Monday, December 03, 2012

Christmas and the Gospel - Scot McKnight

Here is a blog post from last December on the connection between Christmas and the gospel by Scot McKnight:

A friend of mine, John Frye, sent me these notes on how the gospel emerges in the Christmas story of Luke 2 (and he tied it to Acts 2).

As the events unfold regarding Jesus’ birth in Luke 1 and 2, the angels appear to the shepherds with a declaration of the King Jesus Gospel. The angels report to the shepherds:

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12).

Good news: The term is ευαγγελιζομαι, the proclamation of joyful, historical news, that is, welcomed events.

For all people: The good news is not restricted to the 1st century plight of Israel, but a proclamation for all people including the Gentiles. This aspect has deep roots in the covenant with Abram (Genesis 12).

Town of David: The good news is indebted to Old Testament promises around King David and his heir.

Savior: In contrast to other political “saviors,” a child is born who will be the embodiment of God’s salvation.

Christ the Lord: Again, two terms pregnant with Old Testament meaning. The child will be God’s “anointed one”–the Christ, and with the term “the Lord” there is a hint that the Old Testament God himself is entering into the 1st century political and religious fray.

In a manger: God’s grand, climatic entrance into history turns the tables on the concept of power to change people, cultures, the cosmos itself. The Lord was placed in a stable manger (verse 12). God’s first earthly bed was a feeding trough.

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