The Best Gift of All
Luke 2:1–7; Genesis 3:15; Psalm 132:11; Micah 5:2; The Desire of Ages, pp. 43–49 (see also pp. 50–58)
Jesus is God’s special gift to me.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Have you ever been in bed and not been able to sleep? What could you hear? Mom and Dad in another room? An owl hooting or dogs barking outside? The sound of traffic? There are all kinds of noises at night. What are the sounds you might have heard the night Jesus was born—the night all God’s promises came true? Imagine that you are there.
If you listen closely, you might hear the busy people passing by outside. Or the sounds of donkeys and horses neighing and shifting in their stalls. And the crackling hay as Joseph and Mary find a comfortable spot to lie down. You might even hear Joseph’s kind words as the baby is born. I’m sure you will hear the baby’s first cries.
Now look at the baby. He is like other babies: small, a tiny patch of dark hair on His head, eyes closed. His feet and arms reach through the air for the very first time. Look a little closer. That baby is Jesus!
Look around you. This is no place for Jesus to be born. This is a place full of donkeys and horses that belong to people staying at a nearby inn. It is dirty. If you look up, you might see birds’ nests in the rafters. You may even see a star peeking through the roof.
Watch closely now. Jesus is wrapped in a long cloth strip. He is rocked gently in Mary’s arms. And then Jesus is taken to a manger filled with hay, where He goes to sleep.
That doesn’t sound like the Son of God! That’s impossible! Surely no one would have to take care of God’s Son!
Before Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem, He was a promise. Just after Adam and Eve had sinned, God had promised them that someday a special Child would be born. That Baby would destroy Satan and all his temptations.
That wasn’t the only promise fulfilled that night. God had told David that one of his great-great-grandchildren would be the Messiah. Messiah means “Promised One.” Both Joseph and Mary were David’s descendants. God’s servant Micah had written that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. And He was.
In one day all of those promises came true! Jesus had lived in heaven. He had created Adam and Eve. Angels adored Him. He was ruler of the universe. But He became a baby. He needed a mother and father to take care of Him. He slept in a place where animals usually ate.
Why? Jesus loved us too much to be separated from us. He wanted to live with us, so He could show us a way to live with Him. He had promises to keep. Promises to all of us. He said He would come again—and He will! Soon, very soon!