Radio Broadcast Thursday 12/27/2018

      Thursday December 27 2018

Classic Christianity – Bob George – Christmas P4 (12-27-18)

Bob George Teaching

Welcome to Classic Christianity radio with Bob George. This Christmas season, we are reminded of God’s greatest gift to you and me, His son Jesus Christ. We are told in the scriptures that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Our prayer for you is that you would accept Jesus Christ into your life and know how you are deeply loved by God. Check out BobGeorge.net for various resources to help you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us now join Bob as he presents practical biblical insights to help people experience faith, hope and love in Jesus Christ.

Bob George continues teaching from Luke 2 and Matthew 2. Much of this audio is a repeat of yesterday’s message. So picking up at about 15:10 into the audio, he continues sharing about the character and actions of Herod, a wicked madman. From this very passage, Bob answers a question many of us have asked, “Where is God in all this?” Bob explains God’s choice in creation, to create man with free will, to help us understand why there is such evil and heartache in this world. God could of created everybody as robots. But can a robot choose to love and respond to God? No. So God chose to create you and me and even the angels with free will. That was his choice in creation.

Matthew 2:1-18

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’[Micah 5:2,4]”

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[Hosea 11:1]

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.” [Jeremiah 31:15]

Though known as Herod the Great, he was really the most vicious man who ever lived, a horrible, mean, detestable, vicious human being. Herod was also a maniac. He pulled together the chief priests and teachers of the law and asked them where Christ is to be born? The magi replied, “in Bethlehem of Judea” for this is what the prophets had written (Micah 5:2,4). They knew what it said and believed the scriptures were reliable. They quoted to Herod out of the scriptures.

Matthew 2:3-6
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’[Micah 5:2,4]”

The phrase “out of you will come a ruler” was bad news to Herod. Herod must have said in his heart, “There is no king going to replace me”.

Job security is what killed Jesus. “If we allow this man to continue before long everyone follow him and we will lose our place and our position. Their position was as teachers of the law. Jesus teaches grace. If he teaches grace then who needs a law teacher. So if we let this grace teaching go on, we will lose our jobs for I’m not going to teach grace and I do not know anything about it. In order to enter grace you have to humble yourself and be willing to put aside your education. I am not about to do that.” The Apostle Paul considered everything dung in comparison to knowing Jesus Christ His Lord. “And if I accept grace then have to put aside law. I am not going to do that. I have a PhD from Jerusalem University, and proud of my degree, and nobody knows more than me.” Such was the attitude of the religious leaders. Job security is much stronger than what you and I think.

Matthew 2:7-8
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

So Herod developed a plan. He called the Magi secretly (that is what the wicked do, do things in secret) and asked about the time and place where Jesus was to be born so that he too may go and worship him. What a hypocrite! He had no intention to worship him but instead plotted to kill anyone who was a threat to his throne.

Matthew 2:9
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.

Then the star in the East went ahead until it stopped where the child was. People have all kinds of ideas on how this star came to be as scientists speculate in their study of these things. Regards of how planets all lined up, a star does not lead you to a place. Stars do not normally just stop and start. The star stopped over where the child was!

Matthew 2:11a
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.

Coming to the house, the Magi saw the child Jesus. But Jesus was not born in a house but he was born in a manger, as recorded in Luke 2.

Luke 2:7
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for him in the inn.

Joseph and Mary returned back to Nazareth. For some reason, scripture does not say, but they moved back to Jerusalem, and really don’t need to know. But they are back in Bethlehem in a house. So from Matthew’s account, reading about Herod’s scheme to kill every child two years older and younger, Jesus must now be at least 1 year old.

Matthew 2:11b
Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

It is interesting to note that the Magi came with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. So that must be how tradition has it that there were three wise men. Scripture does not say there were three wise men. So presumably since there are three gifts, there are three wise men. Is that how man reasoned so as to come up with three wise men? We really do not know how many Magi there were, for scripture never tells us how many.

Matthew 2:12
12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

So the Magi went home an alternate route, as warned in a dream not to go back to Herod.

Matthew 2:13
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

Here is another dream. An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream to escape to Egypt, in fulfillment of prophecy by the prophet Hosea.

Matthew 2:16
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi

Herod, being outwitted, was furious. Herod had learned the time from the Magi and he knew if he set a rule to kill every boy under two years old, he can get rid of the threat to his throne and kingdom. So, in an attempt to kill one child, he killed every boy under two years old. How many have a child under two? Can you imagine the lament and heartache of mothers and fathers to see children dragged from their homes for no reason but because of a mad man!

Any one of us who have had children can imagine a one or two year old being snatched out of their home to be murdered! Ask yourself. Where was God in all this? Where was God when John the Baptist was beheaded? When Cain murdered Abel? Where was God in all this? God is exactly where He has always been, on His throne. When God created man he created man with free will. He could have created us as robots. Being God, he could have chosen any way he wanted to create mankind. So he could have created us as robots. If you were a robot, could you love God by free will? No. If God were to create creation in whom he could love and interact, he had to create a creation in such a way that would respond and interact to that love. In the foreknowledge of God and his creative work, he created man, and even the angels, with free will. There were 1/3 of his angels that chose to rebel against God. Was there a gamble in giving man a free will? What is that gamble? Even though we are created by the hand of God, we can choose to rebel against God. We have free will today. I can choose to live a life commiserate with who I am as a child of God or I can also on occasion choose to live contrary to that?

James 3:9-10
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Yes, to curse God one day and praise Him another should not be. But is it possible to praise God one day and curse another day? Yes. So free will was given to man. God had to do that to interact with his creation. If free will was given to man, can people like Herod choose to say “Who needs God?”. If Lucifer said he can be God then so cannot you or I decide the same? Was that not the same temptation in the garden of Eden? So Herod chose to murder Jesus but God is sovereign and he instructed angels in a dream and fulfilled what would happen as spoken through the Old Testament prophets. So is God still in control? Yes. Is God still on the throne, sovereign in control? Yes! So is Herod any match against the creator of the universe? No. God is working out a plan to save his own creation! Oh, the wisdom of God beyond our understanding!

Genesis 3:4-5
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So the temptation by the serpent, or Lucifer, in the garden of Eden is this: “You can be like God. You can choose. You can decide right from wrong, good and evil. You choose for yourself what is right and wrong. You control what is going on. You don’t need God. God is holding out on you.” Indwelling sin is the propensity inside us to control everything, and in essence, to be God. So indwelling sin says, “If I am the center of the universe then I want the universe to flow around me. I am in the center, and for me to be at the center, then I will control everyone to treat me how I want to be treated.” Indwelling sin is self centered, egocentric and wants to control everything. God is the one who created all there is and holds everything together, so he is in control of the universe he created, yet we, a created being, are so proud to think we can do it better.

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