We all instinctively long for Justice and something different, as if we have a sense of what the World is supposed to be! Some think education, government, or science will solve our problems and yet they don’t! But the bible explains why this is so, and what will make sense of the World! It tells us what went wrong with our race, what our race was meant for, and how we can be restored to that purpose. Moses is telling us in this passage why there is pain, strife, and brokenness in our world; he also shows us something in the midst of all of it – HOPE! Man was created uniquely to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, instead man rebelled and tried to replace the Creator with himself, but God does not leave us in our rebellion; he restores us to our purpose.
There is a coming world ruler from Bethlehem who will establish a Kingdom for His brothers and sisters that is unrivaled. He will do this by cutting off all His and their enemies; a coming shepherd who seeks out the lost sheep bringing them back into the fold, and who fights off the wolves that threaten them. Now don’t misunderstand me, the babe in a manger is also kind, humble, and meek. He is coming to save His people, and at the same time this prophecy written 700 years before the coming of Christ is about Him ruling as a conquering King!
During the season of Advent we reflect on and celebrate the birth of the one, true, perfect, king that will rule for all eternity over the entire universe That is King Jesus, the King of Kings. There are two key things going on: The gracious glorious proclamation & explanation of grace, salvation and God’s sovereignty and the faithful submission of a servant of the Lord. The main idea that we get from this text is to behold the advent of Jesus, Son of God and Eternal King! Follow Him in faith.
Acts 13:16-41 contains Paul’s first recorded sermon. This isn’t his first time to preach, but this is his first recorded sermon. It is also the longest sermon that we have. Why this text at Advent? Paul’s sermon traces the history of the Old Testament that leads to the coming of Christ, and then reflects on Christ’s life, death and resurrection. Christmas is part of this grand story. It is also to help us embrace the mission. This month we are taking up an offering that will go to reach unreached people groups, and that will go to help fund church planting. This is also a great text to talk about mission, since this is not only Paul’s first recorded sermon, but it is also Paul’s “first mission trip!” Paul and Barnabas are sent out by the church in Antioch, and along the way, we get Paul’s recorded sermon.