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10

No Room?

Key References: Luke 2:1-7; The Desire of Ages, chaps. 3 and 4, pp. 31-49; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 7, pp. 31-34; Our Beliefs, nos. 4, 11, 23.

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“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Galatians 4:4, 5).

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We worship God when we accept the gift of His Son and make room for Him in our lives.

Do you recall expecting an event that was delayed for a very long time? Did you wait with growing anticipation? Or did you get distracted and lose interest in the expected event?

Let’s take a journey back in time to the beginning of our world’s history, when God created the fi rst human beings. Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, with freedom to choose between good and evil. Sadly, our fi rst parents chose to listen to the tempter, who led them to mistrust God’s warning and to disobey His instructions. The results of their sin were devastating for the entire human race. Sin caused separation from God’s presence and led to destruction and death.

Yet, in His infinite love for the human race God devised a plan to save and restore humankind to the family of God. The Creator Himself chose voluntarily to come to this sin-polluted world and sacrifice His life that the human race may once again be reunited with the family of God.

The Creator promised that the Redeemer, the woman’s “offspring,” would crush the power of the enemy and gain victory over sin: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). This promise along with other prophecies about the coming of the Messiah kept alive the faith of God’s chosen people from generation to generation. However, with the passing of time, people lost sight of the true meaning of the prophecies that were pointing to the coming of the Redeemer.

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Galatians 4:4, 5).

The details recorded in the Gospels about the birth of Jesus reveal the exact fulfillment of the prophecies about His coming.

Mary, a young virgin living in Nazareth, was engaged to Joseph, a descendant of King David. An angel appeared to Mary, announcing that she would give birth to a son and would name Him Jesus (see Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25).

According to the angel’s announcement, God’s promise was fulfilled and Mary was chosen to be the mother of the promised Redeemer. What an awesome privilege!

Joseph and Mary were living in Nazareth, a town in Galilee. But according to the prophecies, the Messiah had to be born in the town of David (see Micah 5:2). And then something miraculous happened that the prophecies might be fulfi lled: “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world” (Luke 2:1). “And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her fi rstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them” (verses 3-7).

The only place they found for lodging was a stable. It was there, in the stable, that this most signifi cant event took place in fulfillment of prophecy. Isn’t it sad that God’s chosen people who have awaited His coming for millennia did not recognize the time of His coming and were not prepared to welcome their Redeemer? “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1:11). Yet Jesus came willingly, knowing that the only way He could save us was to leave the glory of heaven and become a human being like one of us. Jesus accepted the most humble lot that He might identify with the common people and minister to the needs of the poor. He lived among us to reveal God’s character of love, to save us from the penalty of sin, and to deliver us from the fear of death. Jesus identifi ed Himself with our humanity and experienced our struggles, that He might be a perfect example for us. Indeed, through His life Jesus revealed how we might obey God’s law and overcome sin through His power.

We are now living in the time right before the second coming of Jesus. The signs of His soon return are being fulfilled before our eyes (see Matthew 24). Because the prophecies about Jesus’ first coming were fulfi lled with exact precision as recorded in the Gospels, we have the assurance of His second coming according to His promise (see John 14:1- 3; Matthew16:27; Revelation 1:7). Would you make room in your heart for Jesus? Let’s prepare to welcome our soon-coming Redeemer and King, who longs to take us home and spend eternity with us!