And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)
For the last two weeks and in December 2019, I have been leading a Bible study on Facebook about the Book of Luke. The instructions that were given on Facebook about participating in this much-needed study are as follows: Beginning December 1, read one chapter of Luke each day through December 24. By Christmas Eve, you will have read all 24 chapters – an entire account of the birth, ministry, sacrifice on the cross, and resurrection of Jesus. You will wake up on Christmas day knowing who and why we celebrate. After the reading of each chapter, I post a complete lesson of takeaways, and my readers respond. What a glorious time we have.
For my message this week, I will share my exhortation of the second chapter of Luke because the main focus is on the events surrounding the birth of Jesus and His humble beginnings as well as a later event in His life.
Because everyone has to be taxed according to Caesar Augustus, Joseph takes his wife Mary to Bethlehem to take care of this responsibility. While they are there, the time comes for Mary to deliver. Jesus’s birth site is not “pretty.” He is born among the animals and is laid in a manger as there is no room in the inn. In other words, his beginnings are not extravagant — they are very humble. That innkeeper had no idea who he turned away.
When the angel makes known to the shepherds about the birth of Jesus, after the “praise and worship service” by the heavenly host and their departure, the shepherds leave to go to the city of Bethlehem to see what the angel has told them. After what they witness, they go abroad and share what they have seen and have been told. What a wonderful world this would be if we would “share the good news” instead of what “the street committee” concocts.
An angel of the Lord tells a man named Simeon that he will not see death until he has seen Christ. He believes the angel. After he has seen Jesus, holds Him up and blesses God, he is ready for departure because he has seen salvation.
The bottom line is that we should just do what God says to do, and everything will be all right. This man obviously wanted to be saved, so he believed what he was told. What was most powerful is that he blessed God, the baby Jesus, and His parents. He even foretells what is going to happen later on in Jesus’s life for many people.
Jesus and His parents soon return to Nazareth. Every year they go to Jerusalem for the feast. At this time Jesus is 12. While they are there, Jesus “gets away” from them, and as any parents would do, they are looking for Him, sorrowfully worrying. They find him in the temple three days later listening to and asking questions of the doctors. Jesus wants to know why His parents are concerned. He tells them that He was about His Father’s business.
The writer of Luke uses a number of comparisons and contrasts of people, events, etc. throughout the book. In this chapter, two main events happen in the life of Jesus, but at two different places and under two different sets of circumstances.
Jesus is born in Bethlehem under unexpected circumstances, although He is Christ the Lord. There is no room in the inn for Him and His parents. The site where His birth takes place is nothing like where you would expect a baby to be born. Shepherds seek this baby Jesus and believe He is Christ the Lord, the King!
At the age of 12, Jesus is in Jerusalem in the temple listening to and questioning the doctors. The people are amazed at this. He is about His Father’s business. The temple obviously is a more acceptable place (site) for teaching and learning. Jesus is not turned away from the temple.
Some very significant lessons to be learned from this chapter are as follows:
n If you want to see Jesus, you must believe and stand still to see the salvation of the Lord.
n Humility is key.
n You can be saved anywhere, even in the lowliness of places.
n The Father has much work for us to do. Be about His business.
n Is there room in your “inn” for Jesus? Your “inn” is your heart.
Have a wonderfully blessed week, be thankful in all circumstances, and never leave home without Him!