Today is the Second Sunday of Advent. After my first Christmas in this pulpit I have not done separate Advent sermons. I am committed to the proposition that the whole Bible is about Jesus, from first to last. I am committed that the whole Bible is the Big Story of redemption of fallen man and what Yahweh does to bring man out of that. In accord, everything in the Bible depends upon Christ’s incarnation…everything in the Bible is really dependent upon the cross. At the Incarnation He was made like us, to become the first among many brothers…and sisters…the First Child of the family of Yahweh. And on the cross He takes the sin of all those other brothers and sisters and propitiates the wrath of His Father and ours, that we might be His children.
As we work our way through Matthew, we see Jesus making his way from Gennesaret, on the shore of Galilee, into the region of Tyre and Sidon. We’ll talk more about this later, but if we remember from Isaiah, Tyre and Sidon are one of the poster children for evil. So…here we have a picture of Jesus, salvation on feet, going of His own will into the picture of evil, if you will.
You realize, of course, that going from Galilee to Tyre and Sidon is nothing compared to the Anointed Son, the Christ, coming down from heaven, taking on human flesh, taking on the name “Jesus,” and truly coming from that place of no sin to the very cradle of sin.
So, as we go through today, looking at Jesus making His way from Galilee all the way over to Tyre and Sidon, keep in mind that that is a part of what is happening here. In a way it’s a little picture of Advent, a little picture of Jesus going from what is, more or less, Jewish territory, into someplace that in the Jewish mind is a cradle of evil. And in some ways it is a picture of Jesus Coming down for us in our cradle of evil.