Read: Luke 2:1-12
Jesus is our Lord and Savior, who frees us from sin and death. Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah. Jesus in the only son of God and the second member of trinity. We feel Him in our hearts, He answers our prayers and guides us and protects us daily. But, I want to take an in depth look at the character of Jesus during His short physical time on Earth. Jesus had a very humble beginning, not something one would expect from a King.
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went out to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.” (Luke 2:1-6)
Proceeding and leading up to Jesus’s birth, we see turmoil for Mary who is carrying the baby Jesus in her virgin womb. Firstly, Joseph and Mary were not yet married and she was very pregnant. There were surely people in their hometown of Galilee that were whispering about them behind their backs for the sin they were seemingly committing by having a baby out of wedlock. And now, when she is nine months pregnant, she must make the long journey on the back of a donkey to Bethlehem. Could God have chosen a different more convenient timing for His son to be born? Yes, He certainly could have. God is all-knowing and all-powerful, He certainly could have lined up the timing of His son’s birth to be more convenient for Mary and Joseph, but He chose not to. By Joseph and Mary not yet being married, it ensured Jesus virgin birth and the journey to Bethlehem ensured the Messiah would be born in the city of David, as was prophesied. All these things that had to happen before Jesus was born would allude to the humble character of Jesus. He would not be raised with the spoils and riches of a King, He would face suffering and ridicule.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgement and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Not only would the be the baby born in the City of David, He would be a decedent of David as well. Both Joseph and Mary came from the lineage of David. This lineage brings them to Bethlehem just in time for the birth of the Messiah.
“And she (Mary) brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)
The newborn baby Jesus was placed in a stable’s feeding trough because the guest rooms of Bethlehem had all been taken. What a humble beginning. Couldn’t God have enabled His only Son to be born in a luxurious palace and swaddled in silk and placed in a basinet of gold inlayed with jewels? Well, yes, He could have, but He didn’t. Why? Why was the only Son of God e Hborn in a dirty, dingey stable and placed in a manger? It was not an accident. God does not make mistakes. God chose this. The humble beginning of Jesus was to show His humble nature. God had humbled Himself for
Here is a recreation of an First Century Israelite home. The family that lived in the home, would have slept upstairs, the animals would have been kept in the downstairs portion. The manger was a feeding trough for the animals. Oftentimes, these first century homes had guest rooms located around the back of the main home. Because of the Roman census of the time when Jesus was born, the city of Bethlehem had many people from “out of town” and all the guest rooms or “inns” were taken.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto the, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye, shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8-12)
The first people that God chose to announce the arrival of His Son and the Savior of the world to were shepherds out in the fields. I do not know how many of us have spent time around flocks of sheep before, but sheep stink and so do the shepherds. First century shepherds were not thought of very highly in society. They were outcasts. But the Almighty God chose to announce the arrival of the Son of God, the Messiah, to a group of lowly shepherds. The angels told the shepherds, that they would know when they find the correct the baby because he will be lying in a manger. It is safe to say that other first century newborn babies were not lying in mangers.
Jesus was born into this world as the humble king. He will return as the all powerful king, defeating evil and death forever. Jesus humbled Himself to save us, He also humbled himself as an example of how we should live our lives. We should not live our lives full of pride, rather humble ourselves to all we meet. Our reward in heaven will be great.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)