A Wondrous Birth

Key Verse: “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.”
—Luke 2:7

Selected Scripture:
Luke 2:1-20

AT THE TIME OUR LORD Jesus was born, the mighty Roman Empire ruled the land of Palestine. Augustus Caesar was in power, and he had sent forth a decree for a polling, or census, of the whole, inhabited earth for purposes of taxation and other matters of state. It was in response to this royal decree that Joseph and Mary found it necessary to travel to Bethlehem, native city to both, where they were instructed to be enrolled.

According to Bible prophecy, the long-promised Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, the city of David (Mic. 5:2), and it was the peculiar circumstances in connection with the polling tax and census records that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem. (Dan. 11:20) With many other people arriving in the city at the same time, and for the same purposes, local accommodations quickly became very scarce. Joseph and Mary were forced to lodge at the inn’s stable along with the other unfortunate latecomers. As it was also the time that Mary was to give birth, the infant Jesus was therefore born during their stay at Bethlehem and brought into the world under the most humble circumstances.

“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 Saviour, 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. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”—Luke 2:8-14

The angel proclaimed that the Savior of the world had been born. These were indeed tidings of great joy. Through father Adam the whole human family was subject to death because of sin. Jesus had been provided with a perfect human body, by way of immaculate conception from the Heavenly Father, that he by the grace of God might taste death for every man. Jesus would thus pay the sinner’s penalty for the inherited transgressions of our first parents.

“It came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.”—vss. 15-17

The angel’s message of peace on earth, and good will toward men, was surely a message of joy. Jesus grew to manhood, and obediently laid his life down in sacrifice as the world’s Redeemer. In due time, under the administration of Christ’s glorious Millennial kingdom of righteousness, the expectations of all men will be fulfilled. It will be a time of rejoicing and joy because of the birth that took place in Bethlehem many centuries ago.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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