Imagine this. You are a shepherd. It’s the middle of the night and you are lazing around the fire with your fellow shepherds, watching over your herd. Then suddenly,

“…an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:9-11

How would you feel? Surprised? Overwhelmed? Would you be greatly afraid as well?

But that’s not all. There’s more. The angel went on to say,

“And this will be the sign to you:” Luke 2:12

Now, I know you know what the angel said, but let’s pause for a moment and pretend like we don’t. What sign would we expect from God to mark such a momentous occasion? Fireworks? Angels singing? Sky turning purple? We would expect to see such signs, wouldn’t we? It is, after all, the day which all Jews have been waiting for. The Messiah has come. God has finally sent the savior. So wouldn’t He want to mark the day with momentous phenomena?

And on that night, just as expected, there indeed were miraculous happenings in the heavens, for

“…suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”” Luke 2:13-14

But that was not the sign. Interesting, isn’t it? God had ‘a multitude of heavenly host’ praising Him and yet, that was not the sign that the savior has come. So what was the sign?

“And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”” Luke 2:12

You want to read that again? Yes, you didn’t read it wrong. The sign is a baby born in a manger.

Now, let’s think about this. Baby born, we can accept. After all, the angel did say

“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

But for the baby to be born in a manger? Seriously? That meant that the kid was in a barn. Surely God could have done a who lot better than that?

Wouldn’t that be our natural first reaction? Here was God, The One who “…created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

The One who said, ““Let there be light”; and there was light.” Genesis 1:3

The One who said, ““Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so.” Genesis 1:24

And here He was, sending us the savior, the Messiah, the one who

“…will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

And ‘a baby lying in a manger’ is the best that He can do?

You know, if we are honest, this is not the first, nor will it be the last time that we are ‘underwhelmed’ by the miracles that our Father gives us. When we look at the way He responds to our prayers, sometimes we are left asking, ‘Seriously? That’s all?’

And if you have ever felt like that, you are not alone. Some time back, we saw how the provisions of our Father seemed to leave the great men of the Bible with more questions than answers. After all, didn’t David go out and fight Goliath with just a sling and a stone? Didn’t Joshua take Jericho just by walking around it? And didn’t God whittle down Gideon’s army to a mere 300?

So the fact is, when it comes to signs; in our eyes, He certainly can be underwhelming.

Yet that is exactly when we should start looking at things from His perspective. Let me show you what I mean.

Men, you saw a bright diamond ring in the shop window. It costs the equal of your entire life’s savings, and then some. But you know that the one whom you love will love it, so you buy it. Now, because when it comes to wrapping it, you’re all thumbs; so in the end, you just pass it to her, rather unceremoniously, over the dinner table. Here’s the question, did the manner of presentation take away the value of the gift? Should the one whom you love like the gift any less?

And that’s my point. We have a propensity for ‘judging books by their covers’. And when it comes to the things from God, we expect the big and the spectacular, forgetting that what is important is the gift, and not the manner in which it is given.

Look at the birth of Jesus from God’s perspective. Here was His Son, His only Son, the Son whom He loved, born to die so that we might live.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

In fact, Jesus is God’s way of ‘putting His money where His mouth is’ when He said,

“‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.’” Ezekiel 33:11

God didn’t just say that He wanted sinners to turn and then did nothing about it. He didn’t just leave us to our own devices. That would be pointless. After all, He knows that by our own strength, turning is an impossibility for us.

“For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14

So if God realistically wanted man to have a fighting chance to turn from their ways, He knew that we needed help, and someone to bear the consequences for us; and that is why He sent Jesus.

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19

Because when Jesus went to the cross,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

And that is why,

“ many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

So with a gift this exquisite, with a gift this valuable, with a gift this precious to God, need He ‘wrap it up’?

You know, on the night that Jesus was born, despite the swaddling cloths, despite the manger, He was the main event. Even the singing of heavenly hosts paled in comparison. That is how important Jesus is to our Father.

Yet, Jesus was born to die, so that He might be

“…The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

So pause for a moment and think, just how important are you to Him?

Because of you, Jesus was sent. Because of your sin, Jesus was scourged. Because of His love for you, Jesus lay down His life, so that you can be freed from sin’s hold. And all this happened even though Jesus is so precious to our Father; that Him merely being ‘wrapped in swaddling cloths and placed in a manger’ is more spectacular than heavenly hosts singing in the sky. Can you even begin to imagine just how much They love you?

Beloved, what we seem to get, or don’t get, from God is no longer the point; because our Father has seen fit to give us Jesus, so that through Him, we may be His children.

So “He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him, also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:31

Don’t look at the things of God with the eyes of the world any longer. Start realizing just how much our Father loves you and you will begin to see just how blessed you really are.

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