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.
During Advent season, we are reminded afresh of the incredible truth that God came to us in an unprecedented fashion when he came in the person of the God-man, Jesus Christ. All throughout history God made Himself known in one way or another, providing needed and even helpful “pictures” of who He is, what He’s like, and how He prefers to get glory for himself. As gracious and glorious as those “peeks” were, it was like looking in 2d, when Jesus is like experiencing God in 3d. He pops off the pages of Scripture and emerges from out of the “shadows and types” to provide us the greatest revelation of God we would ever experience in this life.