SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Because of a census, Mary, who was about to give birth, and Joseph had to travel. They were probably upset and perhaps even questioned if God was paying attention to their plight. But God was in control and was using these events to pave the way for Jesus to be born in Bethlehem, which is where he had promised the Savior would be born (in Micah 5:2).
- Of all the important and powerful people in the world to whom God could have made the birth announcement of his son, he chooses blue-collar shepherds.
- Joseph and Mary offered a sacrifice to God, thanking him for the birth. The sacrifice they offered was one reserved for the poor, who couldn't afford the proper sacrifice (see Leviticus 12:6-8).
- The story of Jesus at age 12 in the temple is the only glimpse we get of Jesus between his birth and when he begins his public ministry at around the age of 30.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- In this chapter we see that God does not give preferential treatment to the rich and powerful. In fact, he seems to favor the poor and powerless. We, too, should value and seek to bless those who are poor and powerless.
- When the shepherds find out about the birth of the Savior, they immediately go and tell everyone they can. It's imperative for everyone to find out that Jesus came for us.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- What is a practical way you could value and bless the poor and powerless this week? When will you do it?
- Who could you tell this week that Jesus came for them? What is the most loving and effective way you could share it? When will you do it?