by Jerry Vines

God's Christmas Surprise
Jerry Vines
Luke 3:23-38

I only have a few minutes tonight, but I have something for you that I think you are going to be interested in. It's something I have never seen before. I want to share it with you. Turn in your Bible to the book of Luke, chapter 3, verse 23. I want to talk to you a little bit on the theme of God's Christmas Surprise.

In the Christmas story, there is a Christmas surprise, totally unexpected. The person who is going to be surprised may be surprising to you.

When you look down through these verses beginning with verse 23, you will discover that again in your Bible, you have a long list of names. It begins by saying, "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli." You go down through all those verses and you come to the last verse of the chapter, verse 38. It closes by saying, "Which was the son of Adam, which was the Son of God."

We know that the New Testament begins with a long list of names. How boring can you get than to read a bunch of names! I heard about an old boy who decided he would read through the dictionary. Someone asked him how it was coming along. He said, "There are a lot of words, but not much plot."

When you read through these names you maythink how boring. You will find lists of names like this all through the Bible. In the book of Genesis you will find a list of names. You will find some other names in the book Chronicles. When you are reading, you are tempted to jump over those names and sometimes we do. But along the way, in those names, there are some hidden gems.

Bruce Wilkinson went into the list of names in Chronicles and found the name of a person named Jabez who prayed a very significant prayer and he wrote a book entitled, "The Prayer of Jabez," which became a best seller on the secular reading charts. So there are hidden treasures in these names.

We look at these names and we read them ...

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