This is it. This is what the prophets and Israelites had been waiting for. The birth of their Savior. Jesus was born to a young woman, a virgin, in a smelly little stable in a crowded city on a night that changed the world. His birth is what we celebrate during this season.
Jesus, tiny and mighty, the holy Son of God, born as a baby to a lost and dying world had finally come.
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. — Luke 1:26-27 NKJV
A young unmarried woman was chosen to bear the Savior of the world. And as we all know and can imagine, she was troubled by the angel and his greeting but he assured her that she had found favor with God. (Luke 1:30 NKJV)
He told her of the greatness of the Child she would bear and answered her obvious question of how could she have a child if she was a virgin.
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?” (Luke 1:31-34 NKJV)
And humble and faithful Mary believed the angel of the Lord.
Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38 NKJV)
But Joseph, her betrothed, didn’t believe her. It took an angel visiting him in a dream for him to believe.
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.” (Matt. 1:18-21 NKJV)
So he obeyed the angel and took young Mary as his wife.
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. (Luke 2:1-5 NKJV)
I feel like that while this was a difficult journey and they most likely missed their family, they were glad to leave the judgemental stares and whispers going on around them. A man married a young woman who was pregnant already.
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. (Luke 2:8-9 NKJV)
I mean, can you imagine?? When the solar eclipse covered most of North America earlier this year, everyone went crazy with the minute or two or darkness during the day. But here, the flip-side happened. In the middle of the night, it was suddenly so bright. God’s beautiful glory was shown to a group of dirty shepherds. And you know they had to be dirty if they were living out in the fields!
But that’s really what happened right? The infinitely majestic glory of God came down to earth to us dirty sinners. In the form of a tiny infant, God fulfilled His promise to save us all! Glory to God indeed!
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great 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.” (Luke 2:10-12 NKJV)
Without hesitation, as soon as the angels were gone, the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem to see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known (Luke 2:15 NKJV).
And they found Him. They found their King and they spread the knowledge far and wide. Everyone marveled at the things the shepherds told them. But sweet and humble Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19 NKJV)
She thought on the things that had happened to her and most likely wondered what the future would bring her and her sweet and most innocent Child.
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” (Luke 2:20 NKJV)
And the brightness of God’s glory didn’t completely disappear that night. Instead a star shone in the sky and it led a group of wise men from far in the East to bow down and worship the King of the world. For roughly 2 years, a star hung over where Jesus lived! I wonder what the people of Bethlehem thought of that. Do you think they marveled at it for a while and then got used to the glory? They had to have forgotten that special night because Jerusalem was troubled at the thought of a King being born. So the news could not have traveled very far, despite the constant reminder in the sky every night.
That is something we need to watch out for. We can get so used to moving through the motions and reading our Bible and going to church that we get used to the glory God sent down to us from Heaven. This Christmas season, let’s be careful to not forget what Jesus did for us when He was born that wonderful night. Don’t get used to the glory. Be like the wise men and rejoice with exceedingly great joy (Matt. 2:10 NKJV) at the Star in our lives that is Jesus.
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: (Matt. 2:1-5 NKJV)
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. (Matt. 2:7-9 NKJV)
They immediately fell down and worshiped Him when they saw Jesus. This tiny Child was the King of the world and they knew it, though His people did not. These star gazing wise men from the East had found the Savior of the world and presented Him with the most costly gifts they had. I doubt He wanted them then and truthfully does not want our costly gifts. He wants us. He wants our hearts full of love and obedience to Him. He wants us to follow after Him with everything we have. He wants us to go out like the shepherds did and share the news of His birth, life and death on a cross. The news that He came to save us all.
During this season, don’t get used to the glory of Jesus and the wonder you felt when you were first saved. Remember it and share it with this dying world so that they too may come to the foot of the cross and worship the King.