In the first-century Greco-Roman world of the New Testament was a highly stratified and class conscious one. At the top was Caesar and the political ruling class, followed by landed estate owners and decorated military leaders. Roman citizens outclassed non-Romans, and on and on down the ladder. Then, of course, on the lowest rung were slaves.
It is into this highly stratified world that Jesus is born. And in our passage today, Luke goes out of his way to make sure we don’t miss the lowly origins of Jesus.
This is not the story we would have expected. Who would ever have thought that when the King of Heaven came to town He’d move in on wrong side of the tracks? But He shows up this way on purpose to reveal Himself to the world and to us.
In these familiar verses of the Christmas story, we will see three things:
- The Lord’s Sovereignty: Luke wants us to see that although Caesar Augustus might be calling the shots on earth, the Lord reigns over all, including the affairs of mankind. Nothing can thwart the advent of God’s redemptive plan.
- The Lord’s Extravagancy: Luke wants us to see that that Lord comes for all, the lowest and highest, the richest and the poorest, and everyone in between. How extravagant of God that He invites us all!
- The Lord’s Modesty: Luke wants us to see in the manger that the Lord humbles before all. Jesus is the Lord exalted above all because He humbled Himself before all. Jesus was laid in a manger because He came to be devoured; He was born to be swallowed up by death; He came to be the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep.
Takeaway: Jesus is good news of great joy for all people.
Anyone, anywhere, at anytime can come to Jesus and find life. You don’t need to have it all together because all are welcome at His manger.
Watch the Living the Message episode here: https://youtu.be/ZGwji-a2m38