The Birth of Jesus

I think it was my barber who told me several years ago what they used to do, at Christmas time, when their kids were small. He said, “We had the most curious kids in the world. And we knew no matter what we did, they would find the gifts. So, one year, we had a deal with o … More

Christmas

While God was preparing the world for the coming of the Savior He moved the heart of the Roman emperor to send out an order saying that everyone had to go back to the city from which his people had come in order to be registered (vv. 1-5). There they’d be told how much tax they had to pay. Mary and Joseph made the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem This fulfilled Micah 5:2. After a long journey of some seventy-five miles undertaken by Mary, heavily pregnant, she and Joseph arrived at Bethlehem. When they arrived they found no place to stay except a stable in which to sleep. That night God’s own dear Son was born in the stable and Mary and Joseph wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him on the hay in the manger (vv. 6-7). God made sure that Mary and her baby were kept safe, despite unhygienic conditions around them in the stable.

Bethlehem was a small city surrounded by hillsides with grazing lands where shepherds led their sheep. That night the angel of the Lord appeared to some of the shepherds who were watching their flocks and a great light shone around them. They were afraid as they saw the angel and the glory of the Lord (vv. 8-9). The angel told them not to be afraid because this was to bring great joy to all people. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.” The angel told them the way they’d know Christ the Lord was that he would be a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger (vv. 10-12). Then it seemed the entire Heaven was filled with angels saying,"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men (vv. 13-14).”

Application

God appeared to Zacharias, to Mary and now to the shepherds when they were just doing their jobs and being themselves. How has God spoken to me in the past and how have I answered Him?

Luke 2:1-14 (English Standard Version)

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »