Scripture: Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
Huh? While we routinely think of the baby at Christmas, it wasn’t what the Jews expected. The story of Jesus is not what even the Godly Jews of the Old Testament would have expected. Let’s look at three things that our unexpected from that day.
Manger: No one expected that the Messiah would be born in such a poor family that he would be laid in a manger. He was to be a king from David’s line and born in Jerusalem the capital so that He would be trained to lead the nation back to greatness. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the city of David, and was of the line of David. Yet, His birth showed that He was the king for all since it was shepherds and townspeople who surround Him at His birth.
Virgin Mother: An unmarried pregnant woman was not what the Jews had in mind for the mother of the Messiah. Mary probably bore the stigma of being a loose woman all of her life. Yet, we know that she was a virgin at Jesus’ birth. Only a sinless one could die for our sins on the cross. That would never happen if the child was born to a man and a woman. It was because the Holy Spirit conceived the child in her womb that the Messiah would be God and Man ready and able to do the ministry set before Him.
Vulnerable: Over the years, the church has promoted stories of the infant or toddler Jesus doing miracles. It is hard to think of the Messiah, yet alone the son of God, being vulnerable. Herod would try to kill Jesus and others might have tried if they saw a miracle working infant. Yet, God chose Joseph to protect Jesus for this reason. Through a series of dreams, God directed Joseph first to Egypt and then to Galilee so that Jesus could grow up in peace. The salvation of the world could have been destroyed, but God protected the child so that we might be saved.
God doesn’t always do things as we expect in our lives either. I think of the hardships that Mary and Joseph endured so that the birth of the Messiah could be done God’s way. Sometimes life takes us in unexpected ways. It can take us longer to get to our destination or be harder than we thought. Yet, God always has a reason. Jesus had to be born this way and not in any way that the church or Disney might imagine. He was to be the savior of all. He was to be a true man who was born with vulnerabilities and who lived among us all. Lord, I am ready to go wherever you take me. It may be hard, but I know that the destination will be more than I ever expected.