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The Babe In The Manger : Christ's Nativity                     



Luke 1:1-4 . . Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us— just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us —it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

Luke's report is alleged to have been written somewhere around AD60, roughly thirty± years after the facts. Plus, it's not an eye-witness report; rather, it's essentially the result of investigative reporting.

Luke's report was written neither to or for a church, it was written to and for a specific person; which leads me to believe that Luke wasn't expecting his work to end up in the Bible. Apparently the canon's compilers felt that Luke was "inspired" so his document was included.
 


Luke 1:26-27 . . In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

Joseph's association with David is extremely important in matters related to theocratic royalty.

That particular sixth month wasn't a date on the Jew's calendar. It was relative to the second trimester of Mary's cousin Elizabeth. (Luke 1:24, Luke 1:36)

NOTE: Mary and Elizabeth were related by blood to Rachel's sister Leah by her two sons Levi and Judah.

The koiné Greek word for "virgin" is parthenos (par-then'-os) which basically means a maiden; particularly a daughter that's not married. In point of fact, at this juncture Mary was engaged.

Luke 1:28 . .The angel went to her and said: Greetings, you who are highly favored!

"highly favored" is translated from the Greek word charitoo (khar-ee-to'-o) which means to indue with special honor. It's a rare word that appears in only one other verse in the entire New Testament at Eph 1:6.

The angel wasn't describing Mary's character as if she was an ultra pious Jew. He merely stated that she was the object of a very special blessing; same as Christ's believing followers are the objects of a very special blessing at Eph 1:6, i.e. the angel informed Mary that she was extremely fortunate; though for the moment she had no clue as to why.

NOTE: The Douay Rheims version of Luke 1:28 says that Mary was "full of grace" instead of highly favored and "blessed are you among women". Those phrases aren't translated from the Greek; i.e. editors took the liberty to insert them because in their opinion that's what the passage ought to say even though it doesn't, so we can safely ignore them.

Arbitrary editing can be troublesome at times because the practice erodes our confidence that God inspired the Bible's writers. Sometimes arbitrary editing is helpful; but other times it just muddies the waters.

 

Luke 1:29 . . She was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be.

Artists generally depict the angel as a celestial being with wings and/or aglow with some sort of ethereal light. But I don't think that's how this one came knocking. He probably looked to Mary no different than an ordinary man because the New Testament Greek word for angel is aggelos (ang'-el os) which refers to all manner of messengers, e.g. prophets (Matt 11:10), delegates (Luke 7:24), fire (Heb 1:7), church officers (Rev 1:20-3:14), and apparitions (Rev 22:16).

I rather suspect that Mary was a little nervous that maybe this man talking to her wasn't some sort of crackpot.

Luke 1:30 . . But the angel said to her: Do not be afraid, Mary,

The New Testament Greek word for "afraid" is phobeo (fob-eh'-o) which basically refers to fright and alarm. Mary was scared; and who wouldn't be when a total stranger walks into your life out of nowhere, talking crazy, and knowing your name to boot? Even the holiest of holy men have been terrified by angels, e.g. Dan 10:15-17 and Heb 12:18-21. So Mary's reaction wasn't unusual.

Luke 1:30 . .You have found favor with God.

The Greek word translated "favor" is charis (khar'-ece) a common word for "grace" which, in my estimation, is best understood as gracious; and can be defined as kind, courteous, inclined to good will, generous, charitable, merciful, altruistic, compassionate, thoughtful, cordial, affable, non threatening, genial, sociable, cheerful, warm, sensitive, considerate, and tactful.

The equivalent of charis in the Old Testament is chen (khane); for example:

"Noah found favor in the eyes of The Lord." (Gen 6:8)

I think it fair to say that when someone has found favor with God, it probably means that He's taken a liking to them; or at least an interest; for example:

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you." (John 15:9)

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God; such is what we are." (1John 3:1)

 

Luke 1:31a . . Behold,

The Greek word translated "behold" is idou (id-oo') which, in this case, means to listen up and pay attention 'cause this is important.

Luke 1:31b . . you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son.

The Greek word translated "conceive" means exactly what it says. We're not talking about a test tube baby here. The very same word is used at Luke 1:24 and Luke 1:36 in talking about Elizabeth's baby.

It's amazing the number of Christians I encounter online who honestly believe that baby Jesus was an implant. i.e. that his mom was a surrogate mother instead of his biological mother.

 

Mary was instructed to give her miraculous baby the name Jesus.

Luke 1:31c . .You are to give him the name Jesus.

Her fiancé Joseph was instructed to do the same.

Matt 1:20-21 . . An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said: Joseph son of David . . . you are to give him the name Jesus

Joseph complied.

Matt 1:25 . . And he gave him the name Jesus.

So Christ went in the books as Joseph's son because that's how it worked in those days when a man stood with a woman to name her child. (cf. Luke 1:59, Luke 2:21)

From that day on; Joseph was identified by all, including Mary, as Jesus' father. (Matt 13:55, Luke 2:27, Luke 2:41, Luke 2:48)

Now; the thing to note is that adopted children have just as much legal right to an inheritance as a father's biological children; especially a right to the father's name; and that's how baby Jesus got into Joseph's genealogy at Matt 1:1-17. Had the little guy been Joseph's foster child, or his stepchild; then it would've been fraud for Matthew to place the boy in Joseph's genealogy.

 

Matt 1:21 . . He shall save his people from their sins.

The word "save" is from the koiné Greek word sozo (sode'-zo) which basically means to rescue and/or protect. Rescuers typically provide their services to desperate people who are thoroughly incapable of getting themselves out of overwhelming difficulties; e.g. Firemen, Emergency Medical teams, snow patrols, mountain units, and the Coast Guard and National Guard.

"his people" refers to the Jews.

Heb 2:16-17 . . Assuredly he does not give help to angels, but he gives help to the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, he had to be made like his brethren in all things, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

Baby Jesus didn't descend from Aaron, so his high priesthood would not be in accord with the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Jesus' high priesthood would be in accord with a Gentile high priest; in point of fact, baby Jesus' high priesthood would be in accord with a man whose ethnic identity isn't known, nor is anything known about his family or his ancestors.

The boy was to become a high priest in accord with a man that the Jews have heard of, but never actually seen for themselves. His name is Melchizedek; mentioned way back in the past in association with Abraham. (Gen 14:18-20, Ps 110:1-4, Heb 6:20-7:22)

Now, unless "his people" extends all the way back to Abraham, then the rescue referred to in Matt 1:21 would be limited to some of his people but not all. But according to Isa 53:6, it's all; which is a tremendous improvement over Aaron's high priesthood. His isn't retroactive that far back. It only extends to the year of the installation of the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per the books of the covenant. (Deut 5:2-4)

Another big improvement is that Aaron couldn't save his people from their sins; he could only offer atonements for them; while Mary's boy would both atone and save. (Heb 10:10-18)

 

Matt 1:18 . . 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.

Mary must've let the cat out of the bag because the angel of the Lord had not yet informed Joseph of God's involvement in his best girl's baby. But I really don't think Joseph believed Mary's story because his next thought was to dump her.

Matt 1:18-19 . . Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away quietly.

The covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God requires engaged women to be executed when they willingly sleep with another man.

Deut 22:23-24 . . If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death— the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man's wife.

But the law is very particular in capital cases. Nobody can be executed for such crimes sans the testimony of a minimum of two witnesses.

Deut 17:6-7 . . At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people.

The Bible says that Joseph was a righteous man; which means that he was a stickler for due process.

So then, in the absence of two witnesses, Joseph had to let his fiancée slide; the very same reason why grown-up Jesus let slide a woman caught red-handed in adultery. (John 8:9-11)

Matt 1:20a . .The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said: Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

According to Matt 1:18, Joseph had been apprised of God's involvement in his best girls' baby; but didn't believe it. The angel's corroboration became essential to prevent the couple from parting company.

It's not too difficult to figure out why Joseph was afraid to go thru with the engagement. I mean; just think how humiliating it would be for a decent man to stand before friends and family to marry a girl coming down the aisle pregnant with another man's baby.

And besides; if Mary was already sleeping around, who's to say she wouldn't sleep around again later on after she and Joseph were married? No; immoral girls are a bad bet because they can't be trusted to be faithful and true.

 

Matt 1:22-23 . . Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying: Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel; which translated means: God with us.

The prophet's name was Isaiah, and the prophecy is located in verse 14 of the 7th chapter of his book.

Joseph and Mary were instructed to name her baby "Jesus". So the identity of "they" in the prophecy isn't his parents. It's actually the Jews.

Luke 7:14-17 . . Jesus came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And he said: Young man, I say to you, arise! And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. And fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying: God has visited His people! And this report concerning him went out all over Judea, and in all the surrounding district.

NOTE: The name Emmanuel (a.k.a. Immanuel) appears only three times in the whole Bible: twice in Isaiah, and once in Matthew.

 

Matt 1:24-25 . . When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded. He brought Mary home to be his wife.

The couple didn't marry right away. According to Luke 2:1-7 they journeyed to Bethlehem as an engaged couple rather than a married couple.

At first glance it appears that Mary and Joseph began shacking up; but I hardly think so. The Bible says Joseph was a righteous man. Well; righteous men don't shack up. The "home" that Joseph brought Mary to was likely his family's home rather than a bachelor pad.

 

Luke 1:31-32 . . Listen carefully: you will conceive in your womb and bear a son . . and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father.

In order for David to be Jesus' father, he had to be Mary's father too because her pregnancy wasn't man-made.

Stay with me because we're going to trace Jesus' biological genealogy all the way back to Adam.

Acts 13:22-23 . . "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will." Of this man's seed hath God, according to His promise, raised unto Israel a savior, Jesus.

Rom 1:1-3 . . Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh

The koiné Greek word for "seed" in those two passages is sperma (sper'-mah) which is a bit ambiguous because it can refer to spiritual progeny as well as to biological progeny; for example:

Gal 3:29 . . If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed.

That seed is obviously spiritual progeny. But the seed in Acts 13:22-23 and Rom 1:1-3 is biological progeny because David's seed is "according to the flesh" i.e. his physical human body.

Now, unless somebody can prove clearly, conclusively, iron clad, and without spin and sophistry that David's body was in no way biologically related to Adam's body, then we have to conclude that baby Jesus' body was also biologically related to Adam's body.

Seen from another angle:

Eve's body was made from Adam's body. (Gen 2:21-23)

Consequently, when children are conceived by women that are biologically related to Eve, then their children are biologically related to Adam: whether naturally-conceived or virgin-conceived makes no difference, i.e. every child that biologically descends from Eve also biologically descends from Adam.

Gen 3:15 . . I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

It's pretty much agreed by most Christians that Eve's predicted offspring was realized in Christ; which means that baby Jesus was not only Eve's biological offspring but Adam's too because her body was made with material taken from Adam's body.

So then; in order to cut Jesus out of Adam's biological posterity it would be necessary to cut Mary out of Eve's biological posterity; and I've yet to encounter anyone either online or in church able to do that.

 

Q: Was it really necessary for Joseph to adopt Mary's baby?

A: It was essential because God selected Jesus to inherit David's throne. (Luke 1:32)

Mary was directly related to David (Rom 1:1-3) but the monarchy passes down through David's son Solomon. (1Kgs 1:16-39)

Jesus' mom wasn't directly related to Solomon, she was directly related to Solomon's brother Nathan (Luke 3:31, Luke 3:23). So Mary's little boy couldn't inherit the monarchy through her. And besides, Israel's monarchy always passed down through David's males; never his females.

Joseph, on the other hand, was directly related to Solomon (Matt 1:6, Matt 1:16) so that any progeny of Joseph's, whether biological or adopted, would be Solomon's progeny.

Q: Is there something in the Bible to support this adoption theory of yours?

A: At Gen 48:5-7, Jacob set a patriarchal precedent by adopting his two grandsons Manasseh and Ephraim; and by doing so installed them in positions equal in rank, honor, power, and privilege to his twelve original sons; thus legally increasing Jacob's total number of tribal heads from twelve to fourteen.

Jacob's motive for adopting Joseph's two sons wasn't for himself; it was in sympathy for his beloved wife Rachel being cut off during her child-bearing years, which subsequently prevented her from having any more children of her own. Ephraim and Manasseh bring Rachel's legal total up to six: two of her own, two by the maid Bilhah, and two by Asenath.

Q: If Jesus inherited the Davidic monarchy via adoption, then wouldn't he have inherited Jeconiah's curse right along with it? (Jer 22:29-30)

A: Yes; because the monarchy and the curse were a package.

However; the wording "to rule again in Judah" indicates that the curse on Jeconiah's royal progeny was limited to the era of the divided kingdom. That condition came to an end when Nebuchadnezzar crushed the whole country and led first Samaria, and then later Judah, off to Babylonian slavery.

When Messiah reigns, the country of Israel will be unified. His jurisdiction won't be limited to Judah within a divided kingdom, but will dominate all the land of Israel. So the curse doesn't apply to him.

Ezek 37:21-22 . .You shall declare to them: Thus said the Lord God: I am going to take the Israelite people from among the nations they have gone to, and gather them from every quarter, and bring them to their own land. I will make them a single nation in the land, on the hills of Israel, and one king shall be king of them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.

NOTE: The New Testament's ancient Greek manuscripts typically contain no punctuation. So whatever punctuation we see in English was arbitrarily inserted in the text solely at the discretion of translators. In reality, the punctuation we see in English texts is an educated guess; consequently we cannot always be sure that their editing is reliable and/or unbiased.

For example; English punctuation in some versions of Luke 3:23-24 make it appear that the genealogy is Joseph's which, if so, would make him directly related to Solomon's brother Nathan. But if we take the liberty to remove all the arbitrary punctuation from that passage, we can then easily show that the genealogy in Luke is actually Mary's rather than Joseph's; in other words: Heli, (a.k.a. Eli) is Mary's dad.

 

The Wise Men                        

Matt 2:1 . . Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.

The koiné Greek word for these particular wise men is magos (mag'-os) which roughly indicates scientists; but can also indicate magicians; viz: sorcerers (Acts 13:6-8). Judging by their interest in the cosmos; I'd say these particular magos were astrologers.

NOTE: Back then, there was not yet a distinct division between astrologers and astronomers like there is now, so we probably shouldn't assume those guys were mystics.

Matt 2:2 . . Saying: where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

Now before we assume that these guys were all ethnic Persians we need to be aware that the Jews and their converts were spread out all over the world at this time; for example on the day of Pentecost:

"Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. A crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard [the disciples] speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs-- we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" (Acts 2:5-11)

I think it's pretty safe to assume that ethnic Persians would not be interested in the Jews' religion so I posit that the wise guys were either Jewish men or converts; and thus knowledgeable of the prophecies predicting a very important successor to David's throne.

 

So; how did the travelers know to follow that star? Well; first off we have to realize that their star wasn't a celestial object because it was low enough in the sky to direct people to the exact house were baby Jesus was lodged (Matt 2:9). In other words: their star was an apparition.

But how did they know their star was related to the newborn king? Well; according to Matt 2:12, they were in contact with God. In other words: the men weren't acting on their own initiative: they were on a mission; directed and supervised by divine oversight.

Matt 2:3-4 . . And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born.

The Greek word for "Christ" basically refers to anointing; which is how Jewish kings were installed back in the Old Testament; for example David (1Sam 16:1-13). So then, calling someone "the Christ" is all the same as calling them a king; regardless of their ethnic identity. For example: the Old Testament equivalent of Christ is mashiyach (maw-shee'-akh) which is applied to a Persian king named Cyrus. (Isa 45:1)

Right about here I got a bit curious. Why would Herod think that the king the wise men sought was predicted in the Bible? It seems to me that in order for Herod to be thinking that way, he'd have to be aware of Daniel's famous seventy-week prophecy. (Dan 9:24-27)

Well, after a bit of checking, I discovered that Herod favored the Jews' religion and was somewhat learned in it. In point of fact, Herod at this time was upgrading the Temple.

The chief priests and scribes, being Old Testament experts, were for sure aware of Daniel's prophecy and I'll just bet that they and their forbearers had been keeping track of Daniel's timeline all along and thus probably not all that surprised when rumors of a Christ started cropping up in their day.

Well; anyway, Herod asked the wrong question. According to Matt 2:2, baby Jesus was already born; in fact, born even before the wise men left their country. So then, knowing where Israel's new king was to be born was a long shot that he'd still be there. The question Herod should have asked is: Where might the boy be now?

NOTE: Jesus' hometown Nazareth was predicted by the prophets (Matt 2:23) but not recorded by the prophets; which alerts us to the fact that the prophets didn't put everything down in writing. That was fortunate because sure enough Herod's death squads would've swept that area too had he known.

During the holidays, planetariums here and there put on shows that theorize the wise men's star. They typically neglect to take into account that stars, in their normal daily motions, never move to the north or to the south; they always move from the east to the west. Well, Bethlehem is south of Jerusalem and Nazareth is north.

Plus, they seem to always forget that the wise men's star stood right over the place where little Jesus was lodged. Well; stars in their motions never take a time-out to hover; and even if one were to do so, they are so high in the sky that it's nigh unto impossible without special instruments to tell the exact spot where any one star is directly over something.

 

After an audience with Herod, the wise men departed; still guided by their star.

Matt 2:9 . . After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them.

And then it stood right over the very address where baby Jesus was lodged.

Matt 2:9 . . It stopped over the place where the child was.

The place was a house rather than a stable.

Matt 2:11a . . On coming to the house

It's difficult to calculate the boy's age when the wise men arrived; however one thing we know for sure it was their understanding that the king they sought was already born even before they left home to seek him. We know that because their inquiry contained some past tense grammar.

Matt 2:2 . . Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?

There's no telling how long after Jesus' birth that the men departed their country to search for him. Plus, there were no motorized conveyances back then; and people normally didn't travel at night because their artificial lighting was pretty much limited to torches, candles, and oil-fired lanterns.

 

Matt 2:11b . . They saw the child with his mother

The language describing the boy changed. When he was lodged in the stable, the Greek word for his age is brephos (bref'-os); an infant. In the house, the word for his age is paidion (pahee-dee'-on); which refers to any underage kid from infancy to adolescence but usually always refers to young children rather than infants.

I won't hazard a guess as to Jesus' age by the time the men arrived to see him, but I'm thinking he was at the very least no longer in a bassinet.

Matt 2:11c . . and fell down, and worshipped him:

The koiné Greek word for "worship" is proskuneo (pros-koo-neh'-o). It's kind of a funny word because it basically pictures a dog licking its master's hand; i.e. homage, reverence, and/or adoration; viz: definitely subordination.

Now if these guys knew their stuff— I think we can safely assume so —then they didn't come all the way from the east seeking another run-of-the-mill king of the Davidic dynasty, rather; a very special potentate that would one day rule not just the land of Israel; but the entire planet— everything and everybody on it.

Dan 7:13-14 . . In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted into His presence.

. . . He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is the one that will never be destroyed.

Well; let the record show that the wise men were the very first to begin fulfilling that prophecy's prediction that "all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him"

 

Matt 2:11-12 . .Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Those were not only appropriate gifts for monarchs of that day, but also valuable commodities that Joseph could put to use in financing his family's pending sojourn in Egypt.

It would've been fun if Matthew had told us the weight of the gold so we could put a dollar figure on it according to today's precious metals.

Matt 2:11-12 . . And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

That was a safety measure to prevent Herod from knowing where to find the lad because rulers in that day were typically Machiavellian— they didn't just crush potential threats to their power; they utterly annihilated it; and as subsequent events demonstrated, ol' Herod had neither conscience nor concern for child welfare.

 

Luke 2:1-12b. . . And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

. . . And the angel said to them: Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a savior, who is Christ the Lord.

The Greek word for "Christ" basically means anointed; which in the Old Testament commonly referred to the Jews' kings, because that's the way their kings were installed, e.g. 1Sam 16:1-13.

The Greek word for "savior" is soter (so-tare') which basically means a rescuer. Common examples of this would be lifeguards, firemen, cops, emergency medical teams, Coast Guard units, snow patrols, and mountain rescue teams. Rescuers typically save people who are facing imminent death and/or grave danger and utterly helpless to do anything about it.

A rescuer can also be what we sometimes call a knight in shining armor, which refers to someone who liberates people from things like slavery, oppression, and debt.

There's political heroes too, e.g. Neh 9:27.

Christ's specific mission as a rescuer was to save his people from their sins (Matt 1:21). In other words: to protect them from the wrath of God. This is very important because the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy brings down a curse upon all who fail to comply with it.

Deut 27:26 . . Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.

The celestial messenger said that his message spoke of "great joy".

I'd have to say that the messenger's words would be bombastic hyperbole-- just rhetoric --unless Christ can guarantee anybody who wants it, a completely free of charge, no strings attached, fail-safe, sin-proof, human nature-proof, Ten Commandments-proof, bad behavior-proof, apostasy-proof, reprobate-proof, back-sliding proof, God-proof, Devil-proof rescue from that curse, and full-time protection from future retribution.

However, Christ does offer that kind of a guarantee. The reason I know is because Jesus always complies with his Fathers wishes.

John 8:29 . . I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.

John 6:38 . .For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

Well; one of his Father's wishes is that Jesus lose nothing that He has given him.

John 6:39 . . And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing.

One of the things that the Father gives to Jesus is sheep.

John 6:37 . . All that the Father gives me shall come to me

Now, the thing is: should Jesus lose even one of the sheep that his Father has given him-- just one --then Jesus could not say he "always" pleases his Father; nor could he make the promise below:

John 10:7-9 . . Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep . . . . by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.

The words "shall be" leave no margin for error. That's very good news, as well as justifiable cause for great joy.

 

Matt 2:13-15 . .When they [the magi] had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."

. . .So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."

The "my son" spoken of in that passage is located in Hos 11:1. It isn't specifically Jesus, rather, it refers to the entire corporate body of the nation of Israel. God spoke of them as "my son" in Ex 4:22.

The wording "called" is quite a bit different than, say, the word "led" i.e. out of Egypt I led my son. In other words; the Jews national residence in the land of Canaan is by the deliberate will of God. Had He allowed Joseph to remain in Egypt too long, he may have considered taking up residence in that country instead of returning to the land where he belonged.

Matt 2:19-23 . . But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying: Arise and take the child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the child's life are dead.

. . . And he arose and took the child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.

. . . And being warned by God in a dream, he departed for the regions of Galilee, and came and resided in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, "He shall be called a Nazarene."

Don't bother trying to look up that quote in the Old Testament because you won't find it. The words were "spoken" but not written. Some of those guys had very long careers and what we have with us in print today really only amounts to snippets of their total preaching.

Take for example 2Pet 2:5. You won't find Noah's preaching in the Old Testament. And for example Jude 1:14. You won't find Enoch's preaching in the Old Testament either.

 

 

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