Christmas in the City of Jerusalem
The Christmas story reveals that people still resist, ignore, or embrace Jesus.
We're going to do something a little different this year in December. We want to focus on a "Hometown Christmas." Typically we tend to think a lot about significant people during the holiday season, but this year we want to think about some significant places surrounding that first Christmas. We'll look at Bethlehem, Nazareth, and today, we begin in Jerusalem.
How many of you have ever been to Israel? Last month, Beth and I were fortunate enough to go to Israel with Jerusalem Tours, and it was one of the most amazing and awesome experiences of our lives. Let me give you a glimpse and acquaint you with the city of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem … it's quite a site. It's one of the most unbelievable sites! You've heard me talk a lot about when I come around Northern Kentucky and I see the skyline of Cincinnati, Ohio. I tell my family, "It's the most beautiful site in the world." Well, if that's Number One, this is a close second.
Jerusalem. With a population of 750,000 people today it is almost the size of Louisville, but it wasn't always like that. By the first Christmas, Jerusalem was much smaller—around 40-50,000 people.
Jesus had a burden for the people in Jerusalem. On one occasion He wept for the city. Last week we heard him say in Matthew 23, "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I longed to gather you together as a mother hen gathers her chicks but you were unwilling." Jerusalem was a city that Jesus loved.
This week we are going to the city to learn about several kings. One was ruthless, paranoid, and barbaric. His name was King Herod. But long before Herod the Great, Jerusalem became famous because of another King—King David. It was David who established Jerusalem as the capital of Israel around 1,000 B.C. ...
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Dave Stone is pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky.