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  • How great is God,

  • exalted in power, majestic above all.

  • The heavens tell of His greatness.

  • The skies display His awesome craftsmanship.

  • Day after day they continue to speak.

  • Night after night they make Him known.

  • In creating the heavens, God also created the earth

  • and formed man from the dust of the ground,

  • and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.

  • The God of love created man and woman in His own image

  • to have a relationship with Him.

  • And so in the beginning, they revered and honored God

  • and lived in harmony with Him.

  • This continued until one day Satan tempted the woman

  • to eat the forbidden fruit

  • and she gave it to the man who also ate.

  • In so doing, mankind rebelled against God

  • and went his own way.

  • As a result of this sin, mankind was separated from God

  • and was thrown out of the Garden of Eden.

  • But God still loved mankind.

  • It was never His desire to be separate from those He created,

  • yet how could God be holy and the source of perfect justice

  • if He did not judge mankind for their sin?

  • In His Holy Book, God reveals His plan

  • to save the world from His judgment.

  • One of the first to see this plan unfold was Abraham.

  • Abraham was a righteous man whom God promised to bless

  • and make his descendants as numerous

  • as the sand of the sea and the stars of the sky.

  • To test his obedience, God told Abraham

  • to sacrifice his son as an offering to Him.

  • Abraham trusted God and sought to obey Him.

  • But as he raised his knife to kill his son,

  • the angel of the Lord stopped Him.

  • He saw that Abraham feared God and was willing to obey Him.

  • Then Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket,

  • and he sacrificed the ram instead of his son

  • as an offering to God.

  • And so God showed Abraham that a lamb or a similar animal

  • was to be slain as a temporary covering for sin

  • until God would provide His ultimate sacrifice

  • to pay for the sins of mankind.

  • Instead of sin separating man from God,

  • the sacrifice would restore their relationship.

  • The Holy Scriptures speak of One who was to come

  • and be the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world.

  • As the ram took the place of Abraham's son,

  • so this One who would come would take man's place

  • so he could be forgiven.

  • Some refer to this person as the Messiah,

  • the One who would come and reconcile the world

  • back to God once and for all.

  • The prophets predicted many things in detail about

  • the Messiah hundreds of years before He appeared.

  • The prophet Isaiah foretold that His birth

  • was to be a miraculous one.

  • A virgin would conceive a child who was to be called,

  • in a spiritual sense, the Son of God.

  • The prophet Micah predicted that the Messiah

  • would be born in Bethlehem,

  • while the prophet Zechariah foretold

  • His entry into Jerusalem on a donkey

  • and His betrayal by Judas, one of His followers.

  • Isaiah prophesied what the Messiah would do when He came.

  • The Lord's anointed will preach the Good News to the poor,

  • bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom

  • for the captives and proclaim that the time

  • has come when the Lord will save His people.

  • So, who was the Messiah?

  • In the first century, a prophet came called Jesus.

  • Some thought He was the one the prophet spoke about.

  • Could this be?

  • Did His life fulfill what was predicted of Him?

  • Was Jesus more than a prophet?

  • What follows is His story, based on eyewitness accounts

  • as recorded in The Holy Scriptures.

  • An actor plays the part of Jesus,

  • and though no actor is worthy of such a role,

  • it has been done so that we may understand

  • and benefit from the life of Jesus.

  • I am writing to you, dear Theophilus;

  • an orderly account of the things that have taken place among us,

  • so that you may know the absolute truth about everything.

  • In the days when Caesar Augustus was emperor of Rome

  • and when Herod the great was king of Judea,

  • God sent the angel Gabriel to visit a virgin girl in the city of Nazareth.

  • And the virgin's name was Mary.

  • Fear not Mary,

  • For you have found favor with God.

  • You will conceive and give birth to a Son

  • and you will call His name, Jesus.

  • How can this be? I am a virgin.

  • The Holy Spirit will come upon you.

  • For this reason the Holy Child will be called

  • the Son of the Most High God. His kingdom will never end.

  • So Mary traveled to a town in Judea

  • to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also miraculously with child.

  • Elizabeth!

  • Mary! Cousin Mary!

  • You are the most blessed of all women.

  • And blessed is the Child you will bear.

  • For as soon as I heard your greeting, the baby within me jumped with joy!

  • My soul magnifies the Lord,

  • and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

  • From now on, all generations will call me blessed.

  • Know all men of Nazareth,

  • that by command of Caesar Augustus,

  • there will be conducted a census

  • of the subject territories of Galilee and Judea.

  • All men must register forthwith

  • in the towns and cities of their ancestral birth.

  • And Mary went to Bethlehem in Judea

  • to register with Joseph her betrothed.

  • But there was no room for them in Bethlehem.

  • And the only lodging they could find was a humble stable.

  • Now there were some shepherds in that part of the country who were

  • taking care of their flock at night when an angel of God appeared to them

  • and the glory of God was shining around them.

  • This very day in David's town, your Savior was born,

  • Christ the Lord.

  • The shepherds hurried to see the newborn Babe in the manger,

  • and were the first to spread the Good News or Gospel

  • of the virgin mother and the Savior's birth.

  • A week later, when the time came for the Baby to be circumcised,

  • He was given the name Jesus

  • and Joseph and Mary took the Child to to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.

  • In the temple there was a good and devout man

  • who the Holy Spirit had promised would not die

  • until he had seen the Christ.

  • His name was Simeon.

  • Lord, now You can let me, Thy servant,

  • depart in peace according to Thy word.

  • For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.

  • This Child is chosen by God.

  • May you both be blessed.

  • And when they had completed all their duties

  • according to the law of Moses,

  • they left Jerusalem and returned to Nazareth.

  • When Jesus was twelve years old,

  • Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem for the passover feast.

  • But, when they started back home,

  • thinking that the Boy was with them,

  • Jesus stayed behind.

  • They returned to the city looking for Him.

  • And on the third day found Him in the temple

  • sitting with the rabbis and the elders.

  • Whose Child is this who asks such questions?

  • He's from Nazareth.

  • We thought He had left with us. Please, forgive Him His zeal.

  • All who heard Him were amazed.

  • Son! Why have You done this to us?

  • Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.

  • How is it that you looked for Me?

  • Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?

  • And He came with them to Nazareth

  • and increased in wisdom and stature

  • and in favor with God and with man.

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  • In the fifteenth year of the rule of the emperor Tiberius,

  • Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea,

  • and Herod, the ruler of Galilee,

  • and Annas and Caiaphas the high priests,

  • The word of God came to John in the desert,

  • and he came into all the country near the Jordan river,

  • preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

  • Turn away from your sins! And be baptized!

  • And God will forgive your sins!

  • As it is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah;

  • Someone is shouting in the desert;

  • Get the road ready for the Lord!

  • Make a straight path for Him to travel.

  • Every valley must be filled up.

  • Every hill and mountain leveled off!

  • The winding roads must be made straight.

  • And the rough paths made smooth,

  • and all mankind will see God's salvation!

  • What shall we do?

  • You brood of vipers!

  • What do you want us to do?

  • Whoever has two shirts,

  • must give one to the man who has none.

  • And whoever has food must share it!

  • Teacher,

  • we are tax collectors.

  • What shall we do?

  • Don't collect more than is legal.

  • And what about us? What are we to do?

  • Don't take money from anyone by force.

  • And don't accuse anyone falsely.

  • Be content with your pay.

  • Tell us. Are you the Christ?

  • I baptize you with water.

  • But Someone is coming who is much greater than I am.

  • I'm not good enough even to untie His sandals.

  • He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

  • He has His grain shovel with Him,

  • to thresh out all the grain and gather the wheat into His barn.

  • And the Holy Spirit came down on Jesus in bodily form like a dove.

  • And a voice from Heaven said;

  • You are My beloved Son,

  • in You I am well pleased.

  • When Jesus began His work, He was about 30 years old.

  • He returned from the Jordan river full of the Holy Spirit,

  • and was led by the Spirit into the desert,

  • where He was tempted by the devil for 40 days.

  • In all this time, He ate nothing.

  • The devil said to Him;

  • If you are God's Son,

  • order this stone to become bread.

  • It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone,

  • but by every word of God.

  • Then the devil took Him up and showed Him

  • all the kingdoms of the world.

  • I will give you all this power and all this wealth.

  • It has all been handed over to me,

  • And I can give it to anyone I choose.

  • All this will be Yours then,

  • if You worship me.

  • It is written; You shall worship the Lord your God.

  • and Him only shall you serve.

  • Then the devil took Him to Jerusalem

  • and set him on the highest point of the temple.

  • If you are God's Son, throw Yourself down from here,

  • for the Scripture says;

  • God will order His angels to take good care of You.

  • It also says they will hold You up with their hands,

  • so that not even Your feet will be hurt on the stones.

  • The Scripture says;

  • You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.

  • And He came to Nazareth where He had been brought up.

  • Hello.

  • Hello.

  • And on the Sabbath day of rest, He went as usual to the synagogue.

  • And He was called upon to read a portion of the prophet Isaiah.

  • The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me.

  • Because He has chosen Me to bring good news to the poor.

  • He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,

  • and recovery of sight to the blind.

  • To set at liberty those who are oppressed.

  • And announce that the time has come when the Lord will save His people.

  • This Scripture has come true today, as you heard it being read.

  • The Scripture come true?

  • But only the Messiah can fulfill that promise!

  • Doubtless you will quote the proverb to Me, Physician, heal Thyself.

  • You'll also say to Me, Do the things in Your own home town

  • that we heard were done in Capernaum.

  • I tell you this!

  • No prophet is ever welcome in his hometown!

  • By these word Jesus identified himself as the Messiah,