This last week, as I was preparing for the high school bible study class I help teach, I was reading the story of Jesus’ birth that is found in the gospel of Luke, chapter 2. As I was reading this remarkable story (a story that I have known about ever since I was a little girl) and doing some extra research, I started picking up on so many details that I never quite considered before.
First, I imagined all of the emotions that must have been going through Mary’s mind. After a long journey of traveling almost 70 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem, she was now about to give birth to her baby boy, but there was one problem- the inn was full, so there was no place for her and her fiancé Joseph to stay! I can imagine their disappointment as they literally went from door to door, and were repeatedly declined of any vacancy. How frightening and stressful that must have been for both of them! Until finally they came to a man who offered to let them use the stable where his livestock were kept. And there it was, tucked away in that lowly stable, where our glorious Savior was born! In a stable, surrounded by nothing but animals, is where the King of Kings took his first breath as a human being. And with no crib or bed available to them, the Prince of Peace was placed in a manger filled with hay.
I don’t know why, but for some reason, all of these little details just really stood out to me this time. Like, when I think about my Savior and everything that he left behind in Heaven to come to this earth, it just blows my mind that he would be born in such a humble manner. But then again, I think that it is EXACTLY the way that God wanted it to be! It is a clear picture to us of his character, and it completely sets the tone for the humble manner in which he lived while on this earth. In fact, just as Jesus was born as a guest in a stable, he lived his last few years on earth as a guest in people’s homes while traveling the country and preaching the word of God. In Luke chapter 9 verse 58, Jesus says to a man who wanted to follow him “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
But Jesus was never concerned with his living environment; he was concerned with the salvation of our souls and bringing glory to his Father in Heaven! Yes, our Savior was a humble man, who showed us that the way to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven, was to be servant of all on this earth. (Matthew 20:26). So I don’t think it mattered one bit to Jesus that he was born in a stable and placed in a manger at birth. Besides, if he had been born in a more lavish or upscale environment, then our eyes might have been focused more on the surroundings, rather than on the miracle baby right before us!
This Christmas, don’t let your eyes become distracted with all the glitz and glamour of the season, but remember our humble Savior who left all of His splendor and glory in Heaven to be born in a lowly stable so that we could have the gift of eternal life.