The Humble Saviour

17th December

““And you will recognise by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” . . . “They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.”

Luke 2:12-16

Jesus, the King of the world, the creator of the universe, humbled Himself and became flesh. Not only did He leave His royal throne, not only did He give up His divine privileges but He also was born to a poor, humble family and laid to sleep in an animals feeding trough (due to the fact that there was no lodging available for them). Moreover, He was wrapped in nothing more than strips of cloth to protect Him from the cool of the night.

This same Jesus was the One who allowed Himself to be sacrificed on the cross and give Himself as a ransom for the very people He created, to free them from the chains of sin that they themselves bound themselves with, when Adam and Eve rebelled against God. The baby Jesus, that is so famously acted out in nativity stories across the world, is the same Jesus that made a way for you to have eternal life and life free from the chains of sin, a life forgiven and an identity restored. It is in Jesus that we can have life and life in all it’s fullness.

Next time you see a nativity play, remember that Jesus humbly allowed Himself to be found in the form an innocent baby, so that years later, He could restore the relationship between humanity and God; that includes YOU!

Herod Knew….

16th December

He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of the law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote….” Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and …..told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find Him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship Him, too!

Matthew 2:4-5,7a,8

King Herod was sadly a man who lived in fear of his throne being usurped. He knew of the prophecies concerning the birth of Jesus the Messiah and was filled with jealously and hatred towards to Him. Herod’s jealously and hatred towards the ‘Messiah’ was so great that he ordered all the boys under 2 years old, in and around Bethlehem, to be executed.

Interestingly, the depth of Herod’s understanding of who the Messiah was meant to be, must have been greater than what we can read of in the text. He cunningly try to out-wit the wise man, stating that he too wanted to worship the new born ‘King’, but through God’s intervention they did not return to Herod (which added to his wrath). Yet Herod’s real intention was to wipe out the Man that would bring freedom and liberate the Jews from the Roman oppression, and in doing so, take Herod’s throne. Even more amazing, is the fact the leading priests and teachers of the law, also all knew of the prophecies regarding the birth of the Messiah.

Yet just like Herod, they too misunderstood who Jesus was and what He came to do. So much so that their eyes were blinded to see Jesus for who He really was… Emmanuel, God with us. They missed an opportunity to have a relationship with God, they missed an opportunity to experience God’s love and most importantly, they missed an opportunity to know God’s forgiveness of sins through His Son Jesus Christ, the God who saves.

Let us make sure that we too do not miss out on who Jesus was and is, and why He came to the earth. We can know all the prophecies in the world concerning Jesus’ birth but if our eyes are not open to see Him, we will miss Him, just like Herod and the priests.