Can You Beat That?
Our text is one of the best known and most beloved in scripture. It’s the brief account of the birth of Jesus and the events which surrounded it. But this short narrative contains so much amazing information that we must pause and reflect upon it.
First we see God’s hand in the decree of Caesar for a census to be taken. This plays directly into the fulfillment of the prophecy (Micah 5:2) which speaks of Bethlehem’s being the birthplace of the Messiah. Interesting (as always) that God would use a pagan to help fulfill prophecy. Can you beat that?!
As Joseph and Mary journeyed to Bethlehem, it is noteworthy that all the world was also moving at the time. Everyone was returning “to his own city” in order to be registered. People were traveling, routines were interrupted, and plans were put on hold. Imagine, the whole world was in a state of flux when the Savior was born into the world. Can you beat that?! Little did the world know what upheavals would come as a result of what was transpiring in that stable in that little village during this time of their inconvenience.
But God wanted the world to know what was happening, and He did it in His own way - as always! He sent angels to make the announcement of the birth of this Babe who was Christ the Lord. But the angels didn’t appear to kings or priests or prophets or to a great throng gathered at the temple, but to some shepherds, at night, out in the fields. Can you beat that?! Frightened at first, then wonderfully curious, they went to find the Child. And when they did we might say that they were the first humans to speak the gospel for they told those who were there what the angel had said - “today...there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
A pagan’s decree, an interrupted world, an obscure couple, a small village, some lowly shepherds out in their fields at night, and the greatest announcement which the world had ever heard! Can you beat that?!