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Lesser Known Christmas Passages

 

 

When it comes to studying Scripture about Christmas, it seems like it’s all Luke 2 and Matthew 1. And while that narrative is important and valuable, there are plenty of Scriptures elsewhere that uphold, support, and point to the importance of that first Christmas.

 

Isaiah 9:2
2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Isaiah 9:6-7
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

 

Why it’s a great Christmas passage:

 

Hundreds of years before Jesus would be born, God revealed the circumstances of His birth to Isaiah.

 

Not only that, God revealed the very nature of Jesus to Isaiah, and this passage depicts this important nature and the character of Jesus through titles like, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

 

Jesus as Prince of Peace is so important to keep in mind. Especially in the context of when this prophecy was delivered to Isaiah. As a nation, Israel is buried in strife with the Assyrians, wondering if and when they will ever be restored. They’re looking for a redeemer-king to lead them, but God reminds them that their true restoration will not be a ruler of this mortal place but from an eternal kingdom.

 

Think about where you are today and what’s going on in the world around you: how important is it to remember that our true hope is not in the leaders on Earth, but from the Prince of Peace who has already come and will come again?

 

1. HE SAW A CRADLE. "Unto us a child is born"

 

A. Incarnation. "in the flesh" 1 Tim. 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 

Jn 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  Heb 1:1-14.

 

B. Intervention. - Wickedness in the day of Noah. - Building of the tower of Babel. - Jonah on his way to Tarsus. - Paul on the Damascus Road.

 

C. Inspiration.  - God to send His Son. - Angels to sing. - Wise men to sacrifice. - Shepherds to search for the child. - We should be inspired to service.

 

2. ISAIAH SAW A CROSS. "Unto us a Son is given." A. JN 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  GAL 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 

 

3. HE SAW A CROWN. "The gov't shall be upon His shoulders."

A. Crown of thorns. Jn 19:5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! 

 

B. A Crown of glory. Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 

 

C. Crown of gold. Heb 11:1-10 Rev 14:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

 

Isaiah 7:14
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

 

Micah 5:2-5
2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.
4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
5 And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.

 

Why it’s a great Christmas passage:

 

This is a great passage foretelling not only the birth of Jesus, but the location that He would be born. Hundreds of years before the Christ would enter human flesh, God revealed the location of this miracle to Micah.

 

The power of Messianic prophecy never ceases to amaze me.

 

Another significant point is the emphasis on Bethlehem's humble status. The passage even says that Bethlehem is too little be counted among the clans of Judah.

 

God is all about using the least likely candidates to further His kingdom and His purpose. From the elderly Abraham and Sarah­—well beyond child-bearing years—to Moses, a weak leader with a speech impediment, God makes much of that which we make little.

 

The King of Kings stepped into the world not in splendor from the city of Kings, but in humility from an insignificant place made special by the touch of Christ.

 

In this passage we see Jesus depicted as a shepherd, a title He would later ascribe to Himself. In His guidance and leadership we find our security, our strength, and our peace.

 

The first sentence of verse 5 is beautiful in its simplicity: "And this man shall be the peace."

 

Philippians 2:4-11

 

Why it's a great Christmas passage:

 

Philippians 2 reminds us that the Christmas story is far from ordinary. Jesus stepping into the world is an act of humility unlike anything ever seen before.

 

And though He brought Himself to the lowest point, He has been and will be exalted to the highest point—the name that is above every name. Jesus Christ. Lord of Lords.

 

We celebrate His arrival at Christmas, but His coming is part of a bigger picture and a bigger story. The birth of Christ is made all the more significant by the resurrection of Christ.

 

Christ came to conquer not only sin, but death itself. It took an act of love, an act of grace, and an act of humility.

 

This moment in time that we celebrate this time of year is simply a chapter in the story of redemption. And what a beautiful story it is!

 

Think about your story of redemption today and reflect on what Christ's victory over sin and death means to you.

 

Isaiah 11:1-5

 

Why it's a great Christmas passage:

 

Stem of Jesse, root of David

Okay, so technically this is a prophecy about the second coming of Jesus, not really the Christmas story. Nonetheless, it's a reference to a tangible Jesus.

 

This passage is referenced in one of my favorite Christmas hymns, "O Come O Come Emmanuel", which leads a verse with, "O come thou rod of Jesse free, thine own from Satan's tyranny."

 

Jesus is righteous and He is good and He is deliverer from sin and death and ultimately provides freedom from the tyranny of our greatest enemy: Satan himself.

 

Ruth Connection:  Jesse’s g’pa was Boaz!

 

Isaiah 40:1-11

 

Why it's a great Christmas passage:

 

When you read through the early parts of Luke’s gospel, you see another important figure in our faith: John the Baptist. We see that he is a cousin of Jesus, and the one who would come to prepare a way for Him.

 

The prophecy about John the Baptist comes from this passage in Isaiah. Everything that points to Jesus is significant, and everything John the Baptist did pointed toward Jesus.

 

This passage also reminds us that Jesus is our great Shepherd and He comes as our Comforter. He came to repair the irreparable gap between us and God. He did what we could never do and made a way for us to be reconciled to Him.

 

That’s good news, is it not? In fact, it’s THE Good News.

 

This is the passage that “Go tell it on the mountain” comes from—verse 9 in particular. What needs to be told? That Jesus Christ is born. The Comforter, the Peace-bringer, the Savior.

 

Isaiah 55:3-5

 

Why it's a great Christmas passage:

 

Jesus came to save and redeem all peoples to Himself. Not only His chosen people, the nation of Israel. This passage reminds us that it was always part of the plan to use Israel to bring redemption to those of every tribe, nation and tongue.

 

That sounds like a great reason to rejoice to me!

 

Genesis 3:15
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

 

The Protevangelium…first pronouncement of the gospel.

 

We see Mary, and the seed, Jesus.  And then we see the cross!

 

2 Corinthians 9:15
15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

James 1:17
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

John 3:16

 

Revelation 12:4-5
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

 

Galatians 4:4-5
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

 

Colossians 1:15-20

 

Why it's a great Christmas passage:

 

Paul reminds us that Jesus was not created. Jesus is eternal, the image of God. He was before everything. Christ stepping down into the world is not a simple event—it is significant.

 

It’s also important to note that though Jesus submitted Himself to a mortal form, He still had (and indeed has) authority over all things. It’s through Him and by Him all things came to be, and He carries with Him the authority over all things.

 

We celebrate His entering the world this season, but we should celebrate His authority in all seasons.

 

Finally, we’re reminded of His purpose in coming. Believe it or not, Jesus didn’t just come so that we can open presents and sing pretty songs. Jesus came to reconcile sinners to Himself. He came in authority and power to win victory over sin and death.

 

Jesus is the Prince of Peace and verse 20 of this passage reminds us that the peace that He brought to us came by the blood of the cross. During this season we celebrate the manger, but we look ahead toward the empty tomb.

 

Christmas is an important season for us as we celebrate the coming of our Savior! Remember that His coming is just the first part of the narrative of our salvation.

 

John 13:3
3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

 

With helps from Cameron Frank

Grace Notes Sermon Ministry


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