12 Days of Giveaways - Spin & Win! Sign up before Dec. 25th to win daily prizes and a $250 Amazon.com Gift Card. Find out details.
Blogs

The time came (Luke 2 v 1-7)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

Most parents-to-be today pack an overnight bag and work out the quickest route to the hospital, to keep the great arrival as straightforward and stress-free as possible. The details of the Christmas story are so wellknown to us that it’s easy to miss the traumatic nature of the greatest of all arrivals…

• Imagine you knew nothing of the first Christmas. If Mary’s baby is God’s Christ, how and where might you expect Him to be born?

Read Luke 2:1

Anticlimax

• What factors make this birth so difficult?
• Who attends this king’s birth?
• What is hugely anticlimactic about the coming of “the Son of the Most High”?

What remarkable humility of God! Not only was He willing to live among His creatures in His creation; He was prepared to be born in uncomfortable surroundings, without any pomp or ceremony; without anyone really noticing. He doesn’t only know what it is to be human; He knows what it is to be an unnoticed, average human.

But even in this anonymous arrival, God’s hand is at work…

An emperor

• Where is Jesus born (v 4-6)?
• Why are Joseph and Mary there (v 1-3)?

What power! With a single stroke of a pen, this emperor can dictate the movement of countless people. Rome takes no account of pregnancy or inconvenience. Caesar speaks; Joseph and Mary move.

Read Micah 5:2

• Who does God promise will come from Bethlehem (v 2)?
• What will he do, and what will life be like for his people (v 4-5a)?

Lying behind the hand of Caesar ordering this tax census, a greater hand is arranging things according to a larger plan. A greater emperor even than the Roman one is in charge: and Jesus is born, not because of decisions made in Rome, but
because of decisions made in heaven.

....................................
TIME OUT
Caesar Augustus encouraged his people to worship him as a god. By the time Luke wrote his historical Gospel, Christians were beginning to come under pressure to deny Jesus as Christ and bow down to the emperor.
Luke wants his readers to see that God’s Christ isn’t a normal king. He wasn’t born like a king; He won’t live like a king; He certainly won’t die like one. But He’s still God’s promised King.
• How would this passage have encouraged Christians in Luke’s day?
• What in the world today are you tempted to worship as more powerful than Jesus?
....................................

This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

Click here and enter the code bstexplore56 when you check out to get the current quarter’s Explore for $5.84, a 10% discount.

Click here and enter bstexploresub when you check out to buy a year’s worth at 25% off—just $16.

Keep a record of what God is teaching you with "my bible" at biblestudytools.com

more bible reading plans

 
Originally published December 24, 2011.

Read more Christian blogs at Christianity.com.  You can read blogs about church history, Bible characters, theology,  apologetics, and much more.  Discover study tips on learning the Bible.  Learn new truths about all 66 books of the Bible.

Editors' Picks

  • The Connection between Halloween & Reformation Day
    The Connection between Halloween & Reformation Day
  • "The Bible Has So Many Contradictions!"
    "The Bible Has So Many Contradictions!"
  • 3 Ways to See God in Your Suffering
    3 Ways to See God in Your Suffering