The Miracle of the Manger

The Miracle of Christmas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Miracle of the Manger

That Jesus, the creator of the Heavens and Earth, would lay in a manger is nothing short of miraculous.
Joseph, the espoused husband of Marry, has returned to Bethlehem for taxation. Upon arrival, he finds that the house has been filled and there is no room available. Why was there no room? All of Israel was to be taxed, and many travelers had filled all the rooms. It is very possible that it was the elderly who took priority, and that is why there were no accommodations granted.
But why Bethlehem?


Luke 2:4ESV
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
Micah 5:2 (NKJV) “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”
The birth in Bethlehem was prophesied in Micah 700 years before the birth of Jesus. Nazareth was 70 miles away from Bethlehem. If they followed the Jordan River, their last portion of the journey would have led them from Jericho to Bethlehem. This was a 3,500-foot ascent up from the dead sea. The fact that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, as prophesied, is miraculous.
The name Bethlehem is derived from two Hebrew root words. First, Bet-meaning House. The Second is Lehem- meaning bread.
John 6:33ESV
For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
John 6:35ESV
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
John 6:48ESV
I am the bread of life.
John 6:51ESV
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Bethlehem was a small insignificant town of around 300. It neighbored Jerusalem (less than 7 miles), which would have had approximately 40,000 and over 1/4 million at times.
This fits Christ.
Isaiah 53:2NKJV
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
There was no room for Him in the Inn.


Luke 2:7KJV 1900
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.
The word Inn comes from the greek word-meaning guest room. As was mentioned earlier, the town of Bethlehem only had around 300 people and wouldn’t have been large enough to sustain a hotel. So there was no room for them in the Inn, in a guest room.
Luke 9:58ESV
And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Matthew 27:57–60 (NKJV) Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.
He was born with nowhere to lay His head, so he borrowed a manger. When He died, He had nowhere to lay His body, so He borrowed a tomb.
He did this so that He could go and prepare a place for you and me.
Why was He laid in a manger?


What is a manger?
It is typically a rock that has been hollowed out.
Matthew 27:60NKJV
and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.
It was used for feeding or watering the flocks.
Bethlehem was known for raising animals for sacrifice in Jerusalem. The Manger was not some dirty barn. It was a cave that was used for keeping the livestock. Ancient historians, dating back to the second century A.D., stated that Jesus was born in a birthing cave.
The place where these sheep were birthed was at MIGDAL EDER, in Bethlehem. This was where there was a tower that the shepherds could use to keep watch over the flocks.
The caves used to birth sacrificial animals were typically kept to ensure the lambs were safe.
As a result of the demand for spotless lambs, the shepherds would swaddle them at birth. This swaddling would stay until the animal was examined for blemishes. Then, only the spotless firstborns’ animals would be taken to Jerusalem for sacrifice.
It very well may be that Jesus was swaddled in a cloth meant for a sacrificial lamb.
When Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes, it signifies that He was being prepared for sacrifice in Jerusalem.
John 1:29NKJV
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Furthermore, in Revelation, we find that He is still the Lamb of God. In the last chapter of the Bible Rev 22,it says,
Revelation 22:3NKJV
And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
The Manger is a miracle because it was unfitting for a king. However, it was fitting for a sacrificial lamb.
Yet we know that the last time He came, He came as a lamb, but the next tie will be as a lion.
Bethlehem was the home of the sacrifices, but it is also of the tribe of Judah.
Genesis 49:9ESV
Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?
The next time He comes will not be to offer Himself as a sacrifice but rather to reign as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Revelation 5:5ESV
And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
The first time- He was a Lamb
The next time- He is a Lion
The first time- He came in a Manger
The next time- He comes in Might
The first time- He was born in a sheep stall
The next time- He comes riding on a white horse. Rev 19:11
The first time- He was wrapped in swaddling clothes
The next time- He will come in a vesture dipped in Blood. Rev 19:13
The first time- He came on a silent night
The Next time- His voice will be like thunder Rev. 14:1-2
The first time- He came to die
The next time- He comes to defeat
He came the first time so that we may be ready at His return. Are you prepared to meet your creator?
He was born in a manger but do not mistake He meekness for weakness. On the contrary, he is kind, loving, merciful, and faithful. However, He is also just and faithful to His commandments and promises.
Galatians 6:7KJV 1900
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Just as His last visit came in the night, His return will be the same.
If it happens today, are you ready?
Is your heart right with God?
Do you know Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem’s Manger?
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