Monday, December 23, 2013

"Why Was The Lord Of Glory Placed In a Manger?"

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  Luke 2:1-7

The birth of Jesus is a time surrounded by many miracles. There are angelic appearances, a virgin conception, split-second timing as to the precise moment of His birth. The hand of God is highly visible in the birth of the Lord Jesus into this world.  However, every time I look afresh at the birth of the Lord Jesus, I never cease to be amazed by the simple statement made in verse 7, "And 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."

To me, the thought that the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords would come to this world and be placed in a manger is almost beyond my level of comprehension.  A manger is a feeding trough for farm animals.  It wasn't a bad place for feeding sheep or cattle, but to my mind it was certainly no place for a baby to be placed, much less the Son of God.  However, as I think about this great truth, I realize that there are some pretty important reasons why Jesus was placed in a manger at His birth.

"Why Was The Lord Of Glory Placed In a Manger?"

   Because Of Alienation
Verse 7 plainly says that Jesus was placed in this makeshift cradle because there was no room available for Him and His family in the inn there in Bethlehem.  Isn't it sad that when God came to the earth to redeem sinners, men responded by putting up a no vacancy sign?  Well, things haven't changed much in the intervening 2,000 years!  There is still no room for Jesus in society, schools, many homes, most lives and, sadly, in some churches. He was unwanted then, and for the most part, He still is!

   Because Of Association
When Jesus allowed Himself to be laid in that manger, He was identifying Himself with those He came to save.  There are three great areas of men's lives that Jesus came to identify with:
1.    Mankind's Poverty - He knows about our needs - "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9

2.    Mankind's Problems - He knows about our struggles.  He knows about the trials we face and He has identified Himself with them. Therefore, He is able to help us through our troubles and meet the needs of our lives.

3.    Mankind's Priorities - He detested worldly pomp and riches - When Jesus came to this world, He knew that mankind was basically greedy and in love with wealth and the pursuit of it. He came to teach us that there is a higher priority in life. And, that priority is the glory of the Father!

Luke said this about Jesus - Luke 16:15, "for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." 

He was born in that humble manger to remind men that the greatest aspiration of the human soul is to seek the glory of Almighty God ahead of everything else.

Scripture to Claim:
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Philippians 2:5-7

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