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Series: Luis Palau | Christmas Voices

It’s Christmas week on “Reaching your World with Luis Palau.” We’ll hear from some of the characters in the biblical accounts of Jesus’ birth as Luis takes a look at just what they said. 

The Religious Leaders Said What? Friday, December 25, 2020

Was the first Christmas a surprise? The religious leaders at that time scoffed. Yet the Scriptures clearly predicted what was happening--and they knew it. Their answer to King Herod proved that. Isaiah alone had made two dozen prophecies fulfilled seven centuries later by Jesus, the promised Christ. So when you read Isaiah, watch out for these prophecies.

They include Jesus being born of a virgin [7:14], being called Immanuel [7:14], and being anointed with the Spirit [11:2, 61:1]. They include the start of his public ministry [61:1-2] in Galilee [9:1-2], in poverty [53:2], with meekness [42:2], tenderness, compassion [40:11, 42:3], and innocence [53:9]. All those things are specifically referenced.

They also include Jesus working miracles [35:5-6], being rejected [63:3], being a stumbling block [8:14], and being fiercely hated [49:7]. And they include Him suffering for others [53:4-6,12], His patience and silence amidst suffering [53:7], His appearance marred [52:14, 53:3], being spit on and scourged [50:6], being numbered with criminals [53:12], and praying for His murderers [53:12].

As well, they include Jesus’ death [53:12], being buried with the rich [53:9], His resurrection [26:19], and being the “chief cornerstone” [28:16].
Unlike the religious leaders of old, let’s actively affirm our belief in Jesus, the promised Christ. Let’s also tell others about Him this Christmastime.

This is Andrew Palau. Happy Christmas everyone!

The Magi Said What? Thursday, December 24, 2020

Why did the Magi risk everything? In many ways, these wise men had become holy fools—desperate, compelled, and finally obsessed. In the end, they traveled perhaps a thousand miles or more, probably in a small camel train, only to stop in Jerusalem to ask, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?” [Matthew 2:2]. Matthew goes on to say, “King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.”

The Magi may have come from a prestigious city of the ancient Medes, Persians, or Chaldeans. Braving extreme heat, sandstorms, and the constant threat of thieves, these Magi traveled for months through foreign lands to the far west—to within a day of the great Mediterranean Sea.

Why their intense dedication to find Jesus Christ? Somehow, they knew that God in heaven had sent His Son to earth. Nothing more spectacular had ever happened in human history. They felt driven to welcome this child and to present Him with exquisite gifts of great wealth.

Why such persistence and risk? What in the world did they hope to gain? Like the Magi, you and I have a terrible, haunting choice to make. Are we willing to risk all? If so, risk all for what? To follow and serve Jesus Christ?

This is Luis Palau.

The Angel Choir Said What? Wednesday, December 23, 2020

So profound were the events of the first Christmas that one angel of the Lord wasn’t enough. As soon as the angel finishes his announcement of “good tidings of great joy” to the shepherds of Bethlehem, the lights go up and a choir of hundreds—perhaps thousands—of angels celebrate in song. In words immortalized by Linus each year during the TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Luke tells us:
     "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” Luke 2:8-14 [KJV].

Glory to God, indeed!

This is Luis Palau.

Zechariah and Elizabeth's Friends Said What? Tuesday, December 22, 2020

We sometimes forget that Mary and Joseph’s relatives, friends, and neighbors couldn’t understand what was happening in their lives. The same was true for Zechariah and Elizabeth.

How embarrassing that Elizabeth was barren. How doubly embarrassing that Zechariah didn’t have a son. Then rumors started to fly. Why was Elizabeth in hiding?

Snickering about Elizabeth during her final months of pregnancy gave way to rejoicing when her baby was born healthy and strong. When everyone gathered a week later for the Jewish circumcision ceremony, however, Elizabeth boldly confronted the older men trying to name the baby after his father. “No!” she exclaimed. “His name is John!” Their shock when Zechariah wrote, “His name is John,” was only superseded by Zechariah saying aloud, “Yes, his name is John! And praise God for all He has done!” Only then could he speak about his miraculous encounter with the angel Gabriel.

Luke 1:55-56 goes on to say, “Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. All who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, ‘What will this child turn out to be?’” The forerunner of Jesus, of course!

This is Luis Palau.

Zechariah Said What? Monday, December 21, 2020

Before the first Christmas, Zechariah finds himself in the presence of the angel Gabriel. Incredibly, Zechariah speaks words of disbelief, only to be told he will be unable to speak another word for nine months. Even when his young relative Mary visits Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, the old man is forced to use hand motions and write his thoughts.

When he can speak again, eight days after his son’s birth, Zechariah is filled with the Holy Spirit and is anything but at a loss for words. In a divinely inspired prophecy, Zechariah declares seven enduring truths.*
1. The Lord God has visited and redeemed His people.
2. God has sent a mighty Savior from David’s royal line.
3. Zechariah’s little newborn son, John, one day would be called the prophet of the Most High, preparing the way for Jesus.
4. John will tell people how to find God’s salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.                                                                                                  5. The Savior, Jesus, is the morning star from heaven, bringing the light of salvation.                                                                                                  6. The Savior will give light to the oppressed and those near death, guiding them to the path of peace.                                                                         7. Now we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness, for as long as we live!                                                                                  Amen? Amen!

This is Luis Palau.

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