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. (Luke 2:7)
Today’s big question: why did Christ come in such a humble and lowly way?
Christ was born through natural means. He was carried in the womb and was born as a helpless, vulnerable, powerless, and dependent newborn (of course, God supervised everything so He was never at risk). He didn’t come to earth as a conquering angel or a mighty emperor. His parents were poor and probably had no livestock of their own (Luke 2:24; Leviticus 12:8). Not to mention they were from Nazareth, an area not held in high regard, as even Philip said, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46).
It’s difficult to think of something more humble, vulnerable, and lowly than a newborn. God could have entered into this world as the Angel of the Lord, but He chose a much more humble way. Christ’s incarnation was a reflection of God’s character and heart. He was the utmost example to us of how to approach and present ourselves before the Father.
Proverbs 29:23 tells us that “a humble spirit will obtain honor.” We know that Christ was the most humble of all who have lived on earth, even though He was and is also God, but for our sake He humbled Himself. And because of His humble state, He was given the highest honor:
who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name (Philippians 2:6–9)
According to Isaiah 57:15, God dwells “with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” God desires to lift us up from our lowly position, even if one suffers from a broken heart or a crushed spirit.
Christ’s lowly condition should always remind us how we are supposed to approach the Father. God also uses the weak to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:26–29). God came in weakness so He could shame those who were looking for a strong political leader and were blind to their spiritual needs.
Today’s big idea: Christ came in a humble and lowly state as an expression of God’s nature, and we must always be humble and lowly when approaching Him.
What to pray: thank God for coming to earth as a lowly servant as an example to us.