December 2013

Paradoxes of Christ’s Birth

Isn’t it interesting that things aren’t always the way they look. We think things should be one way, but in reality they are quite different- a paradox:  The dictionary defines “paradox” as a seemingly contradictory statement that may none-the-less be true. If we skip through the Gospels, we can see numerous paradoxes concerning the birth of Christ:

-    One would think that the angel of the Lord would reveal himself to a prophet or the High Priest, yet he visited an ordinary young woman and a simple carpenter in Nazareth (Luke 2:26-33 & Matt 1:20,21). 

-    One would think that a Jewish man who found his girlfriend pregnant would follow the custom of his day and cast her aside, yet Joseph believed in the words of the angel & took Mary as his wife (Matt 1:24).

-    One would think that an out of wedlock pregnancy would bring shame to the young girl and her family, yet instead of shame, God found favor and used Mary to bring the Son of God into this world (Luke 1:30-33).

-    One would think that Caesar Augustus census was a cruel gesture by a dictatorial government, yet it was the method used by God to bring Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem in order to fulfill prophecy (Luke 2:1).

-    One would think that the Son of God would be born in the most sacred Jewish city-Jerusalem, yet He was born in a small country town called Bethlehem (Luke 2:15).

-    One would think that the Son of God would be born in a royal palace, yet His place of birth was in a stable (Luke 2:7).

-    One would think that the Son of God would lay His head in an elaborate crib that was made for a king, yet the baby Jesus laid His head in a feeding trough (Luke 2:7).

-    One would think that the Kings of kings would be wrapped in royal garments, yet He was wrapped in simple strips of cloths (Luke 2:7).

-    One would think that the priests or the religious leaders would be the first to greet the Messiah, yet it was the poor shepherds (Luke 2:8).

-    One would think that the magi’s presence would humble Joseph and Mary, yet it was the magi that were humbled by the Baby (Matt 2:11).

-    One would think that king Herod would not be threatened over the birth of a tiny baby, yet the birth of Christ did threaten him- to the point that he wanted to destroy the Child (Matt 2:13).

-    One would think that the birth of a tiny baby, in a remote place, would have no implications upon other people, yet because of Christ’s birth all male children around the city of Bethlehem were killed (Matt 2:16).

-    One would think that the magi from the east would obey Herod’s orders and report the location of the young Messiah, yet they didn’t, they departed for their own country by another way (Matt 2:12).

-    One would think that God ‘s Son, and His family, would not have to leave their country like a fugitive, yet Jesus’ mother and father took Him to Egypt in order to protect Him from Herod (Matt 2:14).

Do you see the paradoxes concerning the birth of the Jesus Christ?  The greatest paradox of all is that Jesus Christ was born a Savior to give life, yet He became as a sacrifice to give His life. The paradox today is that salvation is not in what you have, but in whom you believe! The greatest gift this holiday season does not come in a beautiful box, but wrapped in a manger in Bethlehem-the gift of God, eternal life, through Jesus Christ.
                                                                                          
                                                                                                                            -Pastor Mike Kotrla