature of Jesus identity. The New Testament isn’t a new story compared to the old. The Old Testament has the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is The Story of the Old Testament revealed.
You don’t get to pick your family line. If Jesus was a cult leader or other type of false prophet He would simply claim some divine revelation that conveniently marked him as “the savior” but also contradicted anything that didn’t quite match up. As this chapter of the story Jesus Christ (Jesus the Savior) opens with “let us tell you about the hero of the story,” He is the Son of David (Promise kept) He’s the son of Abraham (promise kept) Luke’s genealogy of Jesus goes all the way back to Adam (son of Eve) just to make sure it’s perfectly clear how Jesus identity answers all the promises. He was born in Bethlehem, again you can’t pick where you were born anymore than you can pick your family. He was born of a virgin so his birth is divine. Jesus the Christ is God the Creator, the God who made the promise to Adam, to Abraham, and to David.
PART II | Kingdom of the world fights back | Matthew 2:13-20
Matthew 2:13-20 | 13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
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.” 19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead.”
Here in Jesus very early life we see the family of God threated by a tyrannical ruler seeking to preserve his own kingdom. Herod is just like Pharaoh, killing young sons in an attempt to keep power. Pharaoh was afraid a minority would rise up and become a nation in opposition to his. Herod is even more cowardly and self-centered, fearing a baby will become king and overthrow him. Just as Joseph in Genesis called the family of God to Egypt for refuge from famine. Now Joseph as the adopted father of Jesus, directed by God, leads this holy family to refuge from infanticide to Egypt. Like Moses, as an infant/toddler Jesus is spared the fate of many of his contemporaries who suffered under this wickedness. Like Moses, he was spared to save and lead His people. From the prophets we learn that the promise of Hope of a savior is not without pain experienced in between the King’s arrival and the kingdom’s consummation. Like Israel in Egypt was not in their forever home, neither was it for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. When the threat is over they return to the land and place of promise. Just like your family, or place of birth, you don’t get to decide your geopolitical context you’re born in. In The Story of Jesus childhood he is being divinely moved to follow the long path of God’s people from Israel to Egypt for protection back to Israel for a purpose.
PART II |The Story of Baptism | Matthew 3:13-17
Matthew 3:13-17 | 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Around the age of 30 Jesus begins His public ministry by coming to his cousin John the Baptizer. John has been preaching “repent the kingdom of heaven is at hand” The kingdom of heaven is at hand because the King of heaven has arrived in Jesus. He is telling people there is sin that needs to be dealt with. They have been made dirty because of their sin and need to be made clean. The Baptism of John is symbolic of repentance turning from sin and being made clean. But he says a better baptism is coming that includes the Holy Spirit breathing new life into dead hearts because of allegiance to the king of Heaven.
Jesus arrives as says “John I need you to baptism me too.” John is a bit skeptical because He has said “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and I am not worthy to untie this guys sandals.” But there was a purpose in this. He is revealing his identity while identifying with His people. What wasn’t explicitly done by Jesus conscious actions in Jesus going to Egypt and back as an infant, Jesus come to launch his ministry/mission by EXPLICITLEY identifying with a new people in Baptism. Jesus didn’t need to be made clean, he already was. Jesus didn’t need to repent, he already was sinless. Jesus life is already following some national and family themes of the people of God. But in His Baptism he is entering into the individual story of sinners who need to be cleaned, estranged people who need to be made family, and rebels who need to become citizens. Jesus has arrived to save a people, a family, to build a kingdom AND to do it by saving individual people like, me and you, who become family and citizens.
We also are given a reminder of a key piece of Jesus identity that has been revealed with His virgin birth and angels singing to shepherds, but that was 30 years ago and a virgin birth is pretty hard to verify. Now his identity is being broadcast to all who can hear and see. As Jesus is identifying with lost sinners, seeking repentance and restoration, Jesus is being identified by God the Father as God the Son. Jesus is God. Then God the Holy Spirit descends on him like a dove and in case the symbolism is lost on everyone God the Father speaks and says “This is my son with whom I am well pleased.” We see again the trinity the 3 in 1 God who was present working together in the creation of the universe is now made manifest in the creation of the new mission to make people new. He is identifying with the dirty and estranged in front of the dirty and estranged, so the dirty and estranged can be call sons and daughters not who are subjects of just wrath, but as those who God can say I am well pleased. He is giving hope to those seeking it.
PART IV | The Story of His Victory | Matthew 4:1-11
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
The Drama of the Story continues…Lead by the Spirit (this is purposeful) Jesus goes into the wilderness with the express purpose of facing temptation from….there he is again the devil, satan, the serpent, from Gen 3 has returned to face off against the second Adam. The symbolism of this in the story is also rich and multi layered. This is Adam and Eve in the garden, to Jesus in the desert. This is also God’s people who spent 40 faithless years in the wilderness being perfectly feed and Jesus spending 40 days fasting and remaining faithful. Yet is says hungry. That’s an understatement! This was a real temptation, when you’re hungry, tired, angry, or stress happens you are more prone to sin. Adam failed in the garden, a place of perfect provision comfort and enjoyment where he enjoyed the community of his bride and his maker. Jesus is alone, hungry in the wilderness and the same enemy come to divide and devour. This is a trail where it says “Jesus is tempted in every way we are and is without sin.” Satan begins again with questioning what is true… If you are the Son of God…. (The Voice of the Father JUST proclaimed it!!) use your power to make food to eat. Jesus responds with God’s word. Paraphrase: Man is not sustained by creation alone but by the words of the Creator. Again… put in a different place, a holy place, in view of all the religious and powerful he could want to prove his identity to, jump from the top and fly by angels. This time satan twists God’s word again just like in the garden “Lets make Jesus think he can follow God’s word and deviate from the plan.” Again, Jesus responses with God’s word quoted accurately where Adam had remained silent. He’s quoting from Deut 6 and 8, the law people had been given when they were led by God in the wilderness! Where God’s people had failed to worship and obey and were given extended law to cover their excessive sins. Finally, another false promise. Follow me, pledge allegiance to me and I will give you all the kingdoms of the world in their glory. Jesus is the King of Heaven, a kingdom all other kingdoms are less then. Satan’s play book has been effective in getting us to trade The Story for lesser stores but Jesus is the Hero of The Story, he’s not going to trade in THE kingdom for all the lesser kingdoms of the world. Jesus has prevailed, the Devil is deterred (Luke’s account says he departed for an opportune time)
PART V | Jesus Preaches People Rage | Luke 4:16-30
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph's son?”
23 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘“Physician, heal yourself.” What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away.
Jesus preaches a sermon straight from the Old Testament book of Isaiah and then says “yeah this is about me” and everyone is pretty impressed because they have their expectations of what this all means. Kick out the Romans, restore the glory of the Temple, Israel ascends in to a world super power the rest of the world needs to marvel at, prosperity, healing, all good things! They have miss understood the nature of God’s kingdom intersecting the kingdoms of earth. They think it about them returning to their former glory forgetting they were raised up and saved not to point people to how great they are but how great the God who saves is. They fundamentally have a different Gospel all about them rather than all about Jesus.
They get incredibly frustrated when Jesus flips the generally accepted application of these verses and reminds them of the greater context of The Story. They like some parts of The Story but not others. It isn’t about a great family, or great nation, but to proclaim and bring healing to ALL the nations of the earth. Elijah helped care for a widow of a different race, Elisha healed the general of an oppressive wicked nation. God’s good news will not be limited to a family or a nation but will be exclusive to allegiance to Jesus which transcends all the other smaller stories we pledge allegiance to. They can’t stand any challenge to the racist nationalistic story they’ve bought in to. It says they were filled with wrath, against God… They attempt to take him to the edge of a cliff to throw away the God who has come to save. Yet this time, Jesus is spared and “passes through their midst”. We see there is great opposition from humanity to Jesus.
In the life of Jesus, we begin to see how deep, complex, and comprehensive the Gospel (good news) of The Great Story is so much more than we have typically given it credit for. It HAS to be more than Jesus simply Jesus dying for our sin. Oh it is that for sure. But we see there was lots of opportunities for Jesus to “die for our sins” Jesus could have died for our sins as a two year old at the hands of Herod, Jesus could have died in the wilderness starving or ravaged by satan, Jesus could have been killed by the crowds of his own created people….but wasn’t. Apparently, the Gospel of the kingdom is so much more (but no less than) Jesus died for your sins so you could go to Heaven. Jesus life isn’t just a series of checking off different OT prophecies so we can know His identity. The Story of Jesus life doesn’t simply change The Story of our future in heaven but changes The Story of our life today. We look to Jesus as our Hero because he succeeds where we have failed. When it says tempted in every way we are… Jesus lives as a baby, child, adolescent, young, and mature man facing the unique temptations different life stages bring. Because he has bared our failure on the Cross He has given us the victory of his obedience Apparently, we need to soak deeply in to The Story of Jesus life to see and learn what our lives are actually supposed to look like. The life of Jesus matters because when our life is hidden with His we are taking on His obedience.
Because Jesus was faithful in the wilderness we can enter rest… Where Israel and Adam failed trials and were kept from entering (in Israel’s case) or expelled in Adam’s case Jesus prevails in another garden the night before crucifixion and again emerging from a garden tomb so His new people can enter into rest.
Because Jesus was faithful to God’s word we can trust God word to faithful produce in us.
Because Jesus came to preach a salvation that comes to unlikely and unclean people we can preach and proclaim the good news of God in Jesus Christ to all people. That means you can join the family too!
This is your time to respond to the story of His Arrival We know The Story radically changes the life stories of individuals. We must respond either by receiving it as true and glorious or rejecting it favor of a lesser story. Are you still trying to be the hero of your story? We sing remembering His victory and hope in His return. We give financially remembering he has given us everything we are not slaves but stewards. Stop trusting your ability to save yourself and enter into The Story of Jesus life for yours when you Trust Jesus.
“… the Christian gospel . . . tells how for the world’s redemption God entered into history, the eternal came into time, the kingdom of heaven invaded the realm of earth, in the great events of the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. ” FF Bruce
“The gospel is not just a series of facts to which we yield our assent but a dramatic narrative that re-plots our identity.” – Michael Horton
The enemy is us.
More in The Story
February 10, 2019The Story: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration
April 30, 2017The Story | Ch 12 - His Return
April 23, 2017The Story | Ch. 11 - His Church