Restored By Love
Delivered By
Pastor Doug Groen and LaVerne Wiginton Accompanist
Delivered On
December 21, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Central Passage
Luke 2:1-20
Restored By Love

Luke 2:1-20

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place whilea] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And 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. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 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.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


  1. Luke 2:2 Or This census took place before


Pastor's  Summary of Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)

Luke is concerned to place Jesus in the time-line of history, as a real human being.  We know of Augustus' attempt to clean up the taxation system: as well as requiring more reasonable practices of tax collectors, he introduced a truly equitable tax: a poll-tax.  Every 14 years, a census was held;: people were required to present themselves in their ancestral towns, to register for the tax.  Records are fragmentary but we do know that a census was held by "Quirinius" (v. 2) of Syria in 6-7 AD. Perhaps Judea was included in in a census of 8-7 BC, "the first registration".  From Matthew 2:16, we know that Herod the Great sought to kill Jesus by slaughtering all children aged two or less.  Because Herod died in 4 BC. Jesus was born no later than 6 BC.  The dates agree.  Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem, the city of David, to "to be registered" (v. 5). Jesus is born in Bethlehem in fulfilment of the prophecy of Micah 5:2-5; a shepherd-king is to be born there.

In v. 7, Jesus is treated like any other newborn of the time: he is wrapped in cloths, but there may be a message in his being born in "a manger": animals normally fed from it; Jesus is sustenance for the world.  In vv. 8-14, we learn the meaning of Jesus' birth.  Those who hear the pronouncement by the angel are "shepherds" (v. 8), lowly people.  David too was a shepherd; in Luke, Jesus comes to the poor, the lowly.  The message of Christ's birth is indeed a joyful one--for all.

V. 11 mentions our great claims as to who Jesus is: "Saviour", "Messiah" and "Lord".  As "Saviour", he restores us to wholeness, rescues us from sin and alienation from God.  In Jesus, God is present with sinners and saves us from destructive self-isolation to union with him, in a nurturing community.  As "Messiah", he inaugurates the era of heavenly peace: the end-time has begun.  As "Lord", he is God come in human form.  the kingdom is for all those whom God has chosen (v. 14b).  In vv. 15-20 the shepherds visit Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  They tell them and many others the good news the angels have told them.

Take time to attend our Christimas Service at 10:00 AM this Sunday, Demeber 21st, to experience with us the message entitled, "Restored by Love".