"A Christmas Message From the Peanut Gang"
by Kenneth R. Jenkins
Luke 2: 1-14 King James Version (KJV)
2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.
I would like to try and preach from one of the familiar books in the New Testament that depicts the beginning of Christendom. The beginning of how Christmas got started. And I am not putting down the other legends or folklore of traditions of Christmas like the story of the Christmas Tree or the various stories or those Christmas songs and hymns we still sing or the legend of St. Nicholas who later became Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, and then later Santa Claus. I have nothing against the telling of those stories but I want to tell the reason for the Season when our Savior came down to 40 and 2 generations taking off His royal glory and came down here to planet Earth as a baby proclaimed The Savior of the World on a silent, night holy night when all was calm and all was bright.
I want to try and preach this message by way of the Holy Spirit and through the eyes of Charles Schultz’s characters, “A Christmas Message from the Peanut Gang”.
First, the news of the coming of this new king came from Prophet 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 forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
For centuries, the promise of the Messiah has been foretold. Some thought that this peculiar Savior will overthrow the Roman Empire saving them from the clutches of Caesar. A Savior that will bruise their government by swiping them with just one mighty hand saving His people. A Savior that would rule sitting on the throne of David and Solomon defeating anyone that does not obey and at the same time bring about peace in the land.
When reading this Scripture again, the meaning becomes clear. The message is bold and so forthcoming that all the world would get excited about it.
Let’s look at this again and take note of what the Lord and the Holy Spirit is saying to us:
This is a prophecy of the coming rule of Jesus on earth. These verses gather into one announcement the predictions of the birth, the deity, his earthly government, his just kingdom, and eternity of Christ.
A)For unto us a Child is born
The purpose of Christ’s coming was for “us.”
B)Unto us a Son is given
Jesus did not happen upon earth. From eternity God planned to “give” him. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus existed eternally as the Son. The word “Son” is used to show the relationship between the Father and Son.
C)And the government will be upon His shoulder
Jesus will reign as King Jesus King of the world. The government of the entire world is on his shoulders.
D)And His name will be called Wonderful
When he came he was a wonder. He transcends human understanding. He is unique among human beings. He stands supreme above everyone else. His name is wonderful because he is wonderful.
E)And His name will be called… Counselor
Jesus reveals the mind of God. He counsels us from God’s perspective. He gives God’s council.
F)And His name will be called… Mighty God
He is God almighty. In Him dwells all the fullness of the Deity in bodily form (Colossians 2:9).
G) And His name will be called… Everlasting Father
This is better translated “The Father of eternity.” All the ages meet in him (Hebrews 1:2). The Son is not to be confused with the Father, although the Father and He are one (John 10:30).
H)And His name will be called… Prince of Peace.
Peace will characterize his reign upon earth.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
God made a covenant with David many years before the writing of Isaiah that His Son would reign forever. This has not yet been fulfilled. Jesus has not yet been seated upon that throne. There is a day coming when He will reign (Revelation 3:21).
PRINCIPLE: God predicted the coming of Christ. He is sovereign over the affairs of man.
APPLICATION: We can rest confident that God manages the world well.