“What He was, He laid aside; what He was not, He assumed. He takes upon himself the poverty of my flesh so that I may receive the riches of his divinity.” Gregory Nazianzen
The birth of Jesus… A look into the entire plan!
In this particular conversation, it is not the birth itself that I pay tribute to, but what the birth means and represents for you, me, the heavens, the earth, those things under the earth and every nation that ever was and will be.
Let’s look at this scripturally!
Speaking of the birth of Jesus in Haggai 2:6-7, we read – “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Who is the desire of all nations that Haggai is referring to? JESUS!
In the physical realm, the entire world with exception of a few shepherds and wise men, considered this particular night as insignificant as the one before and the one after. However, spiritually or in the spiritual realm, the birth of Jesus shook the heavens and the earth. It shook the sea and the dry land. It also shook all the nations.
Philippians 2:6-11 describes this event when it reads, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
When did this take place? When did God give him the name which is above every name?
Look at verse 7! “Jesus made himself of no reputation and took the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men,” in other words, at the time of His birth.
Too many of us celebrate the baby itself as opposed to the birth and what happened as a result of it. This conversation while recognizing Jesus as an infant and His birth is solely about the subsequent events that His birth represented and put into motion.
Understand what I am saying. With the birth of Christ, creation and everything in it was put on notice. Satan was put on notice, sin was put on notice… everything under the curse of Genesis 1:17-19 was put on notice.
“Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.
In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.
The ground was cursed, the life of Adam in God was cursed….everything that was cursed is now put on notice with the birth of Christ.
The 3rd stanza of the song, “Joy to the World” written in the early 17th century, describes what the birth of Christ represents this way…
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found
The birth of Christ was the means to which all of it would end. “It” being sin, the curse, death, separation, darkness, the desires of the flesh and of the mind….wrath! It all was put on notice with the birth of Christ!
Christ’s birth woke up all that was dead in creation and in you and me after the fall of Adam!
Romans 8:22-23 reads, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
Christ’s birth separated the ending of the law and the beginning of Grace.
John 1:17 reads, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
In Galatians 4:4-5 Paul tells us, “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
Isaiah speaking of the birth of Christ and what it means and represents for you and me addresses it this way!
Isaiah 9:6-7 reads, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
The angel of the Lord in Luke 1:32-33 confirms this, when he speaks to Mary saying, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
The birth of Christ is not a common event in which we celebrate by giving presents or putting up Christmas trees. Nor is it a time in which we bring Christ, who is now seated at the right hand of the father and place him back in a manger.
It is a celebration of the manifestation of God’s plan first spoken in Genesis 3:15 to the serpent himself saying, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel.”
It is the celebration of the revelation of God’s plan for you and me and for all of creation in heaven and on earth.
It is the realization that we celebrate that on a specific night 2,000 years ago, God himself came down from heaven for a specific purpose and plan, which included you and me.
Here is a question specific to the night Jesus was born!
Why did the wise men of Matthew 2:10 rejoice with exceeding great joy when they saw the star in the east? “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.”
Why did the angels of Luke 2:13-14 praise God saying, “and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
They had seen the manifestation of God’s plan of Gen 3:15 that were hidden up until now.
This plan was hidden until God sent the angel Gabriel to reveal it to Mary.
These questions, teach that God used two different ways in which to announce the birth of Jesus. He used a Star for the wise men… and he used and Angel for the shepherds.
Let’s look at the first question.
When it refers to wise men…what is scripture referring to? Is scripture saying that these men were highly intellectual or were they versed in life’s experiences? What does it mean when we read that they were wise men?
Now understand the answers to these questions are significant to the way the Lord used the heavens to declare the birth of Jesus. This star was no ordinary star.
In order, to answer the question about the phrase “wise men”, we go to their profession. These men were the men who studied the stars, men who studied the heavens, men who would be looking up! History says that they were from a line of priests out of the Persian and Babylonian countries. (Both countries in which God had placed the nation of Israel at one time or another.)
Now, tie their professions to Old Testament prophecies that speak of the birth of Jesus and we realize that these men were definitely used by God to confirm and declare the birth of Christ.
They knew scriptures like:
Numbers 24:17 in which Balaam prophesying said, “I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.”
Now, we know that the Star speaks of his birth, but let’s look at the Scpetre.
Hebrews 1:8 – “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom”
Here the scepter makes reference to Christ’s governmental rule.
The wise men knew that with the birth of Christ, would come the Jewish ruler of the world.
Look at what they asked Herod, who was a king of the Jewish people at that time.
Matthew 2:2 “Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.”
These men knew this truth and declared this truth to the earthly Jewish government at the time that the eternal government had been born. And when they found him, scripture says that they fell down and worshipped him and presented him with treasures.
Hebrews 2:11 reads – “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
So we see that it was not the birth that they worshipped. But, it was what the birth represented and the impact on the world it would have. They understood that it would bring kingship. They understood that it would bring throne ship and a government that would shake the world. They knew that the star represented the Divine theocratic government that Christ would bring from heaven.
Let’s look at our 2nd question!
Why did the angels in Luke 2:13-14 praise God saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” More importantly, why did God send the angels to shepherds in the first place
Let’s look at the first part of our questions as it relates to why the angels praised God. In Luke 2:11-12 it reads, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
The significance of the announcement is that the Angels have tied the birth of Jesus to his earthly theocratic government as they announce “in the city of David!”
Where is the city of David? Jerusalem! And the city of Jerusalem represents the center of the earth’s government from which Christ will rule.
The prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-7 confirms this when it reads, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
Now, let’s look at the second part of our 2nd question, why did God send the angels to shepherds? We will look to the words of Jesus for the answer to this question.
Jesus said in John 10:11 – “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
The shepherds represent Christ’s earthly ministry! One of Savior! One of Messiah.
In Luke 2:8 scripture describes them as “abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”
Read John 10:7 and the first part of verse 9 ‘Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.” “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved…”
Psalm 95:6-7 describes it this way… “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”
The angels rejoiced in the fact that they were now revealing to the world…the secret things of God. Things that God kept hidden, but prophetically spoke about through the prophets.
God, with the birth of Jesus put into motion a series of events that forever changed the course of the world and the heavens.
With the announcement given in the heavens by the star that the wise men saw and the announcement given throughout the earth as declared by the angels to the shepherds, God put all things on notice that He himself has stepped into our realm to shake things up…those things in heaven, those things in the earth and those things under the earth as well as every nation that ever was and will be.
We confirmed this when we read Haggai 2:6-7 – “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.”
God has done a mighty work. What He did with the birth of Jesus Christ, was to unlock the mystery of his mighty work for all of His creation after it fell from His Grace through the sin of Adam.
The birth of Christ reveals to all mankind, the mysteries of the will of God! We see this in the following scriptures.
Romans 16:25-26 – “Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”
Ephesians 1:9 tells us that “God has made known to us the mystery of His good will…”
Colossians 1:26 reads, “Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations is now being made manifest to His saints.”
Here, the apostle Paul is telling us that the birth and work of Christ was a mystery and kept secret since the world began, but is now being made manifest today. The revealing of this mystery first began with the birth of Jesus Christ.
So, again….it’s not the fact that Jesus was born that we celebrate. For we understand that His birth was merely a means to end. And if we constantly celebrate just the birth, then we pull Christ from His Heavenly throne, where He is interceding for us 24-hours a day, to simply put Him back in the cradle.
Our joy should rest in the fact that God’s plan was put into motion. Our joy should rest in the fact that we were part of that plan. Our joy should rest in the fact that the mystery of God has been revealed to us…not in part, but the whole.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 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; ye 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.”