Incarnation: Joy 12/15/2019

Pastor Pete Hartwig

Sermon Notes

Incarnation – Joy 2019


SLIDE: Incarnation: JOY

Third Sunday of Advent Readings: Joy

Matthew 1-2 Emmanuel God with us!! – Joseph

Luke – Mary Wednesday night 7-8 Son Peter

JOY!!!   VIGIL =  6:30-7:30   Carols/candles = prayer for the sick

SLIDE: Matthew 2:10-11“When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”




SLIDE:  Overjoyed = echaresan  charan megalen sphodra

= rejoiced        joy    great   exceedingly


Great = Mega –  adjective




Christmas = Joy (SAMS club lawn letters)


Text = Context

SLIDE: Matthew 2 The Magi Visit the Messiah

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

CONTEXT!  – people

Mary and Joseph – Jesus is born


King Herod – Biblical scholar Marty Solomon  – wealthy

He was ½ Jew and appointed by Rome

Calls bible scholars –

Herod doesn’t seek


SLIDE: Matthew 2:16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.


Herod had killed three of his sons – favorite wife


Caesar Augustus = “it is better to be Herod’s pig than his son”


Kill the children!  20 babies die


King Herod is NEVER called king again



“We Three Kings.”

spiritual symbolism about Jesus himself—

gold representing his kingship,

frankincense a symbol of his priestly role, and

myrrh a prefiguring of his death and embalming

Myrrh – on the cross


King Seleucus II Callinicus offered to the god Apollo at the temple in Miletus in 243 B.C.E.


Isaiah Prophecy –

Kings from the nations … “bring gold and frankincense and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord” (Isaiah 60:6).


mystery of the Magi – Dwight Longenecker

Nabatean – Petra 180 miles 3 days –  WEALTHY

Herod  ½ Nabatean


Babylon – Iran

Isaiah 47:13  indictment on Babylon’s astrologers
Let your astrologers  (magos) come forward,
those stargazers who make predictions month by month,
let them save you from what is coming upon you.


NT = magos is unfavorable

Acts 8:9-24, Simon the magos;

Acts 13:6-11, Elymas, the magos and false prophet


To Jews – Magi were idolaters, short and simple.


MAGI = STUNNING!! – God leads them! They believe

Contrast Herod – violently opposes



SLIDE: Feet to your Faith



  1. “Overjoyed” Love, follow give up their lives for him


  1. “Furious” Reject him, oppose him Try to take his life



UVA men’s soccer team 5PM! – JOY!

3rd national title in 2019!! Basketball, Lacrosse and Soccer


Temporal Joy – Don’t need God or Jesus for this!


SLIDE: Habakkuk 3:17-18 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

JOY = my focus


Young lady – Joy – weekly sermon prep process


SLIDE: Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


Patience in the longest line –

How do we model this?  How do we develop this?


JOY = is connected to Seeking


When they saw the star – baby!


Marionette relationship  – heavens and earth


There is the sense of God even in the midst of struggles.


Observe VS participate


Luke 15:1-25

Lost sheep – searching – “rejoice with me”

Lost coin – searching – “rejoice with me”


Herod – 2 to 3 hour trip to make.

Magi – 2 years! JOY


SLIDE: Matthew 28:8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.


Live in the world of two internal modes.


  1. The hurt of unexpected and grief and struggle in this broken world.
  2. Joy – all in the same moment.