Right in the middle of the greatest story ever is a manger. A dusty, old, farm trough, used to feed cattle. This rough, wooden structure became the crib for the King of kings.
I remember so many thoughts and feelings from the birth of our kids, just hours after they were born. We were so careful with them. They were so tiny, and fragile. I can’t imagine taking them outside, into a stable, and laying them down in a manger.
Ever wondered why God orchestrated events for His Son to be laid in a manger? Was this an accident? Should Joseph have gone to the house of the local Rabbi, explained Mary was about to give birth to the Messiah & demanded some immediate help?
An angel of The LORD appears to nearby shepherds and exclaims The Messiah has just been born. The story, and prophecies, seems to indicate this all went exactly as God had planned.
Most princes are removed from all common surroundings. As expected, they’re given the best of everything available to a royal family.
Jesus came from heaven…Heaven! John 1 declares Jesus was with God and He was God. I cannot fathom what His circumstances were in Heaven, but it’s fair to imagine His surroundings were otherworldly. Think a little better than the Presidential Suite at The Four Seasons.
He became a baby and was born to two young, inexperienced parents, alone, far away from home. So, what’s the significance of the Messiah being placed in a manger?
The beauty of this story is Jesus is accessible to all. There’s not a single person who isn’t free to walk up to a manger and meet their Savior. Shepherds, unknown men, who were sleeping in a field nearby and hadn’t been background checked, searched, wanded or vetted just walked up to see this Baby.
Is this consistent with what we know of God?
Well, consider how the beauty and brilliance of His Creation sits before us, allowing us to explore, consider, and wonder about our Maker.
We’re not forced to hold Him in awe. His works are just laid before us.
It’s like God’s character to send His Son to the most humble of circumstances, and make Him available to everyone. As Jesus grew, and began His ministry, look where He went.
We might assume He would go to the Temple, to win the approval of the religious elite. Or He might have gone to Rome, and taken over Caesar’s empire. He is, after all, The King of kings. Instead, He repeatedly reached out to common people:
· Inviting fishermen to be his closest friends, and followers
· Telling a woman with a terrible reputation He was The Messiah
· Touching a leper, considered unclean, wildly contagious, and healed him
· He let a bleeding, ostracized woman touch His robe, and be healed
· Calling to Zacchaeus, the most notorious of sinners, & dining with him
Jesus repeatedly stepped away from the glory due Him, and to bring hope, healing and new life to ordinary folks. He came to a manger so we would know...He came for us…every, single, one of us!