Nobody paid much attention to the pregnant young mother and her husband hunting for a place to stay in Bethlehem. The passing crowd, busy with their own responsibilities, overlooked the weary travelers who were desperate to find a suitable room to bring their newborn into the world. In the end, they found shelter in a dirty stable where livestock were kept. A manger where sheep just ate a meal became a cradle for the tiny Lamb of God to lay his head.
Only a few nearby shepherds noticed and witnessed this defining event of human history, an occasion the Apostle Paul would later note as “the fullness of time.” The birth of their Son didn’t make headlines in The Jerusalem Post or The Roman Review. Caesar and Herod were oblivious and unconcerned about the birth of a peasant in a stall outside the obscure backwoods village where it seemed nothing significant ever happened. Yet today we literally count our days and years from that moment in history as Jesus Christ remains the central figure of the human race.
Seven hundred years earlier, the prophet Micah had predicted that very event happening in Bethlehem. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2 NKJV)
Certainly to the casual observer Bethlehem was little and insignificant compared to the thousands who thronged to its nearby, more affluent and well-populated neighbor, Jerusalem. Few mortals noticed anything unusual that night in the tiny village. But the angels noticed, and what they saw made them sing and celebrate good tidings of great joy that offered the hope of peace on earth and goodwill to men for every mortal person on planet earth.
Ordinary. Common. Everyday. Average. Obscure. Unimportant. Inconsequential. “Little among thousands.” Have you ever felt that way—like just another ordinary face in the crowd? Nothing could be further from the truth. In an extraordinary move, immortal God became a mortal man so that ordinary people like you and me could personally meet the Savior, Christ the Lord. Why? The best explanation comes from Jesus, “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NLT)
In God’s eyes, no one is overlooked as “little among thousands.” Every person regardless of age, status, race, or position in life warrants the unearned gift of his grace. The gift of eternal life, through the Christ who came to the tiny village with a big plan to change the entire world. And he did. Merry Christmas! ©2013 Don Detrick