Mangers Hide a Great Truth
As we lay out the decorations of Christmas an important part is the manger. As we place Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, sheep, shepherds and the Magi it reminds us of God’s wonderful gift in His Son and holds a special message for all.
Unmarried women found pregnant could die for breaking the Law of Moses and be stoned at her father’s house.(Deuteronomy 22:21) Joseph had the law on his side but wanted a quiet solution to Mary’s condition. Joseph accepted this child and Mary as his wife but faced years of ridicule to obey God.
Shepherds announced His Son’s birth! The loving image of Jesus as the Great Sheperd is a different reality than shepherds during the time of Christ. Mistreated and losing civil rights, shepherds could not testify in court proceedings.(www.epm.org) These misfits, according to the religious leaders of Israel, testified throughout the city of Bethlehem about Jesus.
Gentiles to His Son’s birthday
In our mangers, three kings or magi come to worship the One called King of the Jews. Magi are a priesthood of the Medes with profound and extraordinary religious knowledge. Some Magi proved expert in the interpretation of dreams and were established over the state religion of Persia by Darius the Great. The Magi became the supreme priestly caste of the Persian Empire. Holding Daniel of the Bible in high regard, they may have been exposed to the prophecy of the coming King. Those who looked to the stars for guidance followed the Star to Bethlehem.
God’s invitation to all
A woman pregnant before marriage, a godly Jewish man, mistrusted shepherds and gentile magicians invited to the manger of the Son of God. In the greatness of God’s sovereignty we see the depth of his mercy. All are invited to the manger of the Lord to be fed for a MANGER was used to feed.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34:8 NIV