Matthew 2:11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Long before Jesus was born, there was a group of people who studied the prophesies of the coming Messiah, hoping that one day they would be among those who would crown Him as king. The Magi were men of the east who had been watching for the Promised One for many years, each generation passing along the information to the next. Imagine being among those who finally got to see the Christ face to face. Imagine how that would make you feel. It would make you want to worship.
And so the wise men, as we call them, set out to find the child, for that very purpose. They longed to see Him and worship Him, bringing gifts with great significance. Because He was a King, they brought Him gold, because He was the great Healer, they brought Him frankincense, and because He would die for the sins of mankind, they brought Him myrrh. These were thoughtful gifts, they showed what the Magi thought of Jesus. They were not arbitrary.
So what will you bring before the King to lay down at His feet? What will you offer Him in worship?
Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
What more needs to be said of Jesus’ birth? What more can be said? God came down to us. He humbled Himself to be born in a manger. He left His kingdom in heaven to be among the animals in a stable. Then He grew up to die on a cross for the sins of the entire world.
It’s hard to even comprehend. How could this be? That God would condescend to our level and take on flesh so as to provide a way for salvation… that’s beyond anything our insufficient human minds can fathom. He didn’t have to do it. He didn’t have to save us. But He did, and He chose to do it.
He was not only the High Priest who would provide the perfect, ultimate sacrifice, He was also the sacrifice. He paid the ultimate price for humanity. But first, He came down as an infant. First, He was Mary’s baby boy, wrapped up in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. First, it was Christmas.
Luke 2:6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
After all of the prophesy, all of the build up, all of the preparation; the time came for Jesus to be born into the world as a child. The second person of the Trinity, God the Son, became a helpless baby boy. He humbled Himself to the point of becoming a newborn infant to a poor teenage girl.
Though descended from the line of a king, He stepped out of eternity to become a servant. That baby who so desperately depended on His mother for life had created life from the very beginning. He, the Father, and the Spirit set it up so that at just the right time, He would enter into time and space and become one of us.
We may think today that we wish he’d have been born in our own time so that we could literally walk with Him as the disciples did, but that’s not how it was meant to be. The plan from the very beginning included that day, at that time, in that stable, to that mother, under that star. The inn? He was never going to be born in an inn. The trip to Bethlehem? He wasn’t to be born in Nazareth. That wasn’t the plan. He came at just the right time. And we should thank God that He did.
Matthew 1:19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
Who was Joseph and why is it important? We so often talk about Mary because she is the virgin mother who was chosen by God to bear the Savior. It was Mary who conceived by the Holy Spirit. But Joseph was chosen by God to be part of this story as well.
Joseph was a descendent of David, a requirement for the prophesy of the Messiah to come true. He was the one who was from Bethlehem in Judea, where the Savior was to be born. It was Joseph who had to return there for the census. But why did he bring Mary along with him? He wasn’t required to. Surely one of Mary’s relatives could have cared for her while Joseph made the journey to his hometown. But word had gotten out about this “virgin” who had conceived a child. The pressure was put on Joseph to divorce her, or worse, stone her to death. Joseph likely brought her along to protect her and the child.
But why would he do this? We learn from the Bible that Joseph was a just man. And why should that surprise us? This was to be the man who would play the role of father to the Son of God while he was growing up. Why would God have picked anyone short of a just man who had integrity and character? Mary was chosen with good reason, and so was Joseph. God provided the perfect settings for Jesus to come into the world.