“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, 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, goodwill toward men!’”
The Savior Coming to This World Is the Greatest News
It has been over 2000 years since Jesus came to this world. The dating mechanism of year of the world that we use is based on the birth of Jesus Christ in this world. So the historians have divided it into Before Christ (B.C.) and Anno Domini (A.D., the year of the Lord), and it has now been over 2000 years since the birth of Jesus.
There was no vacancy in the inn of Bethlehem when our Lord came to this world. Simply put, He was born in a stable of animals where livestock ate and slept. He lay in a feeding trough of an animal, a manger, wrapped in a rough swaddling cloth. Our Lord the Savior was born in such a shabby place. The Scriptures say, “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Our Lord came to this world to save lowly human beings who were cast out from the Garden of Eden because of sin. At the time when our Lord came to this world to save lowly humans, an astonishing thing was unfolding in a small village of Bethlehem and its nearby field. Shepherds were tending their sheep in the region of Bethlehem during a pitch-dark night when they heard the angels speak. The Scriptures say, “And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.’”
What is the most joyful news in the world? The most joyful news for humans is that Jesus Christ the Savior came to this world. Put differently, the most joyful news for you and me is that our God came personally in human flesh to save lowly human beings, including you and me, from sins of the world. This is the biggest news in this earth. That God became a human and came to us is the biggest event and the most joyful news. How could there be news greater and more joyful than this? Would it be more joyful to hear that the president of the United States comes to our country, Korea? The whole country would be in commotion to greet him; but who is He that is greater than anyone in the world? God the Creator who created the whole universe as well as us human beings is the greatest. That great God came to this world. That God came to this world in order to save Adam’s descendants who were living a pitiful life because Adam and Eve, our common ancestors, were cast out from the Garden of Eden after they had sinned is the most joyful news in this world.
Our Lord came to this world like that. Who is the Savior of all humanity? Who is the One who lifted us out of the sins of the world by giving us the faith of salvation and made us happy? Who is the true Savior for humans who should have received destruction and curse because of the sins of humanity? He is Jesus Christ who shall take all the sins of all humanity by receiving the baptism. There is a meaning in the name Jesus Christ: Jesus means the Savior of the humanity and Christ means the one anointed with oil. This Jesus became the Savior for us humanity.
Jesus is the King of kings. He is the King of kings, God among gods, and the Creator that created the universe and everything in it. There are many gods in the world, but only Jesus who came as our Savior is the only true God. Christ means the one who has been anointed with oil and it means He is the King. It means the Savior and the Prophet who teaches us properly. Therefore, the One who is the true Savior of our life is Jesus Christ who is the King of kings.
It Is the Most Joyful News for All the People
An angel appeared to the shepherds who were tending sheep out in the fields at night and said, “I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Jesus came to this world for you and me. Jesus came to this world to save you and me from the sins of the world and save us from the judgment and save us from the curse. Jesus did not come to flaunt Himself in this world. Jesus is the Lord who came as the Savior to save us humans who have the image of God from the sins of the world and all the curse and destruction.
What is the sign that our Lord came to this world and became our Savior? It is that He came as Baby Jesus. That Jesus came to this world clothed in human flesh is the proof that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). It means that our Jesus who created the universe and everything in it was born out of a lowly woman’s body. What is the miracle in God saving us and becoming our Savior? It is that He became a human. That is why Baby Jesus was born to this world. The fact that God was born to this world as Baby Jesus is the sign that God has loved us. It is also the sign that God is our Savior.
Then what is the evidence that we have been saved from the sin? That the Lord came to this world clothed in human flesh is the evidence that the Lord saved us from all sins because He loved you and me. You and I have received salvation by believing in the righteousness of God, but what is the evidence that we have received this salvation? It is that our Lord once came to this world. He came to this world and saved us.
Beloved saints, who in this whole world can truly give us peace? The One who can give us true peace is Jesus Christ the Savior of all humanity. Jesus came to the world clothed in human flesh. When He was born to this world as Baby Jesus clothed in human flesh, the angels and a multitude of the heavenly host praised God singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Jesus is the only One who has given us true and everlasting peace. Jesus is the true Apostle of Peace. Even though some call the Pope of the Catholic Church or other famous people the apostles of peace, that actually is not the case. Only Jesus has given real peace to you and me.
What did the Lord give to you and me when He came to this world? He gave us salvation. He gave us great joy. He also gave us peace in our hearts. Our Lord came to this world and gave peace to the confused hearts of people who were destined to hell because of sin and destined to die while suffering due to that weakness. Our Lord gave peace to you and me. Our Lord took all our sins upon Him through the baptism and blotted them out by shedding blood on the Cross. Moreover, He became our true Savior by receiving the judgment in our place and saving us from the judgment and curse so that we may not receive the judgment for our sins.
Our Lord has given peace to our hearts. There would be no one on the earth who could enjoy peace if Jesus did not come to this world. Because our Lord came to this world, all humanity who are so lacking, greedy, and selfish can receive true peace by receiving the salvation from sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. People who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have received the true peace; they have received it by faith and not through their own effort. That is why the angels and the host of heaven came down and sang the praise, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Because God so loved us, He blotted out all our sins, gave us peace, became our Savior, and made us His children. All these things are a glory to God. We creatures who were created by God have received the grace of becoming the children of God, and the grace as the children of God is the glory of God. God has clothed all humanity with such great love and blessing. Do you believe in this fact?
“On Earth Peace, Goodwill toward Men!”
Our Lord said, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
There are so many people living in this world. But, how do all these people live? They live because they cannot die, living in utter hopelessness. Though all things in the world reveal exactly what God has created and praise God, the hearts of humans, the rulers of all things, are filled with lamentation due to worries, concerns, and sins. Humans, the rulers of all things, lament and live in distress. Because humans are born as descendants of Adam and Eve, and because they are born with sin they do not want to have, and because they commit sins they do not want to commit while living in this world, they cannot help but live in distress due to those sins.
But even among so many people like that, there are people that God is pleased with in this world. Who is God really pleased with and who attains peace? Who receives salvation and grace before the presence of God? It is the person who thinks that he really needs the Savior. God has clothed with peace people who admit, “I really need Jesus. Jesus has to blot out all the sins in my heart, the sins of shortcoming and the sins of my actions. Jesus has to bless me, save me, and take me to the Kingdom of God. Therefore, I absolutely need Jesus.”
There is no room for Jesus to stay in the hearts of the people who are satisfied and joyful in the world even without Jesus. The joy without Jesus is not a true joy. Such a person cannot receive the grace of the Lord.
You and I are people who desperately need Jesus. We have received true peace through Jesus. Jesus gave us peace in our hearts by taking all our sins upon Him, receiving the judgment in our place, dying in our place, and being resurrected in our place and becoming the Savior. Who is the true Master of peace of this world? He is Jesus.
People do not have peace even while they are dancing and singing. People who are in the music industry, movie stars, politicians, doctors, college professors, and executives of business who have a lot of money and fame frequently abuse themselves with drugs. Why is this so? It is because they do not have satisfaction in their hearts.
The person all people and all humanity truly need is only the Lord. Jesus gives peace to the people who need the Lord. Whoever desires Jesus receives peace. The Lord has blotted out such person’s sin, blotted out his judgment, gave the blessing of becoming God’s child, made him live in the Kingdom of Heaven forever, and resolved all his concerns.
However, so many people have not been clothed with such joyfulness. People are not prepared to meet Jesus even though He has come to this world. People try to taste true peace in material things instead of Jesus. Such people do not know that material things cannot bring true peace to them. They chase after material things with the wishful thinking that they would be really happy if they had more money, and, hence, they do not receive peace in their hearts and instead fall into hopelessness and disappear from this world.
Let us remember once again in our hearts that our Lord came to this world to give true peace and He indeed did so. Jesus has become the true Savior to you and me. God came to this world as Baby Jesus clothed in human flesh. That is why we celebrate the birth of Jesus as a special day of the year. I congratulate with sincere heart. I congratulate the birth of Jesus who came to this world to save us because He loves us.
In the Gospel of Matthew, we could see that the wise men from the east brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Baby Jesus. Gold signifies firm faith. “Jesus is the true King of kings and my Savior. Jesus is the Savior who came to this world to blot out all my sins.” Gold refers to such a strong faith.
Frankincense means that only the Lord is the true God who really hears our prayer. It is speaking of such a faith. Myrrh is a medicine that is originally used to keep the dead corpse from decomposing and it signifies the resurrection of the Lord here. It means that only Jesus is the true God and the real Truth and that there is no Truth besides the Lord. I really want you and me to become people who really offer up faith before the presence of God like these wise men from the east; people who confess before the presence of the Lord that only the Lord is the Truth and people who have hope in the Lord. I want all human beings in the world to become like that.
We are weak and insufficient beings. Even though there is neither peace nor rest in this world, our Lord gave peace and rest to us who are so lacking and become our true Savior. He saved you and me from all the sins. That is how He has made us who believe in Him go to the Kingdom of God. We could not stand before the presence of God if Jesus did not become the Savior for you and me, and if Jesus did not take all our sins upon Him. I would not be able to preach the gospel and I would only be able to talk about routine lessons.
We are able to receive the true rest and comfort even though we live in this world full of sin, because Jesus took all our sins upon Him and resurrected from death in our place. The Lord went up to the Kingdom of God and sits at the right of Father’s throne and gives peace to all the people and gives blessings to them as the true Savior. That is why we can have true rest and comfort in our hearts even in this sinful world.
As we face the Christmas season, we must congratulate the birth of our Lord, and understand once again that we have received salvation and all the blessings because our Lord has come as our Savior, and give thanks to the Lord. We give sincere thanks to the Lord.