Happy December, everyone!
Christmas is officially 24 days away, and we are all geared up here at Greenbrier Nazarene. We have Christmas music playing in the office almost everyday now! (And you can too with our new Spotify Playlist!) And with Christmas coming up, this upcoming Sunday we are starting a series called “It’s a GN Christmas!” With that new series coming up, we wanted to really take this month of our blog and focus in on what the real meaning for the season is: The birth of Jesus.
So just for that, this month is going to be hosted by our Pastor’s Wife, Lenett Thrasher, as she brings us a month long bible study, week by week, on the birth of Christ. Keep up with it this month for some great insight and commentary as we journey into multiple books of the Bible. We are really excited for this Christmas season here at the church. BIG things are going to be happening! Enjoy the next few weeks of our bible study, they may be short but they carry a huge message!
The next few weeks are going to be filled with some thoughts I’ve gathered and noted in my Bible over the years as I read different commentaries or took notes from sermons. Many of these probably came from commentaries by Matthew Henry since he is my favorite. As you read, I hope you gain an understanding of how truly remarkable the birth of our Savior is and what a sacrifice it was for His Father to share him with a world of sinners. No other gift has cost more than what our Father and Savior gave us. We are so very undeserving.
We are going to start this week by reading the lineage of Christ in Matthew 1. As you read vs. 1-16, notice the women who are named. Remember that Jesus came in fulfillment of a promise to save God’s chosen people, the Jews. However, our God had a plan far bigger. He chose to provide a Savior to anyone who believed in Him. The females chosen to be named in the lineage of Christ proves this point.
Tamar was born into a family that worshipped idols but married Er who was a Jew. She was sinned against by her first two husbands and betrayed by her father-in-law, Judah. Yes, Judah, the father of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. She dressed up as a prostitute and tricked her father-in-law into sleeping with her. She gave birth to twins, Perez and Zerah.
Rahab, the prostitute from Jericho who hid Joshua’s spies. Her life was spared when the wall of Jericho fell before the mighty blast of the trumpet. She married Salmon, one of Joshua’s troops, and gave birth to Boaz.
Ruth, the Moabite who walked faithfully beside her mother-in-law as she returned to her homeland even though Ruth understood she would be viewed as an outcast among the people of God. Ruth married Boaz and became the great-grandmother of King David.
God could have chosen pure breed Jews or royalty as the lineage of His Son. But He didn’t. Why didn’t he name Sarah and Rebekah, born as Jews and well-respected by all of God’s people since their birth? Instead He chose to name the sinner, the prostitute, and the outcast. Gentile women whose names were mixed in with the greatest Jewish leaders since the beginning of time. Maybe God did this to prove that he came for ALL people regardless of their race, status, or former beliefs. And maybe also to show that no one is beyond the reach of the life-changing hand of the living God. Proof of this is recorded in the ever-living Word of God and became life on that day He was born in a manger. Further proof of God’s almighty power is recorded in vs. 18. “This is how the birth of Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.” A virgin birth. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26)
Lenett Thrasher, Pastor’s Wife