12/23/13: Christmas Visitors

#HeartForTheWord

Christmas is probably my favorite holiday and one thing that makes it special is entertaining guests. I absolutely love having family close at hand on Christmas morning and enjoying one another around the dinner table and into the evening. But what of the visitors to Christ that first Christmas? The scene was nothing like what happens in our homes each December 25th.

Contrary to popular Christmas carols and traditions, the Scriptures do not tell us of the visit of a little drummer boy at the manger. Nor do they talk of a grouchy innkeeper, animals surrounding the manger, or singing angels. Look it up. No innkeeper, no animals, and the angels “say,” they don’t “sing.” The Scriptures do, however, speak of visitors both on the night of Jesus’ birth and later on, possibly several years down the road.

The first actual witnesses of the birth of the Christ child were shepherds. Luke 2:8-17 says:

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them… (and) said to them, ‘…I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day…a Savior, who is Christ the Lord… You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger…’ So it was… that the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. (NKJ)

 

Some time later, the young family (Joseph, Mary, and Jesus) received more visitors. No longer in the barn (Joseph was a better provider than to keep his family living in a barn for very long), the Scriptures teach that kings from the east visited Jesus – the young child –bearing gifts for Him at a house. Matthew Henry’s commentary tells us that these wise men “are here called Magoi—Magicians… philosophers and their priests… men of the east… (also called) kings…” The Bible bears out the details or their visit:

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him…’ Then Herod… sent them to Bethlehem… When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was… And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And… they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” Matthew 2:1-11 (NKJ).

Why did shepherds and kings visit Jesus? The relationship is clear. The shepherds would know a lamb when they saw one, and there in the manger lay the Lamb of God (see John 1:29 and 36). Kings would recognize a king when they saw one, and there in that house, although a young Child, was the One they had searched for, the One who was not only “born King of the Jews,” but who was King of kings. (See I Timothy 6:15.)

As we celebrate Christmas with our visitors, let’s keep in mind His visitors during that first Christmas season and remember that Jesus is the Lamb who is King.

____________________________

©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 

Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,

Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children

available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),

 at bookstores, and on all major online book buying sites.

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk

Also still available:

Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame

from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)

~ by sanewriter on December 23, 2013.

4 Responses to “12/23/13: Christmas Visitors”

  1. […] Recommended Article FROM https://sanewriter.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/122313-christmas-visitors/ […]

  2. Jesus is definitely the reason for the season…do sheep gaze during the Winter season as Christmas is celebrated during this time? Some do not get it.

  3. It is not winter in that part of the world in December.

  4. Thank you for your accuracy, Sharon. Though I wrote a piece that took a little editorial license (I know from scripture that the three wise men visited much later than Jesus’ birth…and they were not still living in a barn!), I wanted to let you know that I appreciate you stating it biblically, thus correctly. My conscience was pricked; good reminder to me. Bless you and thank you!

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