Luke 2:1 - 7
ESV - 1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
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Here are some thoughts that may surprise you: 1) v1-4: This is history - Jesus came at a moment of time in history and we know when the events took place. 2) v5: This is shocking - Mary, a devout Jew, was pregnant outside of marriage, Joseph, a devout Jew, did not divorce her. 3) v6-7: This is appalling - Jesus the Christ was homeless on the day he became a human being, not even a guest room for him. 4) v8 -21: This is unconscionable - The first people to hear this good news of great joy are some of the most despised people in Jewish society. Why were they so willing to believe this astounding event actually took place and wasn’t just a dream? I think they were used to seeing strange events in the night skies and God had prepared them to believe the appearance of angels and their message. Why were the shepherds so willing to share this revelation from God with everyone they met? I think it was because they didn’t care what anyone thought of them, they were simply being obedient to God - “Go and See, Go and Tell.” God chose this way for his Son Jesus to be born to confound the wisdom of this world. No one can rationally explain the miracle of a virgin birth, we must accept it by faith. And faith is always the first step in our spiritual journey toward God, toward discovering that the baby in the manger is both the Son of Man and Son of God, both a helpless, homeless baby and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That is unbelievable until the moment our eyes and hearts are opened by FAITH and we can truly see and understand for the first time.
Now I am noticing ONE thing: Jesus could have come HIGH & MIGHTY (which He was, really). Actually, John 17:5 applies here. Jesus prayed, 'And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed." He instead came as an innocent, needy, dependent baby born to parents who were poor and as simply normal as could be. Everything about the very beginnings of his life on earth was humble and unassuming, giving us a Savior we can easily relate to and understand, not one who is distant or on a lofty throne.-- Isaiah 57:15 (KJ21) For thus saith the high and lofty One who inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." This is such a comforting truth-- we don’t have to have prestigious job titles or well-stocked bank accounts or fame to be used by God, because not even His Son required those things. Elizabeth didn’t worship Mary. She said to her, “Blessed are you among women,” not above women. Just because Mary brought the Savior into the world didn’t put her on a pedestal. (J. Vernon McGee) God made no mistake in picking that couple to be Jesus’ earthly parents. Joseph never found fault or whined. Mary doesn’t criticize God for not providing a golden cradle for Jesus. He deserved to have one, but Mary did the best she could, without complaint. That’s the message of Christmas. And MANGER according to the SMITH Bible Dictionary has this: This word occurs only in (Luke 2:7,12,16) in connection with the birth of Christ. It means a crib or feeding trough; but according to Schleusner its real signification in the New Testament is the open court-yard attached to the inn or khan, in which the cattle would be shut at night, and where the poorer travelers might unpack their animals and take up their lodging, when they were by want of means excluded from the house. My friend, that little manger rebukes us today. Go into any store during the holiday season, and you will be overwhelmed with things! That manger tells something about this affluent society today where we have so many things—all in celebration of the little One who came to tell us that things really don’t amount to anything! My friend, if things had been necessary, if a palace and amenities befitting a king were essential for character and the development of human life, then God would have provided them. He omitted them to show they aren’t necessary. Things just don’t count. That’s what this little manger is still telling us. Mary wrapped Him and put Him in that rough manger because it was practical, and it was all she had. And that’s all the Son of God needed. What a great lesson for us. (McGee)
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