[4] And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, [5] to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. [6] And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. [7] And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2:4–7 ESV Read More

I once new a guy that had a rough life. He prided himself in telling you about all of the crazy things he did, like selling whiskey shots out of his locker at Bosse High School or sleeping in alleys by loud HVAC units so people wouldn’t notice his snoring. One story that always came up, though, was the fact that he was “born in the back of a 49 Chevy on Fulton Avenue cuz my momma couldn’t make it to the hospital on time. They just laid me down on the floorboards in newspaper.”

There is nothing crazier than hearing that story from the guy that lived it. Even better, when you ask him any questions about the circumstances, all he’d say is “I don’t remember. I mean, I was just a baby!”

You can’t hear that story and just be settled. There had to be a thousand things going on around that! Who owned the Chevy? How far was the hospital? What year was it? What in the world?

I hope the fact that Jesus was born in a manger hasn’t been lost on us. Very very few of us own anything that could be called a manger. Very few of us are near livestock to need anything like that.

But that’s what they put Jesus in when He was born. Not out of any tradition, but out of necessity.

Something was going on, and mostly what we get from it is a guess. Every year or so a new theory comes out that says they were in a cave, or a guest room, or a barn, or a stable, etc. That just points to the fact that, like my friend Steve, Jesus’ life was marked by His birth, and His birth was crazy!

The Son of God wasn’t born a hero. He could have picked anybody but He picked some poor folks that were far from home. For whatever reason, they weren’t offered hospitality in a period where hospitality was legendary. His difficult and rejected birth was a template of His life. In humility and struggle, He came into the world. In rejection and shame, He would leave it on Good Friday.

And if not for the power and wisdom of God, that is how the story would have ended.

Romans 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

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