Luke 2:1-7 King James Version (KJV)
1. And it came to pass in those days, that there went out
a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3. And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city.
4. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea,
unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;
(because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with the child.
6. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished
that she should be delivered.
7. And she 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.
I would like to take your attention to verse 7, where it says that she brought forth her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger…
I would like to emphasize the phrase “ wrapped him in swaddling clothes”...I am wondering what a blessed and strange experience Mary and Joseph had to go through. The angels of the Lord told them of the conceiving of Mary but the angels did not tell them the time that the child would be born. I think had they been informed they would have definitely tried at least not to do the labor work in a cattle shed and put the baby in a manger. Please understand the time that the child is being born and the difficulty that the Roman Government created for Mary and Joseph, they had to travel a long distance at the high time of delivery, normally as people avoid during this time (VV 1-4).
Let us see the scripture and how it speaks of the birth incident of Jesus. As I mentioned earlier “wrapped him in swaddling clothes”. What does the phrase emphasize through this verse? Because repeatedly we get to see the phrase in the same chapter, in the following verses of verse 12 that Angels are giving a sign to the Shepherds saying they have a sign and the sign is “baby being wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger,” but as we reach to the verse where the Shepherds actually meet Jesus in verse 16, we do not find the phrase anymore. (Let’s leave it to the Lord its explain the question, why so?)
Though there have been much interpretation and guesswork and application, which I feel is needless to explain, I would like you to come with me to the book of Ezekiel 16: 1-5,
1. Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2. Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,
3. And say, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite.
4. And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.
5. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the clothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.
Definitely these passages of allegory speak of God’s care, and love.
What a mother was Mary?, though we do not worship Mary as the Roman Catholic does, definitely there is a greater weight upon the act of Mary. Neither had she any nurses to nurse her or any other person to help her except for Joseph. But she is all set and prepared to take care of baby child Jesus. Think from the perspective of a mother in her labor pain and delivery, yet she does the best care and love for the baby. Today there are mothers who do not want to see their babies and in fact, dump them in garbage and drainage.
I would like to bring at least two applications from the life and activity of the mother of baby Jesus.
1. Thoughtful: Think of Mary, she is on a journey to Bethlehem for a taxing purpose, but she was very mindful of the time and possibility, that can happen at any time. So, therefore, she packed her luggage with the Swaddling clothes, probably she might have had all sorts of tools to do all the necessary work, as you could think of cutting off the naval, salt to sanitize, etc. She was a very thoughtful and prepared mother for the child that she was going to give to the world for its salvation.
If I can ask you, how thoughtful and prepared are we for the child as he is born in our hearts to care for the baby so that he feels comforted and taken care of? As Christmas approaches how are we thoughtful and prepared to make him born in others' hearts and how serious and thoughtful are we for Him? Have we taken well care of Him after His birth in our hearts or lives?
2. Effortful: Mary definitely showed her love and care for the baby, though it was very natural for the delivering mother to be exhausted and tired. She showed none of those scenes, but she herself does all the work of a mid-wife, she was a very bold and strong and brave mother, keep in mind when the Pharaoh of Egypt tells the mid-wives in exodus to kill the baby boy child, they say of the strength of the Hebrew wives that they give birth before they attend them Ex. 1:19. She has not neglected the baby Jesus but, she takes care of everything and proves her love and care for baby Jesus.
Do we show that love and care for Jesus in our lives, if we really love and care for Jesus, we would definitely use this Christmas as God-glorifying and honoring way, so that not only we but all others might be known. Some of our Christmas are all the same for years and years, with no innovations for reaching the other. We are just senseless whether people are reached or unreached