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March 1st, 2016, 04:12 PM
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†. Matt 8:23-25 . . And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves; but he himself was asleep. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying: Save us, Lord; we are perishing!

The koiné Greek word for "save" in that verse is sozo (sode'-zo) which means to rescue and/or protect.

†. Luke 2:8-11 . . And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

. . . And the angel said to them: Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a savior, who is Christ the Lord.

The Greek word for "savior" in that verse is soter (so-tare') which means: a rescuer.

Rescuers typically help people who are in grave distress and/or imminent danger of death and/or serious injury, and helpless to do anything about it; e.g. Red Cross, Firemen, Emergency Medical teams, snow patrols, mountain units, and the Coast Guard and National Guard.

Wouldn't it be awful if those agencies refused to assist desperate folk until they first proved themselves deserving? Well lucky for everyone that those agencies work on the basis of need rather than merit or many of us would end up thrown back to the wolves.

I think quite a few people regard Christ as some sort of parole officer; viz: If people "endure to the end" then he grants them their walking papers. But if he catches them violating the conditions of their parole, then it's right back they go to finish out their sentences which, according to Rom 6:23, is death.

Probation can be likened to a sword of Damocles hanging over people's heads by a slender thread easily broken by conduct unbecoming. How dare that angel describe his announcement as "good news of great joy" if probation were actually what's meant by sozo instead of to rescue and/or to protect.

On the other hand; if Christ is in the business of rescuing people in accordance with the humane principles underlying normal emergency operations; then yes, I fully agree with the angel that the birth of Christ is something to get excited about.

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