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Why a Manger?

Why the Son of God was born in a stable


Bodie and Brock Thoene. © 1996

Theme: A fresh look at the Christmas story
Title: Why a Manger?
Topic: The Significance of the Incarnation
Texts: Luke 2:1-20, Genesis 3, Genesis 18 and 22:1-19, John 1:26-37
Thesis: Even though Christmas is perhaps the most familiar of Christian Holy Days, we have a sadly inadequate view of its eternal significance.

For many people, Christians and non-Christians alike, the Christmas season is an important way of counting the years. We remember when our children were small. What they did and said. Christmas even carries us back to our own childhoods’ all the sights of lights and trees. The sounds of carols and laughter the aromas of turkeys roasting and pies baking.

Is it any wonder that we love Christmas?

Nor is there any more evocative symbol of Christmas than a manger scene.

We look at the adoration on the faces of Mary and Joseph the worship imprinted on the shepherds and the wise men. The wonder that images of angels provoke in us. And we see the Nativity as a sweetly pastoral moment’s peaceful and serene forever frozen in time.

And that view is so far from conveying what Christmas is all about!

In reality Jesus was born into a world dominated by the Roman ‘Empire and in a country under the close personal supervision of King Herod. Herod was in the waning years of a ruthless rule. He found conspiracies around every corner and plots in every pantry. He even had two of his own sons executed for conspiring against him.

Would you want to be the one to tell this so-called King of the Jews that the true King of the Jews had just been born?

It was far from being a serene, pastoral world.

Nor is it correct to see the Nativity moment as frozen in time. Because Almighty God had seen His plan from eons past. In fact, the stable the manger. Bethlehem is only the culminating instant in a plan already unfolding in human history for 4000 years or more before the Star of Bethlehem appeared.

So why was the Son of God born in a manger? If Jesus is, as we believe, the Only Begotten Son of God’.. Why was He born in such humble circumstances? Why not in a palace? Why did the angels speak to shepherds and not to the powerful rulers in Jerusalem and Rome?

To comprehend how it is that Jesus Christ, the Savior, was born in a stable first requires that we understand why there was the need for a Savior at all.

We see, in very Beginning, in Genesis, that there was a man and a woman in love. And God said to them: “ You can have it all. You can have it all except this one tree. Don’t eat the fruit of it or you will die. (Gen. 2:16-17)

Then the woman met someone who came along Satan who said, “You won’t die. God knows your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4)

This is actually where the Christmas story
Steve Morris
December 16, 2012
Absolutely the very best and most inspirational story of sacrifice I''ve ever read! It perfectly ties together creation of man, sin, the need for a savior and the birth of Christ. Thank you for your preparation in this way!
Mark Kendrick
December 3, 2007
I awoke this morning with the thought, 'Why a manger?", and prayed that the Holy Spirit would teach me something I didn't know that was important and that He wanted me to know. This was the answer to that prayer. Thank you and God bless you abundantly. Mark Kendrick
Richard Vacha
December 14, 2006
Maybe a good devotional book, but not a very good sermon. I found it to be very little help.
Phil Bruce
October 29, 2006
Vivid images. Well crafted words.