The birth of Jesus

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
Luke 2:1-21

Christmas is a time for celebration. The weary world rejoices because a Savior is born. Heaven and nature sing because God’s plan to save the human race has been put into motion.

Yet there’s another side to the Advent season that we should not forget. You see, everything that brings us joy about this season cost Jesus dearly. By being born as one of us, Jesus made himself vulnerable to pain, rejection and loneliness. He put aside his heavenly glory to live a painful 33 years on earth.

He was mocked by people who should have been on their knees worshiping him. He was beaten by people who would have trembled in fear if they could have seen who he really is. He was crucified by people who would later trust in him to save them from eternal death. Everything that benefited us hurt Jesus. Yet still he came, because there was no other way.

This Christmas, as we celebrate Jesus’ birth—God’s gift to us—let’s remember how much that gift cost.


Dear Lord, we can’t imagine what it was like for you to give up your glory to come to earth as one of us. Remind us always of the sacrifice that made this joyous season possible. Amen.

This devotional is drawn from the NIV Once a Day at the Table Family Devotional.

1 comment

  1. Obinna favour says:

    Now that I know all we enjoy that is giving us a sleepless night, and causing us to keep malice against each other even in the church, how do I appreciate Christ beside just Christmas grooves?

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