“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. 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 them, 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 Savior, 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 2:7-12.
It sounds very casual and simple sometimes when we read the birth record of our Lord Jesus Christ. And we often fail to grab the truth or depth behind this glorious act of God coming to us. Luke gives us a unique account of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. And perhaps it takes time to understand the account completely. One of the things that we would like to focus on in this writing is “God chose to be born in a manger”. The Scripture says that when the time came Mary brought forth her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no more for them in the Inn. Some questions to ponder:
- Was Joseph from Bethlehem? 2:4
- If Joseph was from Bethlehem, did he really need a Motel or Guest House? 2:4.
- Is the Inn in 2:7 actually a kind of Motel or Guest House that we think of today?
- The Greek word kataluma translated Inn can be also translated as lodging or guest room.
- Is the word “laid him in a manger”, has nothing to do?
To pick the focus of our discussion, we want to reiterate that Jesus was not born in the manger but his first bed on earth was a manger. When the Scripture speaks of this manger, we definitely need to take heed to this revelation because it has been repeated time and again, and especially this was a sign given to the shepherds who had to come and pay homage.
As we continue to think over and time and again about this manger, one thing is very clear from the Scripture. That is the humility of the Savior, the one who is the owner and creator of this entire universe. What a perspective and attitude that a holy and sovereign God could show us to learn and follow. We would like to present here three insights to encourage you all this Christmas.
1. The Manger of Humility with Awareness: Lord Jesus Christ did not just choose the manager by accident but he chose with His all-knowing capacity. Jesus knew all things past present, and future very well, because he was God himself. He could say that before Abraham I was, and at the same time, he could tell how he was about to die and resurrect. He was our omniscient Lord, he knew every single bit, and yet he chose to be laid in a manger. Questions to Christians, suppose we know beforehand that we are going to be treated in a certain way, would we be willing to go or act in that place, for example, if we know that we would not get a good bed to sleep in or good water to drink, we would definitely make an excuse of our health and avoid the thing in our lives. Jesus definitely deserved better good treatment and reason than what we could have today.
2. The Manger of Humility with Ability: Not only Jesus chose the manger with his full and complete knowledge, but also he chose the manger with full power. If Christ wanted or Christ is capable of doing something greater out of his will and plan. If he wanted he could have planned for a better facility and treatment, but he did not. He rather chose to be treated however the people and situation treat him, a passive God with absolute humility. Look a the plan and ability of God through the life of Moses, Pharaoh wanted to kill all the male children of Israel in Egypt, but God made the male Hebrew child Moses grow in his own palace. Our God was and is capable of turning every situation as he wants. And he could have done the same with his own birth and facility. But he chose not to.
Question for Christians: Have we ever allowed to forgo our capacity and ability to be treated in a worst way than what we have or deserve? For any of our inconveniences, we are so quick to use our power and talents, and capacity to make things well with us.
The Manger of Humility with Attitude: As Jesus Christ was doing this with his complete knowledge and capacity, we need to make it clear that He was not just acting or trying to show off. It was the quality and personality itself. It was a character and attitude that Christ had and continues to have it.
The same thing is asked by the Lord to the saints today, as Apostle Paul writes to Philippians.
“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. …”
Udhaar Ministries encourages you to please celebrate Christness not just Christmas…Let us grow one more step closer to Christ in humility this Christmas. Mind you that moment we say that we are humble enough that is the end of our humbleness and the beginning of pride.
Wish you a merry Christmas