BEHOLD: Week 5 | Matthew 2

The meaning and magnitude of Christmas requires deep meditation. What does this look like? What does this mean? Join us in Matthew 2 as we bring our journey through Advent and Christmas to a close. Behold!

Date: December 29, 2019
Speaker:  Jason Jordan
Series: BEHOLD

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Pastor’s Comment

Thank you so much for listening in here at West Side. We often say that we love the word of God because it points us to the son of God. We hope these messages encourage you and equip you to love Jesus more. We also want you to be apart of a local church, we believe these messages are only supplemental, being apart of a local church is essential. Blessings.

Jason G Jordan

Lead Pastor, West Side Church

Sermon Notes

Behold! “Continuing Christmas” Dec 29th Matthew 2

INTRO> Piper said this week, “Merry Christmas is ober?” No it isn’t! MERRY CHRISTMAS! Long before the famous song 12 days of Christmas, Christians all over the world have celebrated the 12 days of Christmas with feasting!

REVIEW: We are following the life of Christ leading us up to Easter and Pentecost:

        • Advent/Christmas- The arrival of Jesus. (Dec)
        • Epiphany- the manifestation of Jesus. (Jan-Feb)
        • Lent- the temptation and death of Jesus. (March)
        • Easter- the resurrection of Jesus. (April)
        • Pentecost– the Spirit of Jesus. (May)

APP> As we follow the life of Christ, we are reminded that Jesus doesn’t revolve around of lives and calendar, our lives revolve around his! This also allows us to pause when it comes to the truths that Christmastide teaches us.

*ILL> Ive used this many times because I believe it hold true. The way that the world celebrates Christmas is like a microwave, you get everything set, punch in some numbers and then you are all done! The way the church has historically celebrated this season is more like a crockpot. It takes time.

Big Idea > The meaning and magnitude of Christmas requires deep meditation.

CONTEXT> When we do that, something happens, something that is in our text today. Matthew gives us more detail about the events that took place after the birth of Jesus than any other Gospel.

APP> Just like a crockpot when we meditate and spend time on the meaning and magnitude of Christmas, things rise to the surface. When we allow this message to go deep into our hearts it also pushes something out of us.

CONTEXT> Thats what we see in our passage today. It focuses around 3 sets of people. Herod The great, The Magi and the Holy Family. I want to spend a few brief moments looking at Herod and see what rises to the surface as the message of Christmas is meditated on.

  1. Herod’s response to the news.
        • “after Jesus was born in the days of Herod the King..” We learned about this guy a couple weeks back. The Gospel writers are anchoring this story in history, not fairy tale. Herod was a governor for Ceaser, he was also Jewish and gave himself the title, “King of the Jews”. Matthew is doing so much word play within these verses. We see 3 responses from Herod:
        1. Anxiety – v3 “when Herod the King heard this he was troubled.” That phrase that Matthew uses to describe his response is one that is filled with mixed emotions. Fear, dread, anger. APP> Why? Because Herod has spent his whole life building his own kingdom and Jesus is a threat. APP> This is the offensiveness of the gospel message.
        2. Agendav8 “that I too may come and worship him.” I mean, can you hear the sarcasm in those words?! Herod has no intentions of “worshipping Jesus” but he gives us great insight into how some of us approach Jesus. APP> IF we are honest many people approach Jesus with an agenda. Health, ease, crisis, marriage, children. Even today, in this place we have an agenda. What we see in scripture is Jesus constantly shattering our agenda, why? Because the goal of following Jesus IS JESUS!
        3. Attack- v16 “herod became furious and killed all the male children in Bethlehem” This is known historically as the “slaughter of the innocents” this would have been the death of around 20-30 children given the population of the town. Slaughtered. Gone.

*ILL> This is a picture of Aldous Huxley, he was a very famous English professor and philosopher. From Oxford to NYU. He wrote his autobiography entitled, “Ends and Means” in it he reflected on God and said, “I realize I didn’t want there to be a God. I wanted atheism to be true. I wanted life to be meaningless because then I could o whatever I wanted.”

APP> He is honest, Herod is honest.

APP> Nobody is neutral when it comes to Jesus.

APP> Instead of focusing on the Herods’ out there, we have to be honest about the Herod’s in our hearts.

APP> Matthew gives us two statements that have a huge impact. v 15” until herod died” v19 “when Herod died” This self proclaimed King, who lived a life all about himself… died.

APP> Self-absorption always leads to self-destruction.

Close> Matthew is also doing something else. He is tying in the entire story of the Bible here. The locations, the names, the fulfilled prophecies. You see we can read the Bible in such a way that we are still self-absorbed but Matthew won’t allow us to do that, he is showing us that Jesus is the climax to this story…

“Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden [the garden of Gethsemane] and whose obedience is imputed to us. Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out for our acquittal, not our condemnation. Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go into the void ‘not knowing whither he went!’ to create a new people of God.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us all. While God said to Abraham, ‘Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love, from me,’ now we can say to God, ‘Now we know you love us, because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love, from us.’

Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us. Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.

Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant. Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends. Jesus is the true and better David, whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk losing an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people. Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in. Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.

He is … the real Passover Lamb—innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He is the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the Lamb, the Light, the Bread. The Bible is not about you—it is about him.” – Tim Keller

Big Idea > The meaning and magnitude of Christmas requires deep meditation.