CHRISTMAS JOY: Week Two - The Magic of the SeaSON


We would love for you to join our FREE online Bible Study on Facebook:

Focus Verses
Luke 2: 2-7 (NKJV) 
Christ Born of Mary

2 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.   4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 
Thoughts from Leslie
As we read these verses, it is important for us to realize that every minute detail of our Christmas Story was planned MANY years in advance by God.   
Our Heavenly Father put great thought into this very special day.  It is vital to understand the magnitude of the fact that Jesus is God's ONE and ONLY begotten son.  God absolutely adores His Son.  Likewise, He adores each and every one of us as well.   
Because of this great love, the day of our Savior's birth was not only going to be a spectacular day in our lives, but it was also going to be a very special moment for God.  Giving Jesus to us on that historical FIRST Christmas morning was no doubt the GREATEST GIFT that would ever be given.  The events surrounding this "gift" are not only monumental to each one of us, they are monumental to the giver Himself, the Lord of the Universe: also known as OUR HEAVENLY FATHER! 
Understanding that God's detailed planning and preparation were involved in every aspect of this day makes the plainness of the setting even more beautiful.  God was intentional about keeping the geographical area surrounding this magnificent birth unpretentious.  The simplicity itself should help guide our eyes from the setting, to the gift Himself:  JESUS!!!   

As we read these verses, let's be intentional on where we place our focus.  Let's prayerfully prepare our hearts and intentionally open our eyes to see that the TRUE MAGIC of the SEASON is IN Jesus! 
Prophets had been announcing the "upcoming" birth of the Messiah for hundreds of years before the historic day ever took place. God had predestined the young unknown Mary to be Jesus' mother years in advance.  He had chosen the small lowly town of Bethlehem to be Jesus' birthplace, and the Lord had handpicked the unpretentious manger to be our Savior's first nursery. 
Let's look at each one of God designed details a little closer. 
The name Bethlehem in Hebrew is ‘Bet Lehem’. This word actually means ‘House of Bread.’ 
The prophet Micah prophesied that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem almost 700 years before Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, was even born (Micah 5:2).  The chief priests and scribes of Mary's day knew of the prophesy given by Micah.  They referred to Micah's prediction regarding Bethlehem when being questioned by King Herod later in the story of Jesus' early life (Matthew 2:1-6).  It is important to note that nothing regarding the time or location of our Savior's arrival happened by chance. 
Jesus was born in the exact town that was predetermined hundreds of years before.  If you grew up hearing the wonderful Christmas Story as a child, you no doubt are familiar with the name Caesar Augustus.  He was the one responsible for declaring the census which ultimately brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem in the first place.  Oddly enough, as familiar as we are with his role in this story, Caesar Augustus was never aware of his part in our fantastic Christmas Story.  
He is forever remembered in these verses as a greedy and power hungry Roman ruler who was ultimately used by God to help fulfill the greatest prophesy of all time.  God used Caesar's own greedy ambitions and plans to set something WONDERFUL into motion - the birth of our Lord and Savior, JESUS CHRIST!!  By ordering a royal census Caesar Augustus actually prepared the way for the Savior of the world to be born in Bethlehem. 
When we read verse 7, we see a word that is commonly translated as inn. The original Greek word is kataluma.  This word more accurately means lodging place. It is usually translated as “upper room” not “inn” It can refer to a room of a house where out of town guests could spend the night or even just a dining room. For example, in Luke 22:11 Jesus ate The Last Supper with his disciples in an “upper room” (same word used there). 
This is why the NIV translates Luke 2:7 like this: and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 

Isn't it amazing that even before our Savior's birth, God was directing our eyes to see the SALVATION POWER behind His most MAGICAL GIFT! 
Here is what we need not miss: 
Jesus was born in a place known as the "House of Bread."  This is vital to note because years later Jesus would refer to Himself as "the bread of life" (John 6:35).  From the moment He arrived here on earth, the setting of His birth was directing us to what this MAGICAL gift (Jesus) would ultimately represent to us all.  Jesus represents LIFE!  Just as earthly bread fulfills our physical bodies, Our Lord Jesus would provide nourishment and fulfillment to our spiritual bodies.   
According to the original wording of the Bible, our Messiah was turned away from a kataluma (guest room, or upper room) and so had to be born in a manger.  Many years later Jesus and His disciples would meet in a kataluma (guest room, or upper room) for their last supper together.  Since every detail of our Savior's birth was planned by God, this word connection should not be overlooked.  God was directing our eyes and hearts to the MAGICAL purpose of Jesus. 
From the moment He arrived until His Last Supper and crucifixion, Jesus was a GUEST on this earth.  His time on this planet was predetermined and purposed way before this first SPECTACULAR Christmas Day. 

****  This devotion and coloring page are from Christmas Joy: Adult Coloring Bible Study which is available for purchase on Amazon.