Have you ever set down and explored our Lord’s Birth? Have you ever thought about how ordinary the circumstances were when He was Born but yet, it was the most extraordinary thing that happened at that time or even in History? (God came in man flesh born of a virgin, not conceived of ordinary circumstances)
Luke 1:26-38 (NKJV): Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Imagine, being that 12 year old girl, who seemingly had nothing special going on on her life that we know of. The first time we are introduced to her is that we see she had an appearance of an angel. The angel said that she was “blessed are you among women!”. Why was she blessed? Because she was chosen to be the virgin prophesied to carry the Messiah.
Isaiah 7:13-14 (NKJV): Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Mary was also selected because she was in the lineage tracing back to David.
Although Mary was selected to carry Jesus, remember that she was still an ordinary person, even after He was born a babe. She should not be worshiped as many do. We do need to see that God used an ordinary girl to bring about an extraordinary event.
Matthew 1:18-25 (NKJV): Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.
Look at Joseph. He was “betrothed” to Mary. To understand the tradition of this culture, to be betrothed was as if you were already married but not yet living with each other or having relations. This was a time for preparation for the couple. The husband would build and prepare the home for them. When it was complete, he would let the families know so that the ceremony would commence. As part of the ceremony, the night of the wedding, the family would wait as the couple would consummate their marriage and then the sheet would be handed out to the families to show that the wife was a virgin.
Imagine to Joseph’s surprise that Mary was impregnated and they had not even had relations yet. This is definitely a cause for divorce. Yes, when they are betrothed, they would have to have a divorce when they separate. It’s not like today in a lot of cultures where one would be engaged to be married, they can easily separate if they break up.
Joseph was ready to do this quietly and not cause embarrassment to both families. It is assumed that he was going to tell something like, “We had some ‘irreconcilable differences’ before we got married”. The problem with “irreconcilable difference’ is that this is a “man-made” excuse. There really are none, it takes us being focused on God to be able to find ways to work things out. With Him in the midst, anything can be solved.
Joseph, just a carpenter, was also visited by an angel. He was told that what happened to Mary, is An Act from God. Joseph really was an un remarkable man. All we know about him is that he us also in David’s lineage and that he waited to commensurate his marriage until after Jesus was born. Can you imagine having to wait to have relations with your spouse for that long?
When you take into the account of the shepherds, you would have to ask, “Why did God announce to them first the Birth of Jesus?”
Luke 2:8-20 (NKJV): Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, 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, goodwill toward men!” So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
When you look at who the shepherds were, they were considered the lowest of the low. Nobody liked them or trusted them. In today’s ideology, they would be considered worse than a drug dealer or thief. There was reason for people to be suspect of them, many did steal, were drunkards, even stunk from being in the fields for long periods of time.
Side note: These men were brave. They protected the flocks they were entrusted with, Look at the account of David who fought lions and bears among other things.
1 Samuel 17:34-37 (NKJV): But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
It is believed that shepherds were also brawlers because of how tough they had to be to fight off the dangers they warded off.
Think about these men, they were in the desert and it was the middle of the night. All of a sudden, there was a glowing light around them. Then they hear, “Fear not! We bring you a message of joy.” These guys were so excited that God showed them this they responded with worship. Can you imagine the ruckus they created when they ran into town? They were probably singing at the top of their lungs or yelling “He’s Here! The Messiah has come!”
People were astounded at what they were saying and came to see. These men were not held in high regards but they were used to proclaim the coming of The One Messiah. People responded to their message.
What about the Inn Keeper?
Luke 2:1-7 (NKJV): And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into 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 wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
How do you suppose he felt? He heard the testimony of the Shepherds.
Luke 2:18 (NKJV): And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
He heard that The Messiah was born in his stable. How do you suppose he felt when he heard this happened in his stable. I wonder if he thought, “Had I known who this young mother was carrying, I would have offered my room instead of the stable.”
Then there were the wise men.
Matthew 2:1-12 (NKJV): Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’” Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
These “wise men” or “magi” were considered astronomers of their time. It was believed that they were also magicians of sorts. These were gentiles or secular men of this time. They studied the stars like many study horoscopes today.
Side note: If you’re studying horoscopes to see how your day is gonna be, then you’re looking in the wrong place. Horoscopes will not see in your future, only God knows your future. Seek Him through Jesus.
They were looking to the stars one night 2 years after Jesus’ birth. They saw the star that gave them hope. It told that the prophesy they were familiar with was fulfilled.
Micah 5:2-5a (NKJV): “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” Therefore He shall give them up, Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; Then the remnant of His brethren Shall return to the children of Israel. And He shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; And they shall abide, For now He shall be great To the ends of the earth; And this One shall be peace.
They believed because of a miraculous event that happened. They saw the star and searched for Him, The Messiah, The Savior of the world.
Reflect on this, many of these events may look like normal everyday events to us. They all were to lead us to Jesus. This season, let’s reflect on what God, Jesus did, He gave up all to be born in a filthy manger in this little town of Bethlehem, to be the perfect sacrifice for us. We cannot have the cross without the manger. He did this because of His love for us.
Merry Christmas and may Jesus be your Reason of Celebration.
Until Next Time:
Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NKJV):
The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”
4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’”