A Strange Way to Save the World

The Parents (Luke 1:26-29)

God obviously didn’t hire a marketing firm before he launched His plan to redeem the world. Armed with surveys from focus groups, know-it-all consultants would have told the Almighty He was embarking on a PR disaster: An unwed mom? Engaged to a simple laborer?  Joseph and Mary were low-income and non-descript. They hailed from the nowhere town of Nazareth.

Why not a sharper, more dashing pair? Why not a first century version of William and Kate? Why these two hayseeds?

Maybe because God prefers to use ordinary people to accomplish His extraordinary plan for the world? Maybe because His ways really aren’t our ways (Isaiah 55:9)?

The Birth (Luke 2:7)

It’s a makeshift maternity ward, but this stable will have to do: Animal breath providing a tiny bit of heat against the cold night air. Some hay substituting as a mattress. A feed trough serving as a crib.

You have to hand it to Joseph for making the best out of a bad situation. You also have to wonder about this Child’s “grand entrance” into the world.

Born in a barn. What kind of a welcome is this for the One the prophet called, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6)? How can One born into such poverty and obscurity be the Savior of the world?

The Witnesses (Luke 2:8-9)

Scholars tell us that shepherds were the “used car salesmen” of ancient Israel. As a lot, they had a reputation for being shady and shifty. Nobody much believed the word of a “flock watcher.”

How ironic that when Messiah finally arrived, the angels of God announced that news not to those in palaces, nor to prophets and priests, but to a bunch of sketchy shepherds in the Bethlehem hills!

On the other hand, how fitting that shepherds would be the first to greet the One who would grow up to be called “the Lamb of God”!

The Point? (Luke 2:10-11)

“Good news of great joy for all people…A Savior is born!”

Merry Christmas!


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