Earth's Emperor Is Born
Dear God, thank You for drawing near to this world in Christ Jesus. What a visit it was and what a visitor he was. I welcome You, Lord.
Read LUKE 2:1-7
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).
What would it look like if God came to redeem us? Luke gives his answer. God comes into a world seemingly controlled by mighty emperors like the supreme Caesar Augustus, ruler of the Roman Empire. Caesar commands and people obey. He has commanded all his people (about 100 million) to return to their home towns to be counted. He is not concerned about the inconvenience. What matters is that he knows his resources. So Joseph, a descendant of David, travels with the heavily pregnant Mary 93 miles south to David’s home town, Bethlehem. Looking back, we know that our sovereign God was working in the chaos, ensuring that the ancient prophecy would be fulfilled (Mic. 5:2; Matt. 2:5-6).
Luke describes the birth of Jesus in scant terms. They arrive. There is no place for them in the katalyma. This is not an inn with an innkeeper but is “either some type of reception room in a private home or some type of public shelter” (Darrell Bock). Perhaps it is the home of a relative, already overrun with returnees. Into these humble circumstances, God’s Son is born in an animal shelter, either on the lower floor or in an adjoining stable or cave. While the situation is unhygienic, Jesus is welcomed with love, clothed and laid in an animal’s feeding trough.
So, when God comes what does it look like? God’s coming is unspectacular, contrary to expectations. It is humble, inconspicuous and unseen by the powers of the world. While emperors shout out commands to their subjects, God comes in obscurity. He is born in a small town among animals. That is our God. It is his pattern to plant seeds that slowly transform; to bring transformation through people who were once babes. He could come with might to smite, but rather comes with love to woo. Whatever the mess, God is at work and he is in control (Rom. 8:28).
Reflect on the coming of Jesus. What does it say about God, about power, about how we should live? What should we expect from God?
Sovereign Lord, Your Kingdom is breaking through today. I want to be a part of Your Kingdom now, and forever.
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