A lot has been said and written about the incarnation and what an incomprehensable concept that the greatness of God became a man. However, that is, as I said, incomprehensable. We have no idea what it actually means to be God. But we do have some practice being human. As I began to think about the meaning of Christmas, a new biblical figure came to mind.
There was a time when God needed to send a man to save His people. That man was Moses. He was born in difficult circumstances, but then, interestingly, he was raised in Pharoah’s palace. He grew up in the lap of luxury. We can see from his example, that God can use many ways to save His people.
We know from scripture that the real Church, the saints who believe, are the bride of Christ. God could have come down in His heavenly Mercedes-Benz, rolled into town with thousands of cows, and purchased a bride for His Son with a flourish and in style. That would have demonstrated a great love for us. However, God wanted to demostrate even more love than that.
To purchase us, the bride, God saw fit to send His only son to earth. And to demonstrate that love, He sent Him as a baby. He could have come on the scene as a man, but He did not. To fulfill prophecy He had to be born in Bethlehem. But that was too good of a place to be from, for God to really demonstrate His love for us. Jesus came from Nazareth. I do not know much about the reputation of places back then, but surely the City of David was a better place to be from than Nazareth.
And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” John 1:46 NKJV
In that place, and at that time, hospitality was a huge part of the culture. The bible is full of instances of people staying for long times in other people homes, being fed and accommodated. Bethlehem was no different. And yet, we see that they did not have a home to stay in. The place where the foreigners or other undesirables stayed was at an inn. This would not have been the Hilton or the Hyatt, this was a dumpy place to stay. But not even the inn was enough for God to demonstrate His love for us. Jesus, God’s own son, was born, as a frail baby, in a stable, in a strange town, and laid in a food trough.
Today we celebrate the anniversary of Jesus’ first date with His future bride.
That is how much God loves you.