A lot of attention is given to the baby Jesus in the manger at Christmas time. It is a humble setting, usually portrayed in a stable with animals. If this was so, it would have been a smelly place, certainly not what you would think of for the King of kings and Lord of lords.
His parents took Him to Nazareth. This despised city became His home for the next 30 years, until He began His ministry in Galilee. It lasted for three and a half years, with no place to lay His head. During this time, He was rejected by His own people and the Jewish leaders sought to kill Him. He was betrayed, arrested, hit and spit upon, falsely accused, mocked, scourged and crucified. He was forsaken, denied and doubted even by those closest to Him.
After His resurrection, His ascension into heaven and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which came from Him, many still refuse to receive His gospel of salvation. Some unashamedly despise Him and vehemently oppose His church.
Looking on Christmas, remember that the One who is hated so, loves us the most. And, know that if He could be born in a manger, grow up in despised Nazareth, willingly and unselfishly serve others, ultimately giving Himself as a sacrifice for those who hated Him most…He can be reborn, grow, minister and live in you and me.
Now, God give us the faith to humbly submit in loving obedience to Him. “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19).
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
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