Jesus is Born
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.”
THE STORY OF THE BIRTH of Jesus is undoubtedly the most recognizable one of the Bible. During this time each year, the world acknowledges the birth of its Redeemer with nativity scenes, greeting cards, and gift giving. Yet, the impact of that birth is not fully understood by mankind. The time of the birth is incorrect, and it has been commercialized for merchandising profits. In spite of this, many people are a little more polite, a little more patient, a little more joyous and giving at this time. We are all reminded to remember the “reason for the season.” For us, Christmas should also be a special season to rejoice in the gift of God’s Son as the ransom price for Adam and the human race (John 3:16,17), and a time to be a witness of God’s direction of this great event.
Prophets had foretold this birth would produce a great leader to rule forever under a righteous government, and that this chosen one would be born in Bethlehem, the City of David. (Isa. 9:6,7; Mic. 5:2) At the time, the Roman government decreed that each person must return to their city of origin to be taxed. This meant that Joseph and Mary were required to return to Bethlehem, as both were of the lineage of David. (Luke 2:1-3) How reassuring to see that God could use even the Roman Empire to direct Joseph and Mary to the exact place the Scriptures had declared that Messiah would be born. Bethlehem means “house of bread.” How fitting that this name is attached to our Savior. During his ministry, Jesus would tell his followers, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven”—the bread that would bring life to all in the coming kingdom.—John 6:51
At the time Jesus was born, we are told shepherds were abiding in the surrounding fields tending their sheep. (Luke 2:8) It was to these lowly, humble men that the angel of the Lord announced the birth of Christ, saying, “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.” (vss. 10,11) So it is during this age that the Lord has been quietly calling the lowly and base things of the world, instead of the noble, to be his children. (I Cor. 1:26-29) This is an indication of the character God requires of those who will make up the Bride of Christ.
We note especially the message of hope delivered by the angel of the Lord, “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” The Gospel of Christ which we proclaim literally means “good news or tidings.” All the prophecies and messages of the Bible attest to this “good news” from our Creator. There is nothing negative or sad about God’s plan, for it shall bring “great joy … to all people” by means of a restitution of all things lost by Adam—perfect life, dominion over the earth, and communion with God. The inclusion of the word “all” reaffirms the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, for no one could be blessed and restored unless they are “made alive.”—I Cor. 15:21,22
After this declaration of good news had been delivered, “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 2:13,14) What a scene this must have been! Jesus, the world’s savior, had been born.