What Happened in Bethlehem?
Dec 1 – Dec 4
Bethlehem Is an Invitation
By Michael Youssef, Ph D. 12/04/20
God invites us to know His Son.
Read Luke 2:8-15.
As far as we know, there was nothing extraordinary about Jesus’ first day in our world—that is, until an angel pierced the night sky outside Bethlehem, announcing the Messiah’s birth to a group of shepherds.
This was the sort of birth announcement only heaven could deliver, with sights and sounds those unsuspecting shepherds would never forget. In the Roman Empire, heralds carried the news of royal births near and far, but their announcements never included an invitation—and certainly one would never have been issued to the lower classes. But God, who loves the humble, invited a group of lowly shepherds to gaze upon the King of kings. Though they were filthy from their work, poor from their station in life, and sinful through their connection to Adam, God delivered this message: “Come on over to Bethlehem! I want you to meet My Son!”
I wonder if these shepherds realized how like Bethlehem they were—unimportant in the eyes of the world. But they had three things going for them.
First, they had potential, just like Bethlehem. They may not have realized it, but they were going to be the world’s first missionaries; they would get to tell others about the Messiah through their praise (see Luke 2:20).
Second, they were a part of God’s providential plan, just like Bethlehem. The angels didn’t get lost and appear to them by accident. God had selected these shepherds to be a part of the greatest story ever told.
Finally, these men were recipients of divine privilege, just like Bethlehem. They were given the honor of seeing the newborn Son of God with their own eyes, not because of anything they had done, but because God delights to lift up the lowly. As He invited those humble shepherds to the manger for the most special night the world had ever known, God demonstrated that no one is denied access to His Son.
Did you know that you can have the same privilege? Just as Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He can be born in you. If you have never done so, I urge you to give your life to Christ today. Confess your sins and turn from them. Invite Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior. Scripture says that when you do that, He will come to live inside you through the Holy Spirit (see John 14:23; Colossians 1:27).
Prayer: Lord, I accept Your free gift of salvation. Thank You for giving me Your righteousness. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14).