Luke 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

MEMORY VERSE: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. —Isaiah 9:6

CENTRAL THOUGHT: Amid the hardship and poverty of this earth the Savior of mankind was born, a tiny infant, causing rejoicing in heaven, bringing glory to God, and offering peace and good will toward men.


Luke 2:5 “Taxed”: enrolled; an assessment or census.
Luke 2:12 “Swaddling clothes”: strips of cloth.
Luke 2:19 “Pondered”: to weigh, consider, study, or meditate upon.


Joseph had taken Mary to be his wife. Mary was with child, and they both knew that this child was conceived of the Holy Spirit. There at Nazareth Joseph and Mary carried on the routine of life day by day. No doubt Mary pondered much over the recent events that had so changed their lives. She was not just a woman expecting her firstborn child, but she was fully aware that this child was a special child. Had not the angel said that He was to sit upon the throne of David, rule over the house of Jacob forever, and that His name was to be Jesus, and of His kingdom there would be no end? What did all of this mean? She remembered vividly the angel’s visit and what was told her.

Joseph was also filled with weighty and serious thoughts as he remembered the angel of the Lord speaking to him concerning the child, quoting the prophetic Scripture about a virgin bringing forth a son.

Toward the final weeks of her time, there came a great announcement of a decree from the ruler of the world, Augustus Caesar. Everyone in the Roman Empire was to be registered, and to do this, everyone must go to his native city. The distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem was probably approximately seventy miles. That was a long, dangerous, and hard trip to make for an expectant mother. There were no fine cars or buses in those days. On foot or on a beast of burden the journey had to be made. There were no fine hotel suites awaiting the weary travelers, either. Because of the many others who had to come to the city of Bethlehem, there was no room in the inn. No doubt they felt themselves fortunate to be afforded shelter in the stable. There our blessed Redeemer was born.

—Bro. Leslie Busbee


  1. Why did Joseph and Mary have to go to Bethlehem?
  2. Why did God permit the hardship of the stable and the swaddling clothes?
  3. Why did the birth of Jesus bring such rejoicing among the angels?
  4. What does “peace, good will toward men” mean to you?
  5. What joy was brought to us when Christ was born?
  6. Where does Christ want to be born today?
  7. Why do so many not have room for Christ in their hearts?
  8. What kind of souls give Christ welcome?
  9. What kind of effect does the birth of Christ have upon a redeemed soul?
  10. What did Mary do with all of these things that had happened?


Christ must be given room. He will not force or push His way into any heart. He knocks, but in order to enter, the door must be opened of one’s own free will. Christ could be born a thousand times as He was in Bethlehem, but if He is not born in our hearts, He does not profit us. He wants to live in our hearts. He wants to have His way in us, but we must offer it to Him willingly. Christ will not enter and be born in the proud and scornful heart. The proud and scornful are empty and void of the grace of God. Jesus is hidden from their comprehension.

God passed over the high and lofty hearts and made known the coming of His Son to the lowly shepherds out on the hillside at night. Christ was not to be distinguished by special marks of worldly favor or prosperity. God chose to have Him born in a stable and laid in a manger, wrapped in the poverty rags of swaddling clothes. This was to identify Him.

What is the identification of the children of God today? It is not the worldly marks of covetousness and pride. It is the poverty of spirit, and the manner of conduct, dress, and conversation that marks a true Christian. If you were sent to pick up one of the children of God whom you had never seen or met before who was coming in on the bus or plane, would it be very hard to pick them out? What would you look for? You would look for a plain and modestly dressed individual, would you not? In the midst of the worldly crowd they would not be hard to distinguish. The manger and the swaddling clothes were the identification marks of the infant Jesus. Because of that, the Savior was found of the shepherds. Let us open our hearts to the Lord Jesus and make room for Him, being willing to bear His marks of identification.

—Bro. Leslie Busbee


There is an expectation in society that we bear the responsibility for any child born to us, and rightfully so. It is our duty to love that child, care for and nurture it to full maturity.

Throughout the years there have been many men and women of renown; and all have entered this world as innocent children who had to be cared for as they developed into greatness. But none were so great as our Lord. It remains a marvel and a mystery that God entrusted the care of the Creator to the created.

Christ the Savior was born. He was not introduced into this world as a fully functioning adult but as a babe born in a manger—a child that required care and nurturing. He was our Savior from His birth, though the world failed to recognize His greatness.

God, by his Spirit, plants the seed of the gospel in all of mankind and for those of us who embrace it, Christ is born in our hearts. God entrusts to our care the most precious thing ever known to man—His only begotten Son. And from this point we become responsible. It is now our duty to see that this Christ-child reaches adulthood.

As it is with the natural process, so it is with the spiritual. His life in us flourishes and thrives if we take diligent care. It languishes and dies if we do not. There are grave and eternal consequences if we fail and there are blessings beyond our comprehension when we succeed. The choice is ever before us. Will we allow Him to live and grow in our hearts or will we, like others, crucify Him somewhere along the way?

—Bro. Darrell Johnson