Someone brought to my attention this statement: “The road to Bethlehem was paved with the stepping stones of humble submission to the perfect will of God.” FOUR of those who traveled the road to Bethlehem are mentioned in these very familiar verses from Luke 2:1-20.
FIRST: Jesus traveled the road. In verse 7 we read, “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger…” Jesus embarked on the road to Bethlehem which ended at Calvary.
Though He dwelled in the splendor of light, He willingly entered a world of darkness.
Though He reigned over the angels of heaven, He willingly took the form of a servant.
Though He was the Son of God, He became the Son of man.
Though His throne was at the right hand of the Father, He chose the prickly straw of a manger.
Though He is the everlasting God with neither beginning nor ending, He grew within a Virgin’s womb.
SECOND: Joseph traveled the road. In verse 4 we read, “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem…” Joseph, the carpenter, God's choice to act as earthly father to Jesus Christ, appears on the scene for only a moment. Then he disappears. As someone said years ago in a message, “Joseph was the forgotten man of Christmas.”
The first time we meet Joseph is during a crisis unique in the history of humanity. He is called on to marry a pregnant virgin, to bear the scorn, and absorb the burdens of raising the Man of Sorrows. It has well been said, “Joseph was caught between what God said and what made sense… (Yet) he didn't let his confusion disrupt his obedience. He didn't know everything, but he did what he knew to do. He shut down his business, packed up his family and went to another country, because that's what God said to do.”
THIRD: Mary traveled the road. Nothing can break into as many pieces as a mother's heart. A dark shadow fell across her heart the moment she heard Simeon's ominous words in Luke 2:34-35, “And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (35) (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Imagine the horror of watching your firstborn suffer as Jesus did under the whips and nails and spears of a Roman crucifixion. That was the road Mary trod, yet her steps always faced forward; and she was faithful at every point.
FOURTH: The Shepherds traveled the road. In Luke 2:15-20 we read, “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. (16) And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. (17) And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. (18) And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. (19) But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. (20) And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” Take note of this statement, “God often confounds our sense of who and what is important by choosing the opposite of what the world chooses.” In Biblical days, SHEPHERDS were considered to be the lowliest of the low in society.
Take note of this statement, “If there is one thing we can always expect in walking with God, it is to expect the unexpected.” The Bethlehem shepherds took an expected journey into the fields the night of Jesus' birth, but an unexpected road back to Bethlehem. Remember, God is no respecter of persons. From I Samuel 16:7 we read, "The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
Again this year, from the Bible Baptist Ministry, we thank you for your prayers and financial support as we seek to get the message out around the world. We trust you will have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a BLESSED NEW YEAR in the Lord during 2019.
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