Jesus was born into the most humble of circumstances. Yet, he is the most important person ever to be born into our race. God’s power shows up most perfectly in weakness (2Corinthians 12:9). He is not impressed with our power, influence or wealth. Therefore, he chose to come to us as One who is weak. I am not intimidated by the weak. He is that still small Voice within me. He is not loud, that I would fear him and run. He is the One who whispers, that I might draw near and listen. My strength is overcome by the weakness of my God (1Corinthians 1:25).
The great and the wise knew nothing of his coming. The arrival of the Messiah was announced to shepherds, not to kings. They were simple men, and their response was immediate. They believed the messengers from heaven and looked for Jesus. When they found him, they were transformed into messengers of God themselves, as they shared their testimony with others. The first worshipers of Jesus were not the elite of the community. They were those from whom society probably withdrew. They smelled of their flocks. They were rugged people who were used to hardship and danger. They were society’s fringe and generally did not fit in, but they exemplified Jesus’ ministry. He was sent to the lost and to the broken, to those who had need of a Physician. He was not sent to those who had no need but to the one whom the priest and the Levite passed by (Luke 10:31-33). These are the last who have become first (Matthew 19:30).
The shepherds are perfect examples of how I am to receive God’s word. When they first received God’s message, they tested the spirits, seeking Jesus to prove the truth (Acts 17:10-11; 1John 4:1). They didn’t delay, but hastened to act upon the word given them. As they fixed their eyes upon Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2), they were changed (2Corinthians 3:18). They found the word of the angels to be true, so they received the heavenly message into their hearts and became the messengers of heaven, themselves. What was told to them, they told to others.
The birth of our Lord was of supreme importance to all people on the earth (Luke 2:10). The coming of Jesus was Good News and cause for great joy. There were no threats of judgment or cause for fear. Jesus was lying in the place where animals came to feed (Luke 2:12), typifying that he is our Bread of life (John 6:35, 48). Peace and goodwill has come from God to all mankind at last.
Luke 2:1-7 perfectly illustrates that God is always in control in human affairs (cp. Daniel 4:28-37; Isaiah 54:17). The Messiah was born in Bethlehem as prophesied in Micah 5:2. This was done because an emperor desired to take a census (the first of its kind) of all his subjects. Joseph had to register in the city where his records were kept, because he was of the seed of David, the King, and could be viewed as a rebel. Nevertheless, these very ordinary events complimented the word of God but hid his extraordinary work from plain view. Though the affairs of men had no godly purpose, the work of God was fulfilled through human efforts in mundane affairs.
May God help us to see the truth that his will cannot be hindered or helped by the desires of men.