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Celebrate the Coming of Jesus

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

“Celebrate the Coming of Jesus”

Series: Celebrate the Joy of Jesus [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

December 15, 2019

Introductory Comments:

At Christmas time we sometimes sing a popular song called, Here Comes Santa Clause. Many little children look forward to the legend of the coming of Santa Clause. There is celebration all over in anticipation of presents. Later, there is celebration among children and sleep deprivation among parents when there are presents under the tree. 

Well, right now we are indeed in the middle of celebration, but we’re celebrating someone much greater than Santa Clause: we’re celebrating Jesus! We’re in the middle of a series called, “Celebrate the Joy of Jesus.”

Last week we celebrated that Jesus is God. This week, we celebrate the coming of Jesus. 

Let’s pray together as we get ready to celebrate. 


Nearly everyone who has ever attended church knows that Christmas is about remembering the coming of Jesus to the earth. Even those people that only come to church on Christmas and Easter can remember that, right? Christmas is about the coming of Jesus, Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus. 

Well, today, we’re going to celebrate Jesus’ coming because it is indeed worthy of discussion and celebration. 

As we do so, we will look at four aspects concerning Jesus’ coming.

First, . . .

I. Celebrate that Jesus’ coming was prophesied. [on screen]

When we speak of prophecy we mean something that is said about something or someone that will happen in the future. 

Prophecy is all throughout the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. Many of the prophecies of the Old Testament have to do with the coming of the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One. They prophesy the coming of Jesus!

Let’s look at a few of these prophecies.

First, notice from the very beginning of things on the earth, the coming of Jesus was prophesied by God Himself! As sin came into the world God spoke to the serpent regarding his temptation of Eve. Listen to what God says to the serpent and what He says regarding the offspring of Eve. 

Genesis 3:14-15 says, “14 So the Lord God said to the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed more than any livestock and more than any wild animal. You will move on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. 15 I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” [on screen]

God says to the serpent that you will strike the heel of the offspring of the woman (this refers to the crucifixion of Jesus), but the offspring of the woman will strike your head (this refers to Jesus resurrection and His conquering of sin). God prophesied the coming of Jesus and the work of the Gospel thousands of years before it happened. This is the greatest of all the prophesies, but there’s more!

When God called Abraham out of the land of Ur and chose to bless him and make him into a great nation, God said that He would not only bless Abraham, but Abraham’s offspring would be a blessing to the world. 

Check out what God says to Abraham in Genesis 22:17-18: “17 I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the city gates of their enemies. 18 And all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed my command.” [on screen]

The nations would be blessed by the offspring of Abraham. Now, Abraham had some great offspring, but all the nations were not blessed by most of them. In fact, many of the offspring of Abraham brought destruction to the nations. There was only one offspring of Abraham who would bless the entire world: it’s Jesus the Messiah! He is the blessing that was prophesied to Abraham long ago by God Himself. 

There’s more! The prophet Isaiah had several prophecies concerning the coming of Jesus. 

He prophesied that a special child would come, who would be God Himself. We read this last week. Isaiah 9:6 says, “For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” [on screen] This child was Jesus! His coming was predicted long before He came.

Isaiah also said that the child would come from the line of Jesse, King David’s father. Isaiah says in Isaiah 11:1-2, “Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—a Spirit of wisdom and understanding, a Spirit of counsel and strength, a Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” [on screen] Jesus was the shoot that grew from the stump of Jesse. 

Isaiah even predicted that Mary would bear a child as a virgin. He says in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.” [on screen] A virgin birth is pretty specific and pretty unusual, yet Isaiah prophesied that and Jesus fulfilled that. 

There’s more! 

The prophet Micah predicted the town where the Messiah would be born. He says in Micah 5:2, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; one will come from you to be ruler over Israel for me. His origin is from antiquity, from ancient times.” [on screen]

The prophet Hosea, while recounting what God did through the people of Israel, also prophesied concerning Jesus that He would have to flee to Egypt and then come back to Israel, which happened to Jesus. He says in “Hosea 11:1,  “ . . . out of Egypt I called my son.” [on screen]

Prophecy upon prophecy was given concerning the coming of Jesus. We must not forget how absolutely miraculous it is that these prophecies were given and fulfilled in the coming of Jesus. 

We must celebrate that the coming of Jesus was prophesied. 

Also, we must . . .

II. Celebrate that Jesus came as a man. [on screen]

The heart of the celebration of Christmas is that Jesus Christ came to the earth as a human being! 

This is the story of Christmas and crucial to the story of the Gospel. The apostle Paul says in Galatians 4:4-5, “4 When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” [on screen]

This was God’s prophesied plan concerning our salvation. He would send His Son, born as a baby, who would become a man, who would give His life for the salvation of many. 

In celebrating that Jesus came as a man, we do so knowing that He was actually born, as a baby, like all other human beings. 

Luke 2:7 says, “Then she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” [on screen]

Although He was born like other babies, we know that His mother did not become pregnant with Him like other mothers do. 

Matthew 1:18 tells us,  “The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit.” [on screen]

Mary didn’t get pregnant the natural way; she got pregnant the supernatural way, by the power of the Holy Spirit of God!

The fact that Mary became pregnant and gave birth as a virgin was a sign of God’s direct involvement in bringing Jesus to the world. God did this. This is the miracle of Christmas! This is worth celebrating!

Jesus was fully man, and His supernatural origins also remind us that He is God!

We needed God to intervene on our behalves to help us get out of the mess we had made, and God did, indeed, intervene!

As most baby boys do, Jesus grew into a man.

Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.” [on screen]

Jesus was a toddler, He went through puberty, He was a teenager, a young man, and a full-grown man, living into His early thirties.

Sometimes we don’t dwell on Jesus’ humanity very much, but He was, in fact, a human man who lived 33 years on this earth. 

Since Jesus was a human, He knows what it’s like to live as a human. 

We learn in Matthew 4, as Jesus is tempted by the devil, He is tempted in part to eat something because He is really hungry, like we would have been without eating for 40 days. He needed food like we do.

Jesus got sad when His friend died. John 11:35 says after Lazarus died that, “Jesus wept.” [on screen] Jesus had emotions like we do. 

Jesus knows what it’s like to be tempted, as we are. Hebrews 2:18 says, “For since he himself has suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.” [on screen]

The writer of Hebrews says further in Hebrews 4:15-16, “15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.” [on screen]

Jesus was human and knew what it was like to live as a human. 

This Christmas, celebrate that Jesus came as a man. 

However, praise God that Jesus was not merely a man, we can also . . .

III. Celebrate that Jesus came as God. [on screen]

This was the heart of the sermon last week: Jesus is God!

Remember, we read this last week in Philippians 2:9-11, “For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—in heaven and on earth and under the earth—11 and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” [on screen]

Jesus is Lord and one day, everyone on the earth will proclaim that He is. 

Remember, also, that John calls Jesus “The Word.” He says in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” [on screen]

John points out, from the very beginning of His Gospel, that Jesus is God!

As we celebrate the coming of Jesus, we must celebrate that Jesus came as God. 

Jesus did not come to earth as one of us and then try to throw a plan together. He didn’t say, “Ok guys, what do you want to do now?”

Jesus had a prophesied purpose and plan. He came to earth as God. He came to intervene because of our sin problem. He came to fix that which we could not fix. He came as God and man, to bridge the gap between God and man that our sin had created!

We can celebrate that Jesus came as God!

At Christmas, we celebrate the coming of Jesus. 

Also, at Christmas, we can . . . 

IV. Celebrate that Jesus is coming again. [on screen]

Jesus came first to rescue us from the curse of sin in our lives. He will come again to rescue us from the curse of sin on all of Creation. 

Listen to this word from the writer of Hebrews. 

Hebrews 9:28 tells us, “So also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” [on screen]

The coming of Jesus the first time was for the purpose of Him living a righteous life and giving His life for the sacrifice of our sins, to break the curse of our sins, so that we may know God. 

The coming of Jesus the second time will bring about the full rescue from sin. You see, even though Jesus may have forgiven us of sin, and made us new inside, we are still affected by the temptation to sin in our own lives, the sins of others, and the curse of sin on the world. Jesus will one day return and set us completely free from all the effects of sin. We will not only be made new on the inside but on the outside also. All the world will be made new as well, and Jesus will set everything the way that it is supposed to be. 

What a glorious day that will be!

Jesus Himself spoke of His return to His disciples. 

He said in John 14:1-3, “Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also.” [on screen]

I don’t know about you, but I look forward to that moment. I look forward to Jesus coming again. 

At Christmas, we can celebrate that Jesus came and we can celebrate that He is coming again!

Celebrate the coming of Jesus!

Concluding Thoughts:

As we near the conclusion of this sermon, focus now on this bottom line:

Bottom Line: Celebrate that the coming of Jesus changed world history and your history.  [on screen]


The coming of Jesus changed everything about the world. It was Jesus’ work that helped create the world, it is Jesus’ sacrifice that is redeeming the world, and it will be Jesus’ return that makes all things new in the world. 

The Apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus” [on screen]

As we celebrate Christmas, let us celebrate the coming of Jesus. Let us celebrate that His coming was prophesied, let us celebrate that He came as a man, let us celebrate that He came as God, and let us celebrate that He is coming again. 

As we celebrate this week, let’s challenge ourselves in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

  1. Thank God for the coming of Jesus.  [on screen]

Take some time this week and thank God the Father for sending His Son to the earth. Thank Jesus for His faithfulness, obedience, and sacrifice. Thank the Holy Spirit for continuing to work through us and blessing us following the coming of Jesus. 

Get on your knees and thank God. Spend time as an individual, a couple, or a family thanking God. 

The coming of Jesus changes everything, let us be thankful for it. 

  1. Tell someone about the coming of Jesus.  [on screen]

Have you told anyone about the work of Jesus lately? 

Christmas is a great time to connect an evangelistic bridge to the minds and hearts of those who are already thinking about Jesus because it’s Christmas time. 

Take some time this week and tell someone about Jesus coming to the earth and about Him coming again one day. Tell them, also, about how they can come to Jesus. 


As we conclude, let me ask you how the coming of Jesus has affected you. Have you been changed by the coming of Jesus?

If you have, celebrate again the coming of Jesus! If you have not yet been changed by Jesus, consider the coming of Jesus!

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

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