When I think of the story of Jesus birth, I don’t often think about how ordinary it was. To anyone unaware of the details of the story, it was an ordinary situation…nothing spectacular about it. The following passage does a great job of helping us consider this.
Let us imagine that we are with the shepherds on those hills in Palestine. We have seen and heard the angels, and we have begun to run to Bethlehem. We come bursting into the presence of Mary, Joseph, and the baby, and immediately we wonder: what are we looking at?
First of all, we are looking at a true baby. He is not an idea or a religious experience. He is a newborn infant who makes noises and cries when he gets hungry. What we are looking at is real, simple, definite, complete. We are looking at a true baby.
There’s no reason to think that the baby shows any special manifestations. An artist such as Rembrandt can paint him with light emanating from his body, and if we understand the light as symbolic, it is safe enough. But if we think of it as more than that, it is harmful. There is no halo about the baby’s head. Certainly there is no halo around Mary’s head. What we see is a young Jewish mothwer, probably seveenteen or eighteen years old. She may be pretty or she may not be. We see her husband, and we see a little baby who does not show any marks that would distinguish him from any other infant. And yet this little baby we see lying here is the second person of the Trinity. He himself has been God forever. This baby is God who has taken on flesh.
Seeing Jesus with the Shepherds by Francis Schaeffer, From the book, Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus edited by Nancy Guthrie.
The second person of the Trinity in the form of an ordinary (helpless) baby. Such a powerful picture of the humility of Christ. Philippians 2:5-7 reminds us that Christ laid aside his divine privileges and took on human form. Isaiah 53:2 tells us that there was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance…nothing to attract us to him. The reality of that night was that the shepherds saw what looked like an ordinary baby, yet He was so much more.
I hope this truth moves you to worship Christ who left the comfort of heaven to redeem us.