I have wondered in the past - why Jesus, supposedly the Son of God and King of Kings, chose to be born out of an ordinary family. I was also puzzled why God has staged a birth at a humble manger and his angels was sent to a group of shepherds who were tending a flock of sheep in the field to announce Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:8). I was especially riddled when I found out that shepherds at the time of Jesus had a low social status and almost as despicable as tax collection at the time.
Moreover, after being confronted by a staggering statistic of 9 out of 10 people at Jesus’s time lived in poverty, I am convinced, this was an act of humility and sacrifice. It is another piece of evidence which points toward God’s deep love for us. I can picture Jesus’ gentle and warm smile when he said, “... whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many,” (Matt 20:26-28, Mark 10:43-45, NIV).
Yes, you have read it right. Our Lord and saviour, Jesus, God’s word become flesh, not only wanted to get to know us by humbly living amongst us and wanting to have a personal relationship with us, but he also came to SERVE us.
Allow me to summarise: Jesus, born in an ordinary family, in humble circumstances, lived amongst people who lived in poverty. Grew up, as the firstborn of Mary and Joseph, with at least five other brothers and sisters in Nazareth. He lived a life amongst us for thirty years before launching to a three-years of short ministry where He served the sick, the lost and the poor in spirit. Yet, He was betrayed and wrongly persecuted. Crucified on the cross for the forgiveness of the sins of the world. Then God raised Him from the dead, to be crowned as king of kings and became our everlasting High Priest. Jesus … who is able to sympathise with our weakness, who was in every way tempted in the same way as us, yet, did not sin (Hebrews 4:15).
Dear brothers and sisters, I hope you can see the beauty and the depth of our God’s love, shown through the birth of Jesus. Let me leave you with a comforting promise, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16, NIV). Have you accepted Him in your heart?
(Artwork: The Adoration of the Shepherds, Gerard van Honthorst, 1622)