Humble Hero


Born in a Stable

This chapter is based on Luke 2:1-20.

The King of glory bent low to take humanity. He hid His glory and shunned all outward display. Jesus did not want any earthly attraction to call people to His side. Only the beauty of heavenly truth must draw those who would follow Him. He wanted them to accept Him because of what the Word of God said about Him. HH 16.1

The angels watched to see how the people of God would receive His Son, clothed in the form of humanity. The angels came to the land where the light of prophecy had shone. They came unseen to Jerusalem and to the ministers of God’s house. HH 16.2

Already an angel had announced the nearness of Christ’s coming to Zacharias the priest as he ministered before the altar. Already John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, was born, and news of his birth and the meaning of his mission had spread far and wide. Yet Jerusalem was not preparing to welcome her Redeemer. God had called the Jewish nation to communicate to the world that Christ was to be born of David’s line, yet they did not know that His coming was near. HH 16.3

In the temple, the morning and evening sacrifices pointed to the Lamb of God, yet even here no one was preparing to receive Him. Priests and teachers recited their meaningless prayers and performed the rites of worship, but they were not prepared for the Messiah’s appearing. The same indifference spread throughout the land of Israel. Hearts that were selfish and focused on worldly things were untouched by the joy that thrilled all heaven. Only a few were longing to see the Unseen. HH 16.4

Angels went with Joseph and Mary as they traveled from Nazareth to the City of David. The decree of Rome to register the peoples of her vast territory had extended to the hills of Galilee. Caesar Augustus became God’s agent to bring the mother of Jesus to Bethlehem. She was of David’s line, and the Son of David must be born in David’s city. “Out of you [Bethlehem],” said the prophet, “shall come forth ... the One to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth [are] from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2. HH 16.5

But in the city of this royal line, Joseph and Mary were unrecognized, unhonored. Weary and homeless, they walked the narrow street to the eastern edge of town in a fruitless search for a resting place for the night. There was no room at the crowded inn. At last they found refuge in a crude building where animals were kept, and here the Redeemer of the world was born. HH 16.6

The news filled heaven with rejoicing. Holy beings from the world of light were drawn to earth. Above the hills of Bethlehem a crowd of angels waited for the signal to declare the glad news to the world. The leaders in Israel could have shared the joy of announcing the birth of Jesus, but they were passed by. The bright rays from the throne of God will shine on those who seek light and accept it gladly. See Isaiah 44:3; Psalm 112:4. HH 17.1