It was just another ordinary day in a city of Galilee, named Nazareth; when the young girl, Mary, had a most unusual visit. Luke 1:26 -38
The angel Gabriel came to Mary, who was legally pledged to be married to Joseph. Gabriel told Mary she was most blessed among women and that God had found high favor with her. Of course, Mary was “troubled at his saying”, and wondered, as any of us would, what is going on?
“No worries,” Gabriel said. God would place a baby boy in her womb, she was to name Jesus. He would be the Son of the most High. The King to reign over Israel forever.
Mary said “How shall this be, I am a virgin?”
“The Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you. The holy baby you will give birth to shall be called the Son of God. Your cousin Elizabeth, has conceived a son in her old age… For with God nothing is impossible.” Mary was more than willing to go along with God’s plan.
What crossed Mary’s mind after the angel left? How would she explain this to her fiancé, and the family. Oh goodness, the family! In those days, a pregnant Mary would have been stoned to death for committing adultery.
Mary went “in a haste,” to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Surely Elizabeth could relate to her. The angel said Elizabeth also experienced a miracle pregnancy. Elizabeth and Zacharias were an old barren couple. When Mary greeted Elizabeth, the baby Elizabeth carried leaped in her womb and was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Elizabeth immediately began prophesying about Mary’s baby and of her own unborn child. Elizabeth’s baby turned out to be the famous John the Baptist. Luke 1:42-80
“Supernaturally pregnant? Mary… Really?” God took care of Joseph’s doubt. Matthew 1:18-21
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately. The angel of the Lord appeared in a dream.
“Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. You will call her son, Jesus, which means Savior: for He shall save His people from their sins.” All doubt erased, Joseph took Mary as his wife, but did not consummate the marriage till after the birth.
The time approached for Jesus’ birth. There was a decree for a census, all men were to return to their family of origin to be accounted for and taxed. Joseph took his very pregnant wife to the city of David, AKA Bethlehem, approximately 80 miles away. On a donkey? Ouch!
Most of us know the story of the infant King, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and placed in a trough (manger) used as a bassinette. Surely those extra potty stops made them late because all rooms were filled.
At that very time of Jesus’ birth, and as the rest of Bethlehem slept soundly after another ordinary day, a supernatural event came upon the shepherds on the country side. Luke 2:8-20
The angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: they were terrified. The angel said, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
”Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
A royal announcement for a Royal Baby.
“And they (the shepherds) came with haste, and found Mary, Joseph and the babe lying in a manger.” just as the angels said. They glorified God and told everyone what they saw and heard.
Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
Mary and Joseph took the baby to the temple in Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. Luke 2:21-40
A devout man named Simeon, had been waiting for the birth of the Christ Child. The Holy Spirit told him he would not die until he saw the child. When the young couple arrived,
“Then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now let thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles (the non-Jews), and the glory of thy people Israel.”
And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him.
“And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
A prophetess named Anna, also recognized the baby.
“And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spoke of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”
Okay, I have already heard the Christmas story, so what’s the point of this long post?
(Genuinely sorry about the length)
While the birth of the Christ Child had been prophesied, no one was suspecting his birth those very days. Well, maybe Simeon and Anna were. The town was going about its business, while unbelievably, supernatural events prophesized long before were manifesting themselves under their very noses.
This was the time and place chosen for this monumental, life changing event. The birth of Jesus.
Another powerful event happened 33 years later. Jesus healed the lame and the blind and spent most of His time telling people about the love of the Father, and warning them that hell was a very real place. He also spoke of peace and freedom.
His followers lost all hope as they watched a bloody, severely beaten Jesus struggle to carry His cross on His way to be crucified.
“Some savior,” they thought, “can’t even save himself. We thought he would free us from Roman oppression.”
His mother watched as blood dripped down her son’s shredded body and unto the ground in front of her. Indeed, Simeon’s words had come true. What must it have been like as she heard Jesus’ moans of pain? That invisible sword pierced right through her soul at that very moment. Jesus must have talked about the moment with her, but no amount of talk about His holy mission could have prepared a mother for this.
Even in agonizing pain, Jesus gave John charge over Mary, as it was the oldest son’s duty to care for his widowed mother. John was His replacement. What a son!
It was this very moment of offering Himself up as the Lamb to be slain, that another massive, supernatural event would change the face of human history forever. Jesus indeed set the whole world free by His death on the cross. The final sacrifice required.
“It is finished.” He said. And it was.
This was the day God died for humanity.
Yet, the people of Jerusalem walked around their city as did the rest of the world, completely unaware what this day meant for their own eternity. They wondered what was for supper, what to plant in the garden, how much they owed for taxes.
His Kingdom was not of this world, He had told them. He was here to correct the spiritual damage caused by the fall of Adam and Eve. He was setting the world free from their sins. It was up to them to believe and ask for forgiveness.
The day He rose from the dead was just another ordinary day for most of the people of the world, also. They had no clue the extent of the sacrifice God’s love and grace had been for them and what it meant that He defeated death!
Today, we still go around minding our own business. We worry about what to make for dinner, if our shoes match our outfit, what to plant in the garden, what movie to watch, or which bill to pay first. We get caught up with the everyday, ordinary stuff,
Yet, huge things of God planned long ago, may also be going on right under our noses, and we have little idea of it.
The King is coming again, perhaps even very soon, perhaps even today! Are we ready?
It has been my experience that if the enemy cannot shift our hearts away from God, he will pile busywork on us to keep us so distracted, that we are not letting God’s love, joy, thoughts, ministry, or will flow through us.
Are! We! Ready!