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Majesty And Lowliness Of Birth As Revealed In The Birth of Jesus

Matthew 2:10-11 (NIV) “When [the Magi] saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with…gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

Luke 2:8-18 “And there were shepherds living out in the fields…An angel of the Lord…said to them, ‘…I bring you good news that…in the town of David a Savior has been born…he is the Messiah, the Lord…’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared…saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests…’ [T]he shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened…’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.”

An important revelation about the nativity of Jesus is that it blends the majesty and the lowliness of the birth of a child. The Magi (sometimes called kings or wise men) were distinguished foreigners from the east. Because of their status and the kinds of gifts they brought to Jesus, they were surely wealthy. But as soon as they saw Jesus, they bowed down before him.

Shepherds also made a pilgrimage to see the Christ child. Their work was hard. Their status hardly placed them in a world of affluence. There’s no record of their bringing fine gifts to Jesus, but they are the ones the chorus of angels surrounded, singing “Glory to God in the highest heaven…”

There’s a certain majesty surrounding the birth of every child, regardless of the station of the child’s family. In a sense, it is a great equalizer. Birth is miraculous. The child is a gift from God to all people, regardless of rank.

(Taken from A TIME TO BE BORN: Meditations on the Birth of a Child)

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