Let me pose a question. If Jesus had been born in a palace with servants, gifts of abundance, and a host of leaders worshipping His name, would we still believe in Him as we do now? Would He, being placed in a position of earthly leadership, be respected in the realm of Heavenly leadership?
People love stories of success. The more a person rises from the ashes of life, hard times, and difficult circumstances, the more they seem to be respected and regarded in awe. Why is that? Is it because it makes them appear to be more human, and more of a reflection of how God takes the impossible and makes it possible?
There was such a juxtaposition of circumstance at the moment that Christ was born. He was born to a family who loved Him, in the lowest of places; a manger surrounded by livestock. A place was made for Him. Pair that image with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, given to recognize the birth of a King. Talk about experiencing two ends of the spectrum! I do not think it was a coincidence that the inn was full and Jesus was born in a manger, however. Instead, I believe it was a part of God’s grand plan to show the extent of His power and glory.
Jesus was born with a title; the son of God. He was born with the authority given to Him by a God who wanted to show the world who He indeed was. Jesus came to connect with people. He craved connection if you will, and throughout His time on earth devoted Himself to not only bringing the glory of God to earth but in establishing community with people. Despite the incredible anointing on His life and death, He came to humbly serve His Father and those around Him.
From the moment Jesus was born, He was held in high regard by those who knew His purpose, but it was the acts that He did during His time on earth that paved the way for the greatness of God to shine forth. Jesus was the light in a world that didn’t know it was living in the dark, and through every kind word and display of the Kingdom, the greater the light permeated to those around Him. It was His humble beginnings, however, that made this possible. Because Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph, He was able to fully know how people lived and reacted to their circumstances. Jesus interacted with tax collectors, prostitutes, immigrants, working-class citizens, poor and unhealthy individuals, generals, religious leaders; you name it. His actions were only scrutinized once those in power realized that He was the son of God. But for everyone who was shown kindness, hope, and grace, Jesus was the person who they could not only relate to but put their faith in because He was one of them.
When Jesus died on the cross and took away our sins, He was humbling himself again to those around Him, to achieve something more significant than Himself and to bring forth the full glory of God. People despised Him, but people also wept for Him. In Jesus’s life on earth as one of His fellow man, His heart was known and understood, making His death all the more painful. If Jesus had lived in splendour and prominence, I do not think His death would have mattered in the same way it did. To push this a little farther, I do not believe Jesus Himself would have even known the impact that His actions would have.
In His humanness, there was a strength of a King. In His friendship, there was the love of His Father. In His servanthood, there was a leadership that people were desperate to know. In His birth, there was sacrifice. And in His sacrifice, there was an act of kindness so great, that we will never be able to fathom it.
“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.’” -Luke 2: 10-12