DAY ELEVEN (11 DEC 2020) - COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS
“Then he (Jesus) went down to Nazareth with them (Mary and Joseph) and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”
Up to now, we’ve been looking at Jesus’ birth through the lens of Matthew, the Jewish tax collector, but today we move to Luke’s account. Luke, the Gentile doctor. What is it that makes the story of Jesus’ birth in Matthew and Luke the same, and yet so different? Why did Luke tell his story differently?
Corroboration! What? Yup, corroboration is evidence that confirms or supports a statement, theory, or finding. If both their versions had been exactly the same we might have suspected collusion, but, they are not. They agree about many of the facts but Luke’s portrayal is also very different. Their stories, though different, have so much in common that it has to be true.
Matthew 1 recounts a genealogy which is supported in most instances by the one in Luke 3 proving that both parents were descended from King David but through differing bloodlines. The King and Priest.
An angel tells Joseph in a dream to marry Mary and name their child Jesus and an angel tells Zechariah in a vision that Elizabeth will give birth to a son whom he must name John. Destiny. Both children are foretold by prophetic writings in the Jewish bible – in the case of Jesus - “a virgin will give birth” and John the Baptist - “he will be a voice in the wilderness”.
In both accounts Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Matthew tells us about the visit of the Magi and their worship and their gifts for a King – gold, frankincense and myrrh; while Luke tells us about the birth being announced by angels to shepherds who bring nothing but their worship for a Saviour.
Mary and Joseph eventually settle in Nazareth where they raise the boy Jesus. Very little is told about the growing years of Jesus and/or John. When both are 30 years old they appear on the scene according to their birth order, John the Baptist first, calling the Jews to repentance, then Jesus is baptised by John and he begins preaching that the kingdom of God is at hand.
When you read the stories of the birth of Jesus in the gospels try and see the story through the eyes of someone who has never read it before. Think about the experiences of Mary and Joseph and what it must have been like for them to be called by God to do what He asked them to do, raise Jesus.
Our Father, help me to tell the story of Jesus so that others find it interesting and are drawn to find out more about him.
As you do this devotional with your family:
1. Refer to the Advent Calendar as a ‘prophetic’ instrument foretelling the Christmas event.
2. Read today’s devotional and let each child recount the story you have read to see if they understand.
3. Ask them if there was a word they did not understand. Look it up in a dictionary together.
4. Explain that our understanding of Christmas is shaped by what we read and what we conclude from our reading.
5. Finish by praying and blessing each child, then allow them to open their Day 11 Advent Calendar