Verse of the Day Devotion: Luke 2:6:
“While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.” – Luke 2:6
Jesus was now born, in a manger where the animals were kept because they could not find any room in any of the inns because of the census that was decreed by Caesar. “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 2:7. This was in the town of Bethlehem, because Joseph was of the family of David and was no doubt born there, for each family was to go to the city where the head of the household was born. “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,” Luke 2:4
After the birth of Jesus, they were visited by shepherds who were keeping their sheep in the fields in the same region. ” In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12. This was such a momentous event, that these shepherds were alerted to the birth of the Messiah by angels. And it was not just one or two either. “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Luke 2:13-14.
This was an incredible declaration. Angels, whose number could not be counted, told these humble men that the Messiah, the coming King, the Savior of the world, had been born in the city of David, in a humble manger, within this small and what was considered an insignificant town. I cannot imagine how they must have felt. No wonder the angel told them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;” Luke 2:10.
When the angels disappeared, they immediately left the sheep to see what they had told them. “When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us. So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.” Luke 1:15-18. The shepherds eventually went back, glorifying God as they went for all that He had told them.
Mary, on the other hand, pondered all these things. She no doubt remembered what Gabriel had told her, and along with what she saw with the shepherds and everything else, she thought about them and what all this could mean. She kept them in her heart and no doubt pondered them often. She had obeyed God, offered herself as a hand maiden to do the will of God. And now what was prophesied had now come to fulfillment. What would this mean going forward? I am sure this probably came to her mind.
Several years later, they received a visit from magi, known also as astrologers or magicians from the east. “After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:9-11. These were wise men, who had probably read the prophesies of the coming king and were led there by God using a star as a guide. They gave very precious gifts and worshipped this child before they left. God gave them a warning. “And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.” Matthew 2:12.
I close this by again saying this was not a normal event. God prepared it from before the foundation of the world, and He guided many to observe it and give due worship to this child, the Son of the Living God. This is what Christmas is about. And this should be our focus and priority in our celebration of it. Giving gifts and decorating is not wrong, but it should not be the priority. Jesus is. Let us remember this as we rejoice during this holiday season.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.