Babies have been born in some weird places. We hear news stories of babies being delivered in a vehicle by a friendly police officer, or on the front lawn of a hospital. Babies are delivered in homes, and probably in all sorts of other places, especially as we consider the miracle of birth around the world.
In a message about the birth of Jesus, an angel gave more instructions to shepherds in the fields:
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:12 NIV
Throughout history, Jesus may not have been the only baby to ever be born in a stable. However, even if this was not unique across time and space, this was still significant enough that it was part of the guidance from the angel to the shepherds. Being shepherds, perhaps they even knew the locations of all of the stables in town!
There seems to be a lot of searching for truth these days. Some of this takes the form of those who know the truth, but keep looking for something else that they like better (see 2 Timothy 4:1-5, or 2 Peter 3, for instance). Others, though, are genuinely trying to figure out the truth about the really important things in life, like “Why am I here?”, “What happens after my life on earth is over?”, “What is my purpose?” There are thousands of opinions on the answer to these key questions (and other questions like them), but there can ultimately only be one true, correct, legitimate answer for each of us.
The good news is that – like these shepherds – God has told us how to find Jesus. And, through Jesus, God the Father has shown us how to find Himself. While some religions require a lot of searching to find the truth, God made it pretty easy to find Him. Unlike beliefs where people try to find God, or try to earn his favor, Jesus showed us that Jehovah God reaches out to us, and tells us where to find Him. In fact, Jesus (who was the baby mentioned in the verse above) said the following during His ministry:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8 NIV
(In fact, if you’ve ever had to navigate through a large hospital to find out where a friend of yours is staying with their newborn baby, it’s probably easier to find Jesus than it is to get through some of those mazes!)
Having said this, while locations for births may vary, I think that cultures all around the world understand the importance of wrapping up a newborn baby. Sometimes, this might be a fancy receiving blanket, but other times (like unexpected deliveries) it might be a T-shirt or any nearby cloth. Babies are delicate and fragile, and it is our natural inclination to wrap them up and protect them against the cold and dangers of this world.
As mentioned in the previous article, God did not bring salvation through a reign of terror and fear-driven compliance. Instead, this baby (who we know as Jesus, the name prescribed for Him ahead of time by an angel) was indeed “meek and mild”, as the Christmas carol says. Having helped to create the world, God the Son was wrapped up by his mother, to protect Him from the elements.
Similarly, like Mary’s actions (see Luke 2:6-7), there are things that we should do when Jesus enters into our lives. Having earned power and authority through His obedience to God the Father, though, Jesus doesn’t need swaddling, anymore. Instead, God ends up taking care of us. Our response to Jesus should include acceptance (of His role in our lives as Lord and Savior), obedience (as an outpouring of love – and probably gratitude – to Him), and service (following His example of serving others, including us).
So, you don’t have to look far to find the truth about your place in this world. God loves you overwhelmingly, and didn’t make it difficult for any of us to find Him and get to know Him better. If you’d like to learn more, feel free to contact me, or talk with anyone else that you know to be a follower of Jesus. At the same time, you can start reading God’s Word (i.e., the Bible) at any of the links above (I suggest the references from Matthew or Luke, if you’re just getting started, and going from chapter to chapter) to see what God has to say to you!
From Sunday School lesson prepared for December 19, 2021
- The Lookout, December 19, 2021 © 2021 Christian Standard Media.
- Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.