Christmas Miracles: Part II

December 12, 2021   /   Palms Baptist Church

Christmas Miracles

The song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was a Christmas Carol published in 1780. Better than the twelve days of Christmas is the twelve miracles of Christmas.

The Bible is a book of miracles. Famous miracles and less than famous miracles. Surrounding the birth of Jesus is an intensity of miracles. Miracles come into the Christmas story like an explosion. There are even more than the 12 miracles we will examine in this series.

Four Quick notes:

1. God is at work. (Even when world seems unstable)

2. God listens when we pray.

3. God is able to answer our prayerss.

4. God often restores what is lost.

Miracle #1:

  • Galatians 4:4
  • Luke 1:5 gives us the context: It was dark days in Israel.
  • In what seemed to be the darkest days, God was preparing the world stage for the Gospel. The Greeks would give the world a common language. The Romans would bring roads, travel, laws and even for a period of time protect religion. If Jesus had come earlier, the message would have moved slowly. But because God sent Jesus exactly when it did, it was a moment in history when the message was able to blast onto the world stage.

Miracle #2:

  • Zechariah means, “God remembers.” He’s of the division of Abijah. After the captivity, that family of priests disappeared, but when the priest were regrouped, other priests were chosen to represent Abijah.
  • Elizabeth means, “God is faithful.” She is probably named after Aron’s wife (Exodus 6:23)
  • Serving in the temple was a big deal. There were 18,000 priests in the first century. There were too many to have them all work full time at the temple; so the priests were broken into 24 orders. (See 1 Chronicles 24.) A priest would serve two times a year, usually at the brazen altar.
  • Zechariah would take coals from the brazen altar, enter the temple, pass the menorah and spread the hot coals on the altar of incense, and a column of smoke would rise representing prayers going up to God.
  • The angel at the right of the altar is a symbol of blessing.
  • Luke 1:16: That he will go in the spirit and power of Elijah is a fulfillment of Malachi 4:5-6. There was a legend that after Elisha, who had possession of Elijah’s coat, died, that the coat was put in the altar of incense. (There was a cabinet in the altar.) Some believe that the angel had Zechariah open the altar and take out Elijah’s mantel to place on his son, John the Baptist.
  • Luke 1:18, Zechariah doubts, and in v.19, Gabrial is offended. He “stands” in the presence of God. While other angels rise and fall in the presence of God, this angel stands ready at call of God to deliver messages.
  • The absurdity of Zechariah’s doubt is stunning: He’s in the most holy place on earth. At an altar that represents prayers being answered. He’s speaking to an angel, and still he can’t believe!

Miracle #3:

  • God showed Elizabeth “mercy” because to not have children in that culture was shameful.
  • The response of her hometown was to “rejoice” with her.

Miracle #4:

  • Luke 1:59-64 describes the scene of naming the child. It’s funny that they make signs to Zechariah; he’s mute, not deaf. He must think he’ll never speak again! It’s been eight days since the child was born, over nine months since he’s spoken a word.
  • Luke 1:63: John means, “God is gracious.” And God’s grace was about to explode onto the world
  • Luke 1:64 records the miracle that Zechariah’s speech was restored. When God restores that which was lost, it’s a miracle. He can restore families, restore finances, even restore lost years. (See Joel 2:25)

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