While sitting on the train this week, I took the opportunity to read the story of Jesus’ birth again. As I opened my bible and found the beginning of the book of Luke, I asked the Holy Spirit to speak something new to me.
The events began to unfold and I tried my best to imagine how the characters would be feeling. It must have been quite incredible and rather overwhelming for Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah to all have had angels of the Lord appear to them in such a short period. Of course for Mary and Elizabeth it was even more outrageous because the chances of either of them having babies in a natural way were definitely zero!
I must admit I was slightly jealous when I got to Luke 1:15 and read that John the Baptist had been filled with the Holy Spirit before he was even born! Also, I had never picked up on the fact that Mary had gone to stay with Elizabeth for the last three months of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. I can just imagine the two of them talking late into the night and getting quite carried away with excitement! I’m sure they could barely contain themselves as they eagerly anticipated the births of these two miracle babies.
Finally, Mary and Joseph were travelling to Bethlehem and Luke 2:6 says that ‘the time came for the baby to be born’. I wonder what was going through Mary and Joseph’s minds as they arrived in Bethlehem. They both knew very well that this was no ordinary baby – it was the Son of God no less! I wouldn’t be surprised if they half expected that God would have gone ahead of them and prepared some kind of 5 star hotel for this royal baby to be born in...
...but no. Not a 5 star hotel. No hotel at all in fact. Not even a room!
God chose perhaps the worst conditions Mary could have imagined. “Why did You do that?” I asked the Lord as I got to this part of the story. Into my heart came a few possible reasons. Firstly, if they had been tucked away in a posh hotel room somewhere, would the shepherds and the Magi have been able to find them? Would they have missed out on the blessing of those beautiful and expensive gifts they received? Not to mention the amazing confirmations that this really was the Son of God! Secondly, would it have been fitting for the Son of God who Himself later said that he had come ‘to serve and not to be served’ to have had maids and servants running around, fluffing his pillows and caring for His every need?
What is abundantly clear from this story is that God will often choose to do things in a way that completely offends our minds and goes against all our fleshly desires for comfort. Why? Because He has a greater purpose. His ways are not our ways, but we have a choice. If we choose to let go of our human understanding and cravings, and instead yield to Him, we will see extraordinary things happen and our lives will bear an abundance of eternal fruit.
Prayer: Father, thank You that You loved us so much that You sent Your Son into this world. Thank You that You sent Him in all humility, not to have a privileged existence but to make Him familiar with hardship and suffering, to really know what it’s like for us down here. Thank You for Your wonderful ways. Please forgive me for the times I have fought against Your ways, because my flesh wanted something different, something more comfortable. Help me to yield to You, even when I don’t fully understand, and may Your Holy Spirit overshadow me just like it did Mary, so that I may be able to do extraordinary things in Your name and for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.