“And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12)
Babies are helpless, totally dependent on the care of others, completely incapable of meeting any of their own needs. They squawk and cry to communicate, bawl when hungry, wail when sleep-‐deprived.
The incomparable High King allowed himself to be entirely vulnerable, at the mercy of his creatures, handled and held by imperfect human beings. What kind of God would lower himself to such a defenseless position?
The shepherds were instructed to find the baby, and they would find the Savior. The angel proclaimed to them the extraordinary news that would provide the greatest joy for every people group under heaven. The Messiah had come on a specific day to a specific place, slicing through time and space, to be contained in flesh for one eternal reason: to fulfill the Law perfectly and pay the ransom price for us.
After thirty-‐three years of accomplishing the Father’s perfect will, when his time had come, he allowed them to manhandle and mistreat him because he had come to meet our needs. “Though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).
He became helpless to help us; vulnerable to vanquish sin; broken to bear the sins of the world. No wonder that one day, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:10-11).
The shepherds heard that good news first and “made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child” (Luke 2:17). It’s still a great idea to follow their lead.
“He went without comfort so you might have it. He postponed joy so you might share in it. He willingly chose isolation so you might never be alone in your hurt and sorrow.” – Joni Eareckson Tada
Elizabeth A. Mitchell