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Luke 2:7 NIV 
2018-12-14Written by Bob and Debby Gass
It seems likely that the house where Joseph and Mary planned to stay had only two rooms: one for the family and one for the guests. For some reason - possibly the census - the guest room was full. The only alternative was the lower part of the house, where the animals were usually kept. Of all the traditions associated with Jesus' birth, one of the most reliable is that He was born in a cave, and it's quite likely that the lower part of the house would have been cut in a cave-like way from the rock. So, the baby is born, wrapped in strips of cloth and placed in the manger - the animal feed trough. That this was highly unusual is suggested by the shepherds being told that 'the baby in a manger' is a sign. With Jesus' birth we come to something quite extraordinarily profound. Christian teaching is that, in this baby, God was somehow entering His own creation. This is the extraordinary truth that we call the incarnation - that, in Jesus, God became one of us. It is an extraordinary descent from highest majesty to lowest insignificance, from unbelievable wealth to desperate poverty. Notice the phrase that Luke uses: 'She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger.' At the end of Luke's gospel, in chapter 23, we read that Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body and 'then he took [the body] down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock'. The parallel is very striking. For our sake Jesus became the lowest of the low, quite literally from the cradle to the cross.
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