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Jesus' birth

JESUS CHRIST OF
NAZARETH
The King of Glory stooped low to take humanity. He shunned all outward display. Jesus purposed that no attraction of an earthly nature should call men to His side. Only the beauty of Heavenly truth must draw those who would follow Him. He desired men to accept Him on the testimony of the Word of God. The angels watched to see how the people of God would recieve His Son, clothed in the garb of humanity. To the land where the light of prophecy had shone, the angels came. They came unseen to Jerusalem and the ministers of God's house. Already to Zacharias the Priest, as he ministered before the altar, the nearness of Christ's coming had been announced. Already the forerunner was born, and tidings of His birth and the significance of His mission had been spread abroad. Yet Jerusalem was not preparing to welcome her redeemer.
God had called the Jewish nation to communicate to the world that Christ was to be born of David's line, yet they knew not that His coming was at hand. In the Temple the morning and evening sacrifice pointed to the Lamb of God, yet even here was no preparation to recieve Him. Priests and teachers rehearsed their meaningless prayers and performed the rites of worship, but were not prepared for the revelation of the Messiah. The same indifference prevaded the land of Israel. Hearts selfish and world engrossed were untouched by the Joy that thrilled Heaven. Only a few were longing to behold the unseen. Angels attended Joseph and Mary as the journeyed from Nazareth to the city of David. The decree of Rome for enrollment of the peoples vast domain extended to the hills of Galilee. Caesar Augustus became God's agent in bringing
the mother of Jesus to Bethlehem. She was of the lineage of David, and the Son of David must be born in David's city. "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to me the One to be ruler of Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From Everlasting." >Micah5:2<
But in the city of the Royal line Joseph and Mary were unrecognized, unhonored. Weary and homeless, they traversed the narrow street to the eastern extremity of town, vainly seeking a resting place for the night. There was no room at the crowed inn. In a rude building where animals were sheltered, they atlast found refuge, and here the redeemer was born. The tidings filled Heaven with rejoicing. Holy beings from the world of light were drawn to Earth. Above the hills of Bethlehem and
a throng of angels waited the signal to declare the glad new to the world. The leaders of Israel might have shared the Joy of heralding the Birth of Jesus, but they were passed by. "For I will pour water on him who is thirsty. And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessings on your offspring:" >Isaiah44:3<
"Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness, He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous" >Psalm112:4<
~~~~~~~
ONLY THE SHEPHERDS
HEARD
~~~~~~~
In the fields where the boy David had led his flock, shepherds keeping watch by night talked together of the promised Saviour and prayed for His coming. And an angel of the Lord came upon them... And the angel said unto them, "Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great Joy, which shall be to all people." For
"Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." at these words visions of Glory filled the minds of the listening Shepherds. The Deliverer has come! Power, Exaltation, Triumph, are associated with His coming. But the angels prepared them to recognize their Saviour in poverty and humiliation; "You shall find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." the Heavenly messenger had quieted their fears. He had told them how to find Jesus. He had given them time to become accustomed to the divine radiance. Then the whole plain was lighted up with the bright shining of the hosts of God. Earth was hushed, and Heaven stooped to listen to the song, GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOODWILL, TOWARD MEN. Oh that today the human family could recognize that song. As the
angels disappeared, the shadow of night once more fell on the hills of Bethlehem. But the brightest picture ever beheld by human eyes remained in the memories of the shepherds. They "said to one another, let us now go even to Bethlehem, and see this miracle which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known to us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the baby Jesus lying in a manger." Departing with Joy, they made known the things they had seen and heard. "And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds." Heaven and Earth are no wider apart today than when shepherds listened to the angels' song. Angels from Heaven above will attend the steps of those in the common walks of life. In the story of Bethlehem is hidden "the depth of the riches
of the wisdom
and knowledge
of God. >Romans11:33<
We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the Throne of Heaven for the manger. Human pride stands rebuked in His presence.
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