The Condescension of the King
Luke 2:7-8 (ESV) – And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Undercover Boss is a show about powerful executives and CEOs who go undercover and work in low-level positions in their company to get a sense of the work and the workers. These folks who spend most of their time behind computers, in meetings, and making powerful decisions about the fate of the company, find themselves with shovels in their hands, or making a hamburger, or cleaning bathrooms. When they reveal themselves to their employees at the end of the show, the employees are always stunned. Why? Because they would have never thought the CEO would have done a commoner’s job like them.
This example points us to our passage today. We read the traditional story of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2:7-8, “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” Notice that it is at night. God became man in a small village. No fanfare. He didn’t even have a nice place to stay.
Something we overlook in the birth of Jesus, the Incarnation of the Son of God into the world, is the grittiness of it. God would become flesh. The Ancient of Days, who was Spirit and Eternal, would become flesh and enter space and time. Then one evening, in a small town of several hundred people, the silence of night was pierced by a young girl’s labor pains and followed by a baby’s cry. That sound, the voice of God. That person, Jesus.
He hungered. He bled. He sweated. He needed sleep. God, who has no needs, who never wearies, took on limitations. He lowered Himself and took up residence in the slums. Jesus was the ultimate “undercover boss.” In fact, it is more stunning than a powerful man doing a lesser job.
The God who made the world and matter became matter and entered the world. He did this to save the world that He made and that rebelled against Him. Give praise today to the King who became like us. Through Him we have life.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is it important to understand the earthiness of Jesus’ birth?
- What does the Undercover Boss example remind us about concerning the amazing nature of Jesus’ birth?
- How should this passage encourage us in our faith?
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