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What Do You See?

Luke 2:15

Different people who came to the stable at Bethlehem saw the baby Jesus differently.
Different groups, different people looking at that Christ child saw him in different ways.
What do you see when you look at the baby?

Luke 2:15: “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away
from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem,
and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us
.”

Let us look at that holy night through the eyes of some who came to see the Christ child
born in Bethlehem.

We start with the shepherds.
What did they see?
"Come, they said, let us go and see this marvelous, wondrous thing which has come to pass."

What did they see?
Don't you imagine the shepherds would remember that David, their great king, was also a shepherd?
I can imagine that there would be times when they would sit around the campfires
and talk to one another about David, and remember the prophecy of David's greater Son
as the coming and promised Messiah.

As every Jew was looking for the coming of the Messiah, don't you imagine the shepherds
would ask one another, "Could it be that He would come in our day?

So, the shepherds made their journey to Bethlehem to see this thing which is come to pass
that the Lord has made known to them.
And when they arrive, they see a baby.

Could there be a more marvelous, miraculous demonstration of the omnipotent power of God,
than this little baby that is born to a loving father and mother?
This special baby was the child promised to David and to Israel and was sleeping
in the manger in Bethlehem.

"Hush, hush, the baby is sleeping,
So quietly resting His head on the hay.
See how His mother is beaming.
Her child brings the whole world
A hopeful new day.

Angels announce His birth.
Peace to all men on earth.
Gladly your voices raise.
Let your heart sing.
Oh, hush, hush, the baby is sleeping.
Tread softly, dear shepherds,
To welcome your King

What a beautiful song!

What do you see?

Then, there was the Magi.
What did they see?

And when the announcement was made by the Magi to Herod of this newborn king,
Herod knew the Scriptures, being a Jew, and they were confirmed to him by the rabbis.

And the scribes of Israel knew Micah 5:2: “And thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little,
a little town, among the cities of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come who shall rule
My people Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, even from everlasting
.”

Jesus did not begin His life in Bethlehem.
He was “from everlasting.”
He was from before the foundations of the world.
And now He was a newborn baby.

Think of the glorious opportunity that Herod had of magnifying the coming of
the great Lord God, King of glory.
He was the king of the land.
He was the ruler of the people.
And when the announcement was made by the Magi that the Christ had been born,
King Herod had a marvelous opportunity to rejoice in the coming of that prophetic day.

Instead, his record is one of abject failure.
He sought to kill the Christ child.
But God rules His world, and the life of Jesus was spared.

These Magi came from afar and their journey was long, over deserts and mountains.
When Herod gave the command to destroy the babies in Bethlehem, he set the time
of two years and under, which tells us that when the Magi answered Herod,
telling him what time they had seen the star appear, it was months and months and months before.
He set the time at two years.

Just think of the traveling patience of those wise men, the Magi -- these Zoroastrian priests,
as they journeyed day after day and month after month, coming to see this newborn king.

Their experience is described in the great hymn, "We Three Kings":

"We three kings of the Orient are,
Bearing gifts, we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

O, star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright.
Westward leading, still proceeding.
Guide us to Thy perfect light.

Then each a stanza for each Magi:

Born a King on Bethlehem's plain;
Gold I bring to crown Him again.
King forever, ceasing never.
Over us all to reign.

Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a Deity nigh.
Prayer and praising, all men raising,
Worship Him, God on High.

Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

Glorious now behold Him arise.
King and God and sacrifice.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Earth to heaven replies.

-- “We Three Kings” by John H. Hopkins

What did Joseph and Mary see as they looked at the baby, Jesus?

One of the most unusual prophecies is found in the second chapter of Luke.
Coming fom the lips of Simeon, the Scriptures say: “And Simeon blessed them,
and said unto Mary His mother, 'Behold this child is set for the fall and rising again
of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be spoken against.
(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thine own soul, also.
)'”

What an amazing prophecy!
In the midst of that miraculous birth and gift of the love of God should be this awesome
prophecy of the suffering of the newborn King and of the sword that should pierce
through her own soul.

Dr. W. A. Criswell relates a prayer of Dr. Gary Herron, who prayed:
"The chubby little fingers that once clasped the ringlets of Mary's hair became the fingers
of a man's hands and were nailed to the old rugged cross.
The blessed lips that Mary taught to speak, grown older by thirty years, were made to cry,
'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?'
The precious side once wrapped in swaddling clothes was torn by a Roman spear.
And the babe of Bethlehem, born when the star shone, died when the sun refused to shine
.”

"Sweet little Jesus boy,
They made you be born in a manger.
Sweet little Holy child,
Didn't know who you was.
Didn't know you'd come to save us,
Lord, to take our sins away.

Our eyes were blind;
We couldn't see.
We don't know who you is.
Long time ago, you were born.
Born in a manger low.

The world treats you mean, Lord.
Treats me mean, too.
But that's how things are down here.
We don't know who you is.
You done told us how we're a-trying.
Master, you done showed us how,
Even when you were dying.

Just seems like we can't do right.
Look how we treated you.
Forgive us, Lord.
We didn't know 'twas you.

Sweet little Jesus boy,
Born long time ago,
Sweet little Holy child,
And we didn't know who you were

-- “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” by Robert MacGimsey


And that leads us to each of you -- what do you see?

I pray that as you come and view the baby Jesus, you will see Jesus as your Saviour
who came to earth as a baby born in a manager, and died on the cross of Calvary
that you and I could receive Him as our Saviour, and have all our sins forgiven
and receive everlasting life.

"Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown
When Thou camest to earth for me.
But in Bethlehem's home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity — no room in the inn.

O, come to my heart, Lord Jesus.
There is room in my heart for Thee.

Heaven's arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming Thy royal degree.
But of lowly birth didst Thou come to earth,
And in great humility.

The foxes found rest and the birds their nest
In the shade of a forest tree.
But Thy couch was the sod, O, Thou Son of God,
In the deserts of Galilee.

Thou camest, O, Lord, with the living word
That should set Thy people free.
But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn
They bore Thee to Calvary.

When the heavens shall ring, and the angels sing
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me home, saying, “Yet, there is room.
There is room at My side for thee.”

My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus,
When Thou comest and callest for me.

-- “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne” by Emily E. Elliott



And I pray that we, who have already received Jesus as our Lord and Saviour,
will have an abiding and abounding love that God should send His only begotten Son,
that we might be adopted into His family and live with Him and one another forever and ever.
Hallelujah!

And I pray for those who have never received Christ as their personal Saviour would receive
the greatest gift ever given -- the gift of His only begotten Son.

"This sermon was inspired by a Christmas sermon by W. A. Criswell, who was the long-time pastor
of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. I was greatly blessed every time I heard this
great pastor
."
Dr. Harold L. White