Rejoicing in God’s Greatness

KEY VERSE: “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


JESUS was born in a manger, because, as the record states, “There was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7) There is no need to blame the innkeeper for turning Joseph and Mary away. To him they were no different from others. His inn was filled to capacity, so what could he do? He did not consciously turn away the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

The circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth are in a way paradoxical. While he was born in a stable, an angel announced his birth. It would be supposed that the birth of one important enough to have it announced by an angel would first of all have been made known to the religious rulers of Israel; but God chose humble shepherds instead as the ones to whom the angel would proclaim that happy message, “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 Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”—Luke 2:10,11

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” (vss. 13,14) Notice this does not say goodwill among men, but toward men. The thought is that through the birth of Jesus, God’s goodwill was being expressed toward men.

God’s goodwill toward men will be still further manifested in the establishment of his long-promised kingdom in the hand of Christ, the great king who will rule “from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” (Ps. 72:8) In that kingdom the dead will be raised to life, and tears will be wiped from all faces—a further manifestation of God’s goodwill toward his human creation. The birth of Jesus was a definite evidence that all he had promised to do would be accomplished.

But why did this highly exalted one from heaven visit the earth in such humble form, and under circumstances so lacking in splendor and glory? The apostle answers, saying that Jesus was made flesh “for the suffering of death.” (Heb. 2:9) As a man was “a little lower than the angels,” so Jesus partook of the same nature, that he might be the exact correspondence of the perfect Adam. Yes, Jesus was made flesh for the suffering of death, not to be a human king over the nations; for the main purpose of his first visit was accomplished when he tasted death “for every man.”

It was the death of the man Christ Jesus that opened the way for the restoration of the lost inheritance of life and rulership. This is what the apostle meant when he wrote, “We see not yet all things put under him, but we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, … that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Heb. 2:8,9) This statement by the Apostle Paul assures us that in due time all things will be put under Jesus, not as a man, but as a glorious divine being.

In Isaiah’s prophecy of Jesus’ birth we are assured that of the “increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, … to order it and to establish it.” (Isa. 9:6,7) God’s promise to David concerning his throne is prophetically described as the “sure mercies of David.” (Isa. 55:3; Acts 13:34) As the Lord explained, he would be merciful to David, and would not take away his throne as he had taken it from Saul.—Ps. 89:1-4

The kings of Judah were all the descendants of David, and despite the wickedness of most of them, he did not transfer the kingdom to another family. When Zedekiah was dethroned, David’s throne did not have an occupant for a time, and the kingdom became inactive. Jesus was next in line, the truly rightful heir.

But Jesus was killed, and there was none to “declare his generation.” (Isa. 53:8) He had no son to inherit the kingdom. From the natural standpoint this would have meant the end of this royal line. But God had a way. Paul tells us about it in Acts 13:34—“As concerning that he raised him [Jesus] up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he hath said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David”—made sure by raising the king from the dead! It was the greatness of God that accomplished this!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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