23 December 

Jesus’ birth:  Luke 2:1-38, Matthew 2:1-12 

These verses in Luke and Matthew remind me about God’s plans for His people and that He has always had a plan for salvation. The birth of Jesus is a major step in that plan and God has revealed elements of that plan in the Old Testament, for example Micah foretold that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem and in Isaiah 7 we read about the virgin who will give birth to our saviour.  

Reading these verses also shows that God will make things happen so that His plans are fulfilled; Mary and Joseph didn’t live in Bethlehem but because of the census they had to travel to Bethlehem where it was prophesied that the Messiah would be born. 

The people that came to see and worship Jesus also illustrate that He came to save Jews and Gentiles. The angels told the Jewish shepherds about the birth of their Messiah, Lord and Saviour. It is difficult to imagine what this encounter would have been like for them, the presence of a heavenly host would have been both frightening and amazing at the same time! The shepherds after seeing Jesus started spreading the news of what they had seen, and this would have been to the Jewish people. 

The second visitors to Jesus were the Magi, who were distinguished visitors from the East but not Jews they were Gentiles. God put in place heavenly events that drew them to Bethlehem, and when they saw Jesus they bowed down and worshipped Him. They also presented gifts that were worthy of a King. 

God provided further confirmation to Mary and Joseph when they took Jesus to the temple in fulfilment of the law: Simeon new that before his death he would see the Messiah as it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. God prompted him to go the temple and he recognised Jesus as the Messiah and praised God. A prophet Anna also at the temple saw Jesus and recognised him as the one who would bring their redemption. 

These scriptures remind me that God has plans for us collectively but also as individuals and that what He plans will come to pass. 


Father God I thank and praise you because I know that you have a plan for your people and that you sent your son Jesus to make a way for me to be included. Help me each day to remember and live by the truth that your word teaches: you have a plan for me and with you all things are possible. 

Dave Pennington 

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