Isaiah 9:1-7; Matthew 4:13-17


400 years of suffering; 400 years of silence
Kingdoms rise and fall, rulers come and go

  • Babylon, Persia, Greek, Egypt, Syria, Maccabees, Rome ...
  • Israelites held onto God’s promises through the prophets
    • One of whom is Isaiah
      • There will be a ruler
        • Wisely
        • Mighty to save
        • Everlasting peace

Silently, Jesus was born. Unnoticed.

  • Matthew noticed the place where Jesus began his ministry
  • It is what Isaiah prophesied - Galilee
  • This is the beginning of the Kingdom of Heaven! (Matthew 4:13-16)
    • This is the turning point of human history

The first declaration by Jesus as he began his ministry:

  • The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
  • Repent!
    • Repent is not just feeling sorry, or making a confession
    • Repent is making a u-turn
    • Repent is returning to the conventional relationship with Yahweh
    • If you have had enough of wandering, enough of exile, enough of being tossed around and suffered under foreign power, this would be the time to come home

Christmas is an invitation:

  • Messiah is here, will you begin the transition to the Kingdom of Heaven?
  • What is your response?
    • Are you ready to concede?
    • Are you ready to let the old order go?
    • Where is the resistance? What are we trying to hold onto? Why?

Here is what Paul’s response is in transitioning to the Kingdom of Heaven:

  • If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Cor 5:17)
  • I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

For those who desperately need a Saviour, Christmas is a time of joy and celebration

  • The Kingdom of God is at hand. Begin the transition to the new Kingdom.
  • May Jesus be your Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.


O Come O Come Emmanuel
Words and Music: John Mason Neale, Thomas Helmore
Angels We Have Heard on High
Words and Music by Edward Shippen Barnes, James Chadwick
O Come All Ye Faithful (His name shall be) 
Original Translation & Music by C. Frederick Oakeley, John Francis Wade; Addt'l. Words & Music by Kristian Stanfill and JD Myers 
What A Beautiful Name 
Words and Music by Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood