Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
Nothing about the Christmas Story is anything any of us would have ever thought of in a million years. There are similar stories in Greek and Roman mythology of the gods philandering with humans but nothing like what you find in the New Testament. And I’m not just saying that because they pay me to. I don’t do this for the pay; I do this because the gospel is so surprising, so inconceivable that it’s believable. God Almighty born to an unlikely couple causing a scandalous scene (they had to get married much sooner than they had planned, by the way), a virgin, in the right town (Bethlehem), to fulfill centuries old prophecies written in the Hebrew Scriptures, a census ordered by the most powerful man in the world (Caesar Augustus) which took Joseph back to his home town—the right town, at the right time, heavenly bodies doing their thing—Jupiter and Venus aligning in the night sky forming the largest “star” those Babylonian astronomers had ever seen, within the constellation of Leo—the Lion, the mascot of Judah—telling those ancient scientists exactly where to find this One born King of the Jews.
And there were also angels, heavenly messengers, announcing to common shepherds “good news of great joy which shall be for all people”—their long awaited Messiah had been born in the city of David, right where he was supposed to be born, except that they would never have found him if they searched where you might normally find a baby king. The unlikely sign which would let them know they had found the right child was that he would be in a stable with his parents and lying in a cattle feed trough. Now that’s a different kind of king!
And the story gets even more bizarre. This child grew up to be a Jewish rabbi who gathered a band of unlikely, unexpected disciples, all men who never made the cut with other rabbis when they were young boys—fishermen, a zealot (ancient Palestinian terrorist), a tax collector, a traitor. He welcomed children, prostitutes and tax collectors. He defended women caught in adultery and unwelcome prostitutes at dinner parties. He washed his own disciple’s feet. He touched unclean lepers and delivered the demon possessed. Finally, this king died a criminal’s death as the atoning lamb of God and rose from the grave ushering in the kingdom he had preached about, a kingdom that would never end, and it hasn’t in over 2000 years. Now that’s a different kind of king!
Question: Is he your kind of king? Will you be his kind of follower?