Matt 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way……..22 all this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet.
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet”…. which prophet might that be ?…. I’m so glad you asked.
One of Jesus Disciples, Matthew ( Levi), the tax collector recounts his life with Jesus; he tells of what he has experienced and what he knows, referring to his knowledge of the prophet Isaiah who prophesied regarding the birth of Jesus and how it took place. In referencing, the prophet Isaiah, Matthew reminds us of the prophecy that was recorded, approximately 750 years before that said event would actually take place, an event that would effect the world forever.
Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Man I love it when over centuries of time, we are able to grasp hold of this amazing word of God, canonized and handed down over time to see the significant pantomime of life played out on our earthly stage, with such vital life and truth. In this instance show casing the birth of the Christ. Jesus was involved in the handiwork of creation, he was evident in the Old Testament, he was prophesied about and fulfilled all of the prophecies about him.
At this time of the year we remember and revel in the birth of the Son of God. What a wondrous cataclysmic event this was on planet earth, for all mankind, yet it came on a quiet night while shepherds were out in the fields attending their flock and suddenly a bright light shone around….
Normally when important people come to town, everyone one knows about it. There are great announcements and the stadiums or halls are decked out. There are wildly hysterical fans and the city is abuzz. The question on everyone’s lips is, Do you know whose in town ? Did you get tickets to so and so’s gig?
Yet at the birth of undoubtedly the most important person in the history of the world, we see a different unfolding of his-tory. The night of this birth was a “Night of the Nobodies”.
A confused young couple slipped into town late one night and definitely did not stay in a five-star hotel. There was in fact no room in any inn that night; the town was fully booked out for another festival. Mary the pregnant teenager on a donkey, and her betrothed Joseph holding tightly with much insecurity to the reigns of that donkey as they quietly clippity clop, clippity clopped through the streets looking for lodgings. Jesus our Messiah was smuggled into Bethlehem in the womb of a teenage girl, who gave birth in a barn.
Mary the mother of Jesus, a teenager of no distinction, pregnant, and chosen of God, in her day and age would definitely be considered a nobody.
Joseph not much older and a tradesman, a carpenter, a working stiff, a nobody with no union, who said yes to shame, yes to love and yes to God, I’ll be this kids dad.
If you think these two had no standing, what about the shepherds in the field, no surgeons amongst this lot, looking after sheep on the late night shift. Yet they were the first invited to the birth. A flash of light and heavens choir announced to these ordinary nobodies, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased”
An angelic herald proclaimed “ for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord”.
To add to the players in this pantomime, the Night of the Nobodies, we have the Magi, who thought they were somebody, but in truth as this pantomime unfurled, they too were nobodies. Simply wealthy pagan astrologers, foreigners called on a journey. They were wrong in every way. Wrong religion, wrong clothes, wrong sacred books; yet they were invited to bear witness and to pay homage to the Christ child to bow and bring an offering.
Throw into this mix of nobodies some old folk, Elizabeth and Zechariah a childless couple, probably a kindly couple who were the backbone of religious events taking place; who in their old age were given the task of raising the greatest prophet of all time in Old Testament tradition, who would declare and be the forerunner for his cousin, Jesus the Messiah.
Last but not least, Anna and Simeon, another couple of nobodies; alone and elderly, invisible to the activities that took place in Jerusalem. You know how the saying goes out of sight out of mind, well except to the Holy Spirit. They held the Christ child on the 8th day, and declared “ Behold this child has been appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel”.
This plan, the “Night of the Nobodies” had been formed centuries ago. Invisible to everyone except the Holy Spirit. To these Nobodies God had been whispering to them for decades that they would witness the most important event in human history. Often we focus on the big gigs and rock star events, we glue ourselves to the TV, the red carpet antics, the celebrities in their finery. The movie stars, the bold and beautiful, the cool kids, they are the ones we appear fascinated by. Yet in truth it was the seemingly “Nobodies”, that God gathered for the birth of His son. We have all been invited to share in the wonder of the birth of our Saviour.
As family we gather around the simplicity of the manger, in Clay Aikens song “ Mary Did You Know” he asks the question :
“Mary did you know that when you kissed your baby’s face, you kissed the face of God”. Allow yourself to dream on this line and see the incarnate Son of God, birthed and revealed, unlike any other king. We celebrate the festivities of Christmas, with all the goodies, fun, food and fellowship, yet let us spread abroad the love of Christmas to one and all.
The song ends with “Mary did you know the sleeping child you’re hold is the Great I Am”.
I am blown away, as I ponder the words, the power and His glory in this song.
A Merry Christmas to our wonderful Bridge family