What Child is This

December 8, 2007 Luke 2:8-20

 

Introduction

Today we springboard off of the wonderful Christmas Hymn “What Child is This”

  • What Child is this, who laid to rest

On Mary’s lap, is sleeping?

Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,

While shepherds watch are keeping?

  • Why lies He in such mean estate,

Where ox and ass are feeding?

Good Christian, fear: for sinners here

The silent Word is pleading.

  • So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,

Come, peasant, king, to own Him;

The King of kings salvation brings;

Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

Chorus            This, this is Christ, the King,

Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:

Haste, haste to bring Him laud,

The Babe, the Son of Mary!

Inspired by the text found in Luke 2  (Turn and read)

Luke 2:8-20And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 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 Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Luke 2:33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

Luke 2:47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

  • The question asked in this well-loved carol must have been uppermost in the minds of those present at Jesus’ birth.
  • We can almost hear the question being asked from one to another as they gazed into the humble manger.
  • How difficult it must have been for them to understand that the babe who lay in “such mean estate” was truly the promised Messiah.
  • And through the centuries men have continued to ponder who Christ really is—

That brings us to a key verse in Psalms that gives insight how to know who God is:

Those who know your name will trust in you.  Psalm 9:10

We’ll trust Him because we know Him.

The song writer asks “What Child is This?”

The Scripture reveals this to us. And it does so in the names of God

What a Name Signifies

The reason knowing the names of God will help us trust him with our daily affairs and with our eternal destinies is that in Scripture a person's name often signifies his character or ability or mission—especially when the name is given by God.

  • Adam names his wife Eve, because she is mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20).
  • God changes Abram's (exalted father) name to Abraham (father of a multitude)to show that he had made him the father of many nations (Genesis 17:5)
  • God changed Sarai's (princess) name to Sarah (noblewoman) (Genesis 17:15).
  • He changed Jacob's(heel holder” or “supplanter”)name to Israel (God prevails)(Genesis 32:28)
  • And when the Son of God came into the world, His name was not left to chance: "You shall call His name Jesus(Jehovah is salvation), for He will save his people from their sins."

You may have children and you may name them with names of great significance. For example.

  • David:  Derived from Hebrew meaning “beloved”.
  • Daniel:  God is my judge
  • Adina:  slender, delicate
  • Naomi:  My delight
  • Cepahs:  Means rock
  • Now there is a big difference between you and God.
  • When you name someone, you don't have the power or the authority to make the person fit the name.
  • We give names in hope and prayer that our children will become what their names imply.
  • But God has the right and the power to cause anyone He names to become what the name implies.
  • The names He gives are sure indicators of the destiny of those He names.
  • And when He names “Himself”, we may be sure the name is packed with who He is and what He intends to do.
  • God does not choose names for Himself at random, say for the sound or for an ancestor or to avoid embarrassing nicknames.
  • He chooses names for the sake of revealing things about Himself that will
  •  deepen our love for God
  •  enlarge our admiration and
  •  strengthen our faith

We can’t look at all the names of the baby Jesus, there are 232 names of Jesus in the Bible.

I thought we might choose a few that would highlight the Christmas season.

What Child is this? Let’s see what God says about who this child is.

Who is this Child?  He’s the Alpha & Omega

He is the       Advocate

Almighty

Amen

Angel    and the

Angel of His presence

Anointed

Apostle

Arm of the Lord

Author and Finisher of our faith

                                 Alpha and Omega:   

Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

  1. In Revelation 1:8   Jesus identifies himself as "Alpha and Omega."
  2. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and omega is the last letter of the alphabet.
  3. In other words God is "the beginning and the end."
  4. But God isn't speaking about alphabets.
  5. He is speaking of reality.
  6. God is absolutely the beginning and absolutely the end.
  7. Everything that is originates ultimately in him.
  8. And everything will somehow end with him.
  9. Isaiah puts it like this:
  10. Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god(44:6).
  1. In other words, since everything comes from God and nothing will outlast God, therefore God has no final competitors. "Besides me there is no god!"
  2. God has the first word and the last word in history. All other attempts to have the last word will fail.

Alpha

  1. I can't urge you too often to meditate on the staggering truth that God is the absolute Alpha.
  2. Find some serene moment of your life and let the truth take hold of you that God is the FIRST—the BEGINNING.
  3.   Before him there was nothing. There was no "before him."Just think of it!
  4. For millions and billions and trillions of unending years God existed and never had a beginning.
  5. He is the beginning. From everlasting to everlasting, he is God (Psalm 90:2). There never was a time when he was not.
  6. We might marvel that God is infinite, eternal, and unchanging in his justice, wisdom, power, goodness, and truth.
  7. But when you pause to think that he never chose to be this way, nor did anyone else choose to make him this way, it staggers the mind.
  8. The justice and wisdom and power and goodness and truth of God are eternal reality.
  9. The character of God is not what reality brought forth. It is reality.
  10. God did not emerge out of many possibilities. Everything emerged out of him. He determines all possibilities.
  11. God is not a piece of reality that you try to fit in with other pieces.
  12.  He is the first and the last and the all-encompassing reality:

  Acts 17:28 says:  In Him we live And move and have our being

Omega

  1. But the truth that I want us to focus on this morning is that God is Omega.
  2. I think that is the focus of our text in Revelation 21:6. The statement,

  "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end,"

  1. comes in a passage dealing with the end of history.
  2. So the special focus in this text is on God as the omega of all things.
  3. What does it mean that God is Omega, or the end?
  4. Let's read verses Rev 21:5–8. (Turn and read this text)

"And he who sat upon the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' Also he said, 'Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true,' And he said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water without price from the fountain of the water of life. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.'"

  1. This text makes plain that God is the Omega, or the end, in two different senses.
  2. For the thirsty (it says in verse 6) he is the end in the sense that he will be the source of their life forever.
  3. He will be their God and they will be his children enjoying his inheritance forever and ever. He was the fountain of their life in creation, and he will be the fountain of their life in the consummation.
  4. But there is another group of people mentioned in verse 8.  These are the people who were not thirsty for God.
  5. For these, too, God is the Omega, but not in the same way.
  6. God is their end in the sense that they will finally meet God as Judge.
  7. They have their beginning in God's oasis of life.
  8. Then they take the forbidden southern route by the shallow streams of faithlessness, far from the narrow path of God.
  9. But the end of every road is God. And in the end they come to the other side of the desert. And they meet God.
  10. But instead of an oasis of eternal life, they find a lake that burns with fire.

He is the beginning and the end, the alpha & omega for all things and all people.

Who is this Child?  He’s the Lamb of God.

He is the Lawgiver

Leader

Life

Light of the world

Light to the Gentiles

Light, true

Living Bread, the

Living Stone

Lord

Lord of Lords

Lord of all

Lord our righteousness

Lord God Almighty

Lord from heaven

Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Lord Christ

Lord Jesus

Lord Jesus Christ

Lord of glory

Lord of the dead and living

Lord over all

       Lamb of God

It was John the Baptist who, recognizing who Jesus was after baptizing Him, announced to some of his own followers,

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

In 1 Corinthians 5:7, Paul expanded on the name “Lamb of God” by noting that “Christ, our Passover Lamb, was sacrificed for us.”

  1. The reference in each passage is to an historic event.
  2. The final plague God used to force the pharaoh of Egypt to release his Hebrew slaves was the death of the firstborn in every Egyptian family.
  3. Moses had been told to instruct the Hebrews how to avoid this disastrous plague. Each family was to take a lamb into its home.
  4. Then, the night before death was to strike the land, the lamb was to be sacrificed.
  5. The lamb’s blood was to be sprinkled on the door posts and lintels, and the lamb was to be eaten by the family.
  6. When the death angel saw the blood on the doorway, he would pass over that home, and everyone inside would be safe (Ex. 12:1–13).
  7. After that first Passover, which took place around 1450 b.c., the Hebrew people were to reenact the event annually.
  8. They were to take a lamb, kill it and eat it, and remember how the death angel had passed over Hebrew homes when he saw the blood of the lamb (vv. 21–28).
  9. The titles “Lamb of God” and “Passover” speak of a security that can be found only in the shed blood of a sacrifice offered on our behalf.
  10. Jesus, who shed His blood on the cross, was the One foreshadowed in the Passover Lamb. He is the One whose sacrifice cleanses and protects all who believe in Him.

Who is this Child?  He’s the Bread of Life

      He is the Beginning and end of the creation of God

Beloved

Blessed and only Sovereign

Branch

Bridegroom

Bright and Morning Star

Brightness of the Father's glory

Breadof life

  1. It was Jesus who called Himself the “bread of life”  (John 6:35) , using what was a powerful metaphor in biblical times.
  2. Long ago in Palestine, bread was the primary food.
  3. It was made from a variety of grains, often with ground beans or lentils mixed in the flour.
  4. Bread was typically baked flat.
  5. A loaf of dough was about a half-inch thick.
  6. It was slapped against the outside of a beehive-shaped clay oven to bake.
  7. Bread has great significance in the Bible, for it literally and symbolically represented the maintenance of life.
  8. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Jesus taught His disciples to pray,

Give us this day our daily bread(Matt. 6:11).

  1. This request reminds us of our constant dependence on God for all the necessities of life.
  2. But the most significant metaphorical reference to bread is found in John 6:35, where Jesus announced that He is the “bread of life.”
  3. The manna gave physical life, but the bread of God which comes down out of heaven gives spiritual life.
  4. As it does throughout John’s gospel, life refers not to the physical and temporal life which the manna sustained, but to the spiritual and eternal life that comes only through Jesus Christ.

Who is this Child?  He’s the King

       He is the King of Israel

King of the Jews

King of Saints

King of Kings

King of Glory

King of Zion

King over all the earth

But when it comes to telling us what kind of king this child is, we need to go to one source, that is Dr. S. M. Lockridge’s

  "THAT'S MY KING!"

THE BIBLE SAYS...

My King is a seven-way king. He's a king of the Jews, that's a racial king; He's a king of Israel, that's a national king; He's a king of righteousness; He's a king of the ages; He's a king of Heaven; He's a king of Glory; He's a king of kings; and Lord of Lords; That's my King!

DO YOU KNOW HIM?

He's the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world; He's God's Son; He's the sinner's Savior; He's the centerpiece of civilization; He stands in the solitude of Himself; He's august and He's unique; He's unparalleled; He's unprecedented. He is the loftiest Idea in literature; He's the highest personality in philosophy; He is the supreme problem in higher criticism; He's the fundamental doctrine of true theology; He is the core, the necessity for spiritual religion; He's the miracle of the age; He is the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him; He's the only one qualified to be an all-sufficient Savior!

I WONDER IF YOU KNOW HIM TODAY?

He supplies strength for the weak; He's available for the tempted and the tried; He sympathizes and He saves; He strengthens and sustains; He guards and He guides; He heals the sick; He cleansed the lepers; He forgives sinners; He discharges debtors; He delivers the captives; He defends the feeble; He blesses the young; He serves the unfortunate; He regards the aged; He rewards the diligent and He purifies the meek.

I WONDER IF YOU KNOW HIM?

Well, my King, He is a key to knowledge; He's a wellspring of wisdom; He's a doorway of deliverance; He's a pathway of peace; He's a roadway of righteousness; He's a highway of holiness; He's a gateway of glory.

DO YOU KNOW HIM?

Well, His office is manifold; His promise is sure; His light is matchless; His goodness is limitless; His mercy is everlasting; His love never changes; His Word is enough; His grace is sufficient; His reign is righteousness and His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

I wish I could describe Him to you! But He's indescribable! He's God. He's incomprehensible; He's invincible; He's irresistible; Well, you can't get Him out of your mind; you can't get Him off your hand; you can't outlive Him and you can't live without Him; the Pharisees couldn't stand Him; but they found they couldn't stop Him; Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him; the witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree; Herod couldn't kill Him; death couldn't handle Him and the grave couldn't hold Him!

YES, THAT'S MY KING! THAT'S MY KING!

And thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever and ever and ever (How long is that?) and ever and ever, and when you get through with all the forevers, then AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!!

Conclusion

  What child is this?

He is the Alpha and Omega.

He is the Lamb of God.

He is the Bread of Life.

He is our King.