Friday, December 8, 2023

A God Who Understands

But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58 NLT)

The reception that the world gave Mary and Joseph before Christ was born is typical of the reception it gave Jesus when He was here on this earth. Jesus Himself said, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head” (Luke 9:58 NLT).

We’ve romanticized the story of Jesus’ birth in our Nativity scenes, with Mary, Joseph, and the baby in a stable full of adoring animals. Meanwhile, the shepherds and wise men look on as a bright star shines in the distance and angels fly overhead.

But the reality is that the birth of Jesus was cold, unsanitary, and difficult. He was wrapped not in satin but in cheap rags. That doesn’t diminish the story. Rather, it enhances it to show the humiliation that Christ went through to enter this world of ours.

It symbolizes His entire life on Earth from the cradle to the cross. Jesus could have been born in the most elegant mansion on the ritziest boulevard in the Roman Empire. He could have had aristocratic parents. He could have had the finest clothes from the most exclusive shops. And He could have had legions of angels at His beck and call.

But He did not. Instead, He laid it all aside.

Think about it: Jesus was born in a cave. He borrowed food to feed a crowd. He borrowed a coin to illustrate a truth. And He rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey and celebrated Passover in a borrowed room. He even died on a borrowed cross that was meant for another: Barabbas. Then He was laid in a borrowed tomb that belonged to Joseph of Arimathea.

C. H. Spurgeon said that Jesus was “infinite, and an infant—eternal, and yet born of a woman . . . supporting the universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother’s arms.”

Philippians 2:6-7 points out, “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being” (NLT).

He who was larger than the universe became an embryo. Jesus Christ was deity in diapers.

Jesus was God in Heaven. Then He was God as an embryo, God as a baby, God as a man, God on the cross, and God rising again. He never ceased to be God. But He did lay aside some of the privileges of deity.

Philippians goes on to say, “When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (2:7-8 NLT).

Jesus humbled Himself and walked this earth and breathed our air and lived our life. And then He died our death. We have a God in Heaven who understands what it’s like to walk through this life. He literally felt our pain. And He went through all of this for us.

Copyright © 2023 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

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