Focal Passage: Luke 2:8-20
As I read through this familiar passage again, I couldn’t help but think of the words to the song “A Strange Way to Save the World.” The chorus of the song is sung from the perspective of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father. He is standing in the stable at Bethlehem, asking: “Why me?/I’m just a simple man of trade? Why him?/With all the rulers in the world? Why here?/Inside this stable filled with hay? Why her?/She’s just an ordinary girl? Now I’m not one to second guess what angels have to say. But this is such a strange way to save the world.”
Consider how strange this must’ve been from a human perspective. It began with an unusual announcement to a barren, elderly couple – Abraham and Sarah – about their son who would be the forerunner of God’s messiah. Then came an unusual announcement from an angel to a teenage girl who was engaged to a carpenter – not exactly the expected family line for the birth of a king. This young couple ended up in an unusual, small town and was forced to go to a most unusual birthing place like the stable where a king’s animals might eat. This couldn’t be where the king should be born.
Then an unusual heavenly host brought this joyful announcement to simple shepherds who were keeping their sheep on a hillside outside of town.
From our human perspective, this whole endeavor seems a most unusual approach, but it was God’s perfect provision of exactly what man needed.
As D.A. Carson so aptly reminds us, “If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior.” Go tell the Good News of this Savior! His name is Jesus!