I want to share a few simple thoughts with you from Luke 6:17-20,
'And Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all. Then He lifted up His eyes towards His disciples, and said: "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God."'
'Jesus came down from the mountain and stood in the midst of the people': the message of Christmas has a similarity with Easter. Every ceremony reminds us that Jesus came down to us. Jesus is not distant; He is not just the Son of God in Heaven, but He came down to us here, on earth; He lived as we live; felt the same emotions; He was despised and rejected; His very Name is Emmanuel, God with us. When He lived here, He gave a tremendous promise to the poor. That is the message from God to you today: society might reject you, but blessed are you, for yours is the Kingdom of God.
When Jesus was on earth, something significant happened, something which would change the lives of the people. Something which would change them in the day in which they were living. The Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, is not just of what God may do in the future, but what God wants to do today. So strong was this message, it was so practical and real to the lives of ordinary people, that they did not just come from the nearest town or village, they travelled from hundreds of kilometres, in order that they might meet with this Man. Why would people travel such distances? This was nothing to do with religion, it was nothing to do with hopes for the future, it was because for the first time in their lives, they had found a Man who could give them hope for today. This hope was something so practical, that it would change their very lives. The message of the Gospel, the message of Jesus Christ, it does not change, it is exactly the same as it was 2000 years ago, it is a message which brings hope into your life, it can change your actual circumstances.
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