The Birth of Jesus
Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.
No other birth in human history holds as much significance as the birth of Christ. The incarnation of deity establishes the atonement of humanity as no other birth.
The incarnation relates to God the Son taking upon Himself a complete, sinless human nature consisting of a body, soul, and spirit, thus making Jesus both human and divine. John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
The Eternality of the Son of God - John 1:1-5: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
Christ’s coming was prophesied of old. Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Isaiah 9:7: “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” It was prophesied that Christ would be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” It was prophesied that a virgin would bring forth the Messiah. Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
God even set up the world for the coming of the Messiah. Luke 2:1-3:“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.” The name Caesar is a title similar to that of president. The name Augustus is an adjective that means august, reverend, orhonored. Caesar Augustus (Gaius Octavius) was born September 23, 63 B.C. His mother Atia was the daughter of Julia, the sister of Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar adopted Gauis as his own son in 43 B.C. Eventually, Gaius Octavius, now called Gauis Julius Caesar, pushed out Lepidus and Mark Anthony for the throne. Caesar Augustus ruled 45 years and unified the Roman Empire. Under his rule, the Roman Empire extended from Western Europe to the Middle East. He brought Pax Romana(Roman Peace). Caesar Augustus established the framework for the coming of Christ.
Why was there no room at the inn? Luke 2:4-7: “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And 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.” Although Joseph took Mary to Bethlehem for Caesar’s tax, the place of his ancestral home, they were not among friends. No one welcomed them. No one invited them in. No one made room for them. This reveals that they were not wanted. Joseph was marked by the fact that he was still willing to care for a woman pregnant with a child that was not his. Mary was considered by many to be immoral. Years later, the religious leaders even suggested that she was immoral (John 8:41).
God sent the angels to tell the shepherds of the birth of the Messiah. Luke 2:8-18: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 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. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 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, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us, And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” The shepherds in the hills around Bethlehem raised the sheep that would be sacrificed in the Temple at Jerusalem. They were blessed with the news of the Lamb of God that would take away the sins of the world.
The story does not end here. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Salvation comes through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” God not only reconciles us to God, He also gives us the ministry of reconciliation. We have the privilege to share the gospel with others. We have the opportunity to be like the shepherds and see the Christ, as well as run and tell others.