The Perfect Gift

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 all the people were on their way to register for the census, each to his own city. Now 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 betrothed to him, and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came 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

When I read this passage yesterday, something struck me differently. I have heard for years that Jesus was born in a manger. This time, however, God showed me the picture in a new light.

Jesus—the Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Savior of the world—Who could have been born in the grandest of settings, didn’t come that way. If you were told the Son of God is going to be born as a baby on earth, in what location would you envision that birth? Perhaps, we’d imagine a grand room with walls of gold and glistening gems. A palace, with servants ready to wait on His every desire. The best doctors—experts in their fields—would certainly be present, right?

That’s not how God did it. Jesus wasn’t born in a palace, surrounded by earthly glamour. When God sent Jesus, it was a remarkable display of love. Jesus’ birth was a beautiful gift in a humble setting.

Okay, so not glamourous in a worldly sense. But what would a humble birth look like? Maybe we’d think along the lines of a modest house, a cottage, or a roadside motel; perhaps even a period-appropriate Hyatt.

Not only was Jesus not born in a palace, but he wasn’t born in a house, either. The Bible tells us that there was no room for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in the inn. So, she wrapped him in cloths (not robes) and laid Him in a manger.

 According to the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, a manger is a “Feeding trough used for cattle, sheep, donkeys, or horses,” (page 1074). Jesus was laid in a place made for feeding animals, an incredible example of humility and love. If you ever feel like your social class doesn’t qualify you, remember that Jesus—the King of Kings, the Son of God—was born in a manger.  

Your earthly status doesn’t dictate your value in God’s eyes. You are cherished, valued, and loved by Him—so loved, in fact, that God sent His only Son for you.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16

God sent Jesus to earth to show us the way to live and to set us free from sin and death. We all have done wrong and deserve death, but Jesus died on the cross in our place, so we can be forgiven and have a personal relationship with God.

And that’s not the end: Jesus rose from the dead and is alive, seated at the right hand of God! Now, we too can have new life through Him!

This is what Christmas is about. Jesus has come! A Messiah—Savior—has been born! He has come for ALL: no matter your social class, occupation, skin color. He has come to set you free from sin and give you new life in Him.

Choose Jesus. Accept Him into your heart today. May the wonderful gift of His birth never be forgotten.

Merry Christmas!