Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
We live in an age where our children grow up dreaming about super heroes. And this preoccupation with things fantastic seems to underscore a very fundamental truth, that at the core of our being, we feel powerless; incapable of overcoming the forces around us, and shaping our destiny. We long for a superman who believes in truth justice and the American way, and who can overcome the forces of evil, and make the world a good place to live. So much is beyond our control, and so often evil seems to win, that it is not wrong to be looking for someone who can set things right.
In searching for this answer, Iíd like to point to two homonyms that illustrate the point. [A homonym is a word that sounds like another word, but has a different meaning]. The words are might and mite. The Might that ends in a T, is the power of the super hero to set things right and overcome evil. The Mite that ends with an E, is something small, and insignificant.
A baby lying in a manger is no a picture of awesome power. A baby lying in a manger, is hardly a picture of a superhero. A baby lying in a manger is hardly the kind of person who can change the world. Why? Babies are too small, and besides, they canít even take care of themselves, how could they help anyone else. Babies are cute, and they make us think warm thoughts of love and hope, and some say that that is the whole point of Christmas, that it is the love and hope that comes from inside us that will change the world.
This is nothing new, it is not true, it is simply one of Satanís diabolical deceptions. Stan wants us to believe that the baby in a manger is just a baby, that way we still have to search for a mighty superhero to set things right and set us free. Satan doesnít want us to know that God is at work bringing salvation.
But thatís what our text tells us about the baby in the manger in Bethlehem. Our text says quite plainly "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all." The grace of God is no insignificant thing, people in every place and of every time have sought to win the favor of God, and the one universal result of all the efforts of man, has been doubt, as to whether one can do enough to please God, or to pay the debt we owe because of sin. But now, as our text says, the grace of God has appeared, it has been shown to us.
But the text goes, because the good news is not just good news for some, for the grace of God is not just for some people. But the grace of God is for all people. And the grace of God is not something we donít need, like argyle socks in the wrong size. But the grace of God is something that everyone needs, because is brings something more than good cheer. For the grace of God that has been made manifest, has brought salvation for all. And salvation, is that superhero kind of thing, for it sets us free from every evil, establishes justice, gives us our daily bread, and forgives us all our sins.
Jesus, the babe born in Bethlehem, is our savior, he is the Mighty God, all power is his, and he has given us salvation, the forgiveness of sins. Our text says, "He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds."
The old saying is that good things come in small packages. Iíd like to propose that the truth of Christmas is that good things come in small wrappers, for God is hardly a small thing, and yet he comes to us in the babe born in Bethlehem. God is the one person, who not only created all things, but is capable of setting them right.
"We wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior." For Jesus came once, and he is coming again, to take us home to the heaven, where everything will be perfect. Our blessed hope is in almighty God, who loves us as his dear children for Jesus sake.