Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Non-series Sermons . Stop and hear the music

. Stop and hear the music



It was 12 January 2007 when a young man emerged from the Metro and positioned himself against a wall beside a trash basket. By most measures, he was nondescript—a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt, and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money and began to play. For the next 45 minutes, in the D.C. Metro he played Mozart and Schubert as over 1,000 people streamed by, most hardly taking notice. If they had paid attention, they might have recognized the young man for the world-renowned violinist he is. His name is Joshua Bell. They also might have noted the violin he played—a rare Stradivarius worth over $3 million. It was all part of a project arranged by The Washington Post—"an experiment in context, perception, and priorities—as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste. In a banal setting, at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?" Just three days earlier, Joshua Bell sold out Boston Symphony Hall, with ordinary seats going for $100. In the subway, Bell garnered about $32 from the 27 people who stopped long enough to give a donation.

Let me tell you another story. It was app. the year 6BC, on our Calendars the year 0. A boy was born into this world. Instead of a hospital ward, he was born in a stable. He grew up as a carpenter son, chose 12 normal men to walk the dusty roads of Israel with Him. Some noticed His worth as He played His Stradivarius of life. His music was seen and heard as he caused the blind to see, fed the thousands and raised people from the dead. Most however just walked by and were so irritated by His music that they nailed Him to a cross. While He was hanging on that cross, only then the Roman Centurion cried out. Truly, He is the Son of God.’

Are we amongst those who walked by? This world is happy to let Jesus Christ be a baby in a manger, but not willing to let Him be the sovereign King and Lord that He is. Yet that is the central truth of the Christmas story: the Child of Christmas standing next to the trash can of sin in this world is God Himself who just a day earlier had 10’s of thousands of angels sing Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty!

Sadly today, lots of people who would otherwise gladly embrace Jesus as Messiah do not want Him to be God. They will welcome Him as a son of David, but not as the Son of God. They do not mind celebrating the birth of a baby, but they do not want to hear about the Lord of lords. They sing of His nativity, but brazenly reject His authority. They adore Him as an infant, but will not pay homage to Him as the God-man. They can tolerate the trappings of Christmas, a manger, shepherds, wise men, and Joseph and Mary... ...But they cannot bear the advent of God in human flesh. They will much rather prefer to say, ‘happy holidays’ than ‘happy Christmas.’ Consequently the world ignores the core of all Christmas truth. And instead of honouring Jesus at Christmas, they are actually mocking Him.

The enemy must love the world's Christmas celebration. He must revel in the blatant sin and blasphemy and rejection of Christ - all by people who suppose they are celebrating His birth! The enemy must glory in the way people commemorate His birth with lip service while ignoring the point of it all - that Jesus is almighty God. Who is this baby in the manger? Who is this one playing the Stradivarius of eternal life so that anyone who will can come and listen to His music, free of charge?

Let’s do more during this Christmas season than simply walking by. Let us stand still for a moment and look carefully at Him whose music never stops and realise that He is none other than the Incarnation of God, prophesied by Isaiah app. 800 years before He came.

Turn with me to Isaiah 9:6 Here Isaiah recorded six things about the coming Messiah. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”.

Point 1: He was to be born a Child.

“6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,”

Think about this baby, born in Bethlehem into a world of sin. Who is He? He is a Son given to us, but He is not just any Son. He was to be born into the nation of Israel (to us) as one of the covenant people. None of us could ever fathom what it means for God to be born in a manger. How do we explain the Almighty stooping to become a tiny infant? Our minds cannot begin to understand what was involved in God's becoming a man. We will never comprehend why He who was infinitely rich would become poor. Why He would assume a human nature, and enter into a world He knew would reject Him and kill Him. Nor can anyone explain how God could become a baby.

Yet He did. Without forsaking His divine nature or diminishing His deity in any sense, He was born into our world as a tiny infant. People often ask if He cried, or if He needed the normal care and feeding one would give any other baby. Of course He did ... He was fully human, with all the needs and emotions that are common to every human. God become man; the divine Son became a Jew; the Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more than lie and stare and wriggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child.

Yet this baby who was non-descript in human terms as of any significance was also fully God - all wise and all-powerful.

How can both things be true? I do not know. But, before we reduce His value to that of Joshua Bell in the metro, let’s see him in the Boston Symphony Hall of glory.  There was no baby born ever like Jesus. Who of us had our birth foretold thousands of years before we were born, who of us had angels appearing at our birth to announce it to shepherds in the field, who of us had a star marking our place, who had wise men following stars to come and visit the moment we were born, who of us shook the kingdoms of the earth, yet some filled with hatred but still an indication of our worth? Only Jesus and He was not just another baby.

Point 2. He will rule over God’s people.

“…. and the government will be on his shoulders.”

Standing next to the trash can of sin and this world is not just a child who was born, but He was born to rule, forever. The statement “the government will be on His shoulders” figuratively refers to the kingly robe to be worn by the Messiah. As King, He will be responsible to govern the nation. In Isaiah’s day Judah’s leaders were incompetent in governing the people. But the Messiah will govern properly for all eternity. The prophets proclaimed this. Look at Micah who says in Micah 5:2 (NIV)2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of  Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” And then Zechariah 14:9 (NIV) 9 The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.”

Who is the one standing next to the trash can of sin and this world? As far as His true identity is concerned man stands truly oblivious. But, Zechariah says, He is none other than the King of Kings, the King of the earth. Tell me, will we put $32 into His violin case or are we willing to bow before Him as eternal King, the governor of the universe?

Well Isaiah tells us more. He says that He will have four descriptive names that will reveal His true character.

Point 3. He will be called Wonderful Counselor.

“And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor…”

If people on that day in Washington DC knew who Joshua Bell was, how many would not stop to listen to his music and say ‘that’s wonderful’? This is how Isaiah explains Jesus Christ. He calls on us to stop and take a second look and listen to the Words of Christ for he is our Wonderful Counsellor. The Hebrew word here for ‘wonderful’ is {peh'-leh} which means to  wonder at or to marvel at. Literally it means “looking at an extraordinary thing too hard to understand”.

You cannot just walk by. You cannot just put a few Rand into His violin case. No you stop, you marvel at Him, you see Him in a manger, you see Him on the cross, you see Him as the resurrected Saviour, you see Him on the throne and instead of a few coins, and you repent of your sins and give Him your life. You take up your cross, deny yourself and follow Him and enjoy Him as your Wonderful Counsellor.

Point 4. He will be called Mighty God.

“And he will be called Mighty God…”

Some have suggested that this simply means “a godlike person” or hero. But Isaiah meant more than that, for he had already spoken of the Messiah doing what no other person had been able to do. Isaiah understood that the Messiah was to be God. While for some Christ can be ignored just like Joshua Bell, we just cannot.

Didn’t Christ say in John 14:11 (NIV) 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves." Not just His claim but His works are convincing proof that He is God. He began His miraculous ministry with a simple act; He created wine at a wedding in Cana and only God can create. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, caused the deaf to hear, fed the thousands and raised the dead and we want to walk by.

No stop and listen to the music, see the light of the world, marvel at His words, marvel at His deeds, the baby in the manger is Almighty God. John 1:1 (NIV) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:14 (NIV) 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Point 5. He will be called the Everlasting Father.

“And he will be called Everlasting Father…”

Many people are puzzled by this title because the Messiah, God’s Son, is distinguished in the Trinity from God the Father. How can the Son be the Father? Several things must be noted in this regard, but let me mention two. Firstly, the Messiah, being the second Person of the Trinity, is in His essence, God. Therefore He has all the attributes of God including eternality. Since God is One (even though He exists in three Persons), the Messiah is God. Secondly, the title “Everlasting Father” is an idiom used to describe the Messiah’s relationship to time, not His relationship to the other Members of the Trinity. He is said to be everlasting, just as God (the Father) is called “the Ancient of Days”.

Point 6.  He will be called the Prince of Peace,

“And he will be called Prince of Peace…”

The day Jesus was born the Angels announced His birth to Shepherds in the field with these glorious words in Luke 2:10-14 (NIV) “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest,  and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.” That is why Jesus could say to His disciples in John 14:27 (NIV) 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Jesus will also be the one who will bring in and maintain the time of millennial peace when the nation will be properly related to the Lord.


So church family and friends, I present to you today, standing at the rubbish bin of sin and this world one whose music will never end. He is not just a Jewish baby, lying in a manger. He was not just a good man. He is not just a prophet.

No I present to you the one of whom Daniel says in Daniel 7:14 (NIV) 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” I present to you the one of whom the angel said to Mary concerning her Son in Luke 1:30-33 (NIV) 30 “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end. I present to you the one of who the heavenly hosts shout in Revelation 11:15 (NIV) “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.”

Stop with me during this Christmas season, join me over this last week of 2012 and as we transition into 2013, take another look, marvel at Jesus in the throne room of heaven, marvel at Him as He walked on earth, marvel at His Words, look at His deeds, listen to the music of eternal life and behold the Revelation of Christ in all His glory as He does not only draw thousands who listen to Him playing His Stradivarius of life but look at the Word of God in Revelation 7:9-12 (NIV) 9After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”



Logos Community Church: - 23 December 2012