Jump Start # 3477
Luke 2:7 “And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
The religious community loves to talk and sing about baby Jesus this time of the year. There are a lot of Christmas traditions that are not found in the Bible. For instance, there are no recorded conversations with the inn keeper. The Bible does not tell us that Jesus was born on December 25th. The Scriptures do tell us that the Roman Emperor had called for a census to be taken and every male was to go to his hometown to register. It seems that if the emperor wanted an accurate counting of the people, he would pick a season in which travel was easy. December wouldn’t have been the choice month. And, those wise men from the East, we are not given their names or their races. And, when they find Jesus, He is more than a month old and in a house, not the manger. And, the manger is actually a feeding trough for animals.
Recently I talked about the humility found in the birth of Jesus. Consider:
First, Jesus was born to a poor, unwed woman, who was away from home. Multiple scholars believe that Mary may have been a teenager. She was a virgin, who would later have more children. When she and Joseph made a sacrifice in Jerusalem, they offered turtledoves, not a lamb. The Law in Leviticus said that if a lamb could not be afforded, two turtledoves could be used. This is an indication that they were poor.
Jesus was not born in a hospital, with the best doctors and His grandparents anxiously waiting in the lobby. He was born in a stable, on a road trip, and placed in a feeding trough. Mary wasn’t from Bethlehem. Did she know anyone there? The King of Kings was not born in a palace, with servants attending Him, and the best comfort that could be afforded.
Second, the first visitors to see Jesus was strange shepherds. They had seen the sign and they came to honor Jesus. Not being from Bethlehem, it is very likely that Mary did not know who these shepherds were.
Third, the Biblical record is silent about the child Jesus growing up. There is a sentence or two about Jesus being in the temple at age twelve. But what about His first birthday? What about when He first learned to walk? What about His first words He spoke? What was His favorite toy? Nothing. We know His first miracle was at the wedding in Cana.
But like us, He learned to think, speak, and connect with people. He learned to do things. He learned obedience, Hebrews tells us. And, unlike us, He was without sin. He never had thoughts that He shouldn’t have. He never had to apologize for doing something wrong. He never lied. He never stole anything. He never got drunk. He was the unblemished, perfect sacrifice. He was perfection.
We wonder what Jesus did for the first thirty years of His life? Why didn’t He come fully grown and ready to go from day one? Why years of growing up? We can come up with all sorts of theories and ideas. The Scriptures tell us that He had to be like us in all things.
Fourth, humility was a quality of all of Jesus’ life on earth. He came to serve others. He fulfilled and accomplished everything that He was sent to do. People were comfortable coming to Jesus. He was not standoffish. He was not arrogant and boastful. He was not too busy for others. He was not too good to be around the outcasts and misfits of His time.
Only two of the four Gospels tell the birth story of Jesus. It is remarkable and important. However, many want to keep Jesus as that cute baby in the manger. A baby is innocent and not a threat to us. A baby doesn’t command. It was that baby that became our Savior. It was that baby that is the Lord of lords and the King of kings. It is that baby that became the Jesus that rules the world and someday will judge all of us.
Don’t put Jesus in a box and put Him out of your mind and heart for another year. Jesus needs to fill every day of our lives. He is Immanuel, God among us.