~ Never Before & Never Again—A Birth Like This! ~
Observations ~ Consider some unusual aspects of the birth of Jesus Christ.
1. Another child being born is not unusual—tens of thousands are born each day.
2. He never ceased to be the Son of God even while assuming the conditions of full humanity.
3. Even though He was the King of glory He came not in kingly garments but was wrapped in swaddling clothes (what the shepherds used to wrap newborn lambs).
4. When future kings are born on earth great publicity and recognition accompanies the birth—but when He was born there was no celebration or rejoicing.
5. Israel had been anticipating the arrival of their Messiah—yet when He came they did not recognize Him.
6. While fully and completely God He became fully and completely human.
7. As God He was not limited by the restraints of space but He became dependent upon the limitations of space as we are.
8. As God He was not limited by the restraints of time but He became dependent upon time as He grew from infancy to adulthood.
9. As God He was not limited by the restraints of physical matter but He became dependent upon the limitations of a human body.
10. As God He was invisible but He became visible in a human body.
11. As God He was unchanging but He became a human infant who grew into an adult human being.
12. As God He was eternal but He partook of the aging process of a human.
13. While self-existent He became dependent upon His earthly parents
14. While all-powerful He assumed the role of a baby—even unable to walk.
15. While all-knowing He assumed the role of a baby—even unable to think rationally.
16. If His birth had been in a royal palace ordinary people would not have been able to identify with Him as being like them and experiencing what they experienced.
17. It was all for our sakes!
Uniqueness ~ Think about some of the unique aspects of this baby’s birth.
1. This Child was not beginning His life—He had existed from eternity past.
2. This Child was the Creator of the universe.
3. This Child was called Lord by all the angels in heaven.
4. This Child was the Lord of glory.
Lessons ~ There are many “takeaways” from His birth. Here are a few.
1. How great His condescension in coming to earth in human form.
2. He experienced humiliation that we might be exalted.
3. He became the Son of Man that we might become Sons of God!
4. Noise, show, and pomp are not necessary to accompany power.
5. The love, mercy, and grace of God usually come quietly.
6. Character (who you really are) is far more important than reputation (who others think you are).
7. God judges a person’s greatness by their character—not their circumstances.
8. It is not about being honored on earth but rather living an honorable life.
9. Gifts were brought to the infant Jesus. The gifts were costly. It is not enough for us to merely sing “praise” and “worship” choruses to God. We should give our best to Him.
Summary ~ “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. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy 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.’
“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, goodwill toward men!’
“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them” (Luke 2:8-20).
the key question: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). This is the most important question you will ever answer. If you do not answer it, or answer it incorrectly, you have made the biggest mistake anyone can make!
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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