Verse for Today: Saturday, December 24, 2011
Luke 2:15 – “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” On the night Jesus was born, the shepherds went to Bethlehem to see baby Jesus. They were not commanded to go and see the baby, but they had an urgency to see this Savior about whom the angels were singing. It is worth pondering over the reason why they wanted to go to the insignificant town of Bethlehem rather than to more important places. Had these shepherds gone to Greece we would have understood it as their quest for wisdom, knowledge and philosophy for which Greece was famous at that time. But human wisdom and knowledge would not solve life problems, for which they needed a Savior. When they learnt that He was born in Bethlehem, they went there to see Him. Had these shepherds gone to Rome, it would have been easier to understand because Rome was the centre of military might and the greatest power centre of that time to give protection and welfare. But military might and power would not solve man’s life problems, for which they looked for a Savior. So when they heard the heavenly announcement, it was a spontaneous response to go and see Him in Bethlehem. If these shepherds went to Jerusalem, it would have been reasonable because Jerusalem was the center of the great Jewish religion with its temple and priestly order of worship. But religion was unable to save these lost souls and solve their problems and so there was no use going to Jerusalem. They were moved by the presence of a Savior in the little town of Bethlehem and so quickly went to see Him. They found Him to be the answer to all their social, physical, mental and spiritual problems. They felt that the Savior born in a manger would be at their wave length and would accept them. The Lord gave these underprivileged people the opportunity to listen to the good news of the birth of the Messiah before the elite, the priests and the royals. These needy shepherds were the first to go and see the Savior in poor, old and insignificant Bethlehem. Today we all have the privilege and opportunity to see the Savior of Bethlehem who came to give us new life.
Dear reader, are you looked down upon by the elite of this world? Have you ever been rejected by the well-to-do, the wise, the religious and the powerful people around you? Are you feeling dejected, despised, mocked, pulled down and isolated by others? When the whole world rejects you, Jesus will accept you. He welcomes you to His presence without regard to any social, educational, religious or cultural stigma attached to you by the world. The Lord loves you and wants you to go to Him just as you are. Jesus came to Bethlehem to grip with the reality of poverty, discomfort, deprivation, social stigma, poor educational status or religious contempt. No matter what you are experiencing today, Jesus welcomes you. The closed doors of the Inns and the rejection of the people did not deter the Prince of Heaven to be born in Bethlehem. He humbled Himself to be born in a manger. As the true Shepherd he wanted to be symbolically with the sheep even at his birth! He was willing to express utter humility and wanted to identify Himself with the homeless and the rejected people of this world to give them a permanent home in heaven. When the angels presented the deplorable sign of a manger for the Savior to be born, the shepherds were excited to go to the manger to see the Prince of Glory who was willing to grip with the reality of their low estate. Today let us go to Bethlehem to revisit the humble King of the Universe and renew our humility before Him. Let us see Him as the One who identified with us in our low estate and died for us on the Cross of Calvary so that we could become princes and princesses with Him. Let us revisit the manger at Bethlehem to see His true humility and follow Him on the Calvary Road all the way to Golgotha.Micah 5:2 – “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me One who will rule over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Thought for Today The way of the cross is the prerequisite to revisiting Bethlehem to see the King in His humility and glory.