Ralph W. Sockman, a nineteeth-century Methodist minister, once stated, “The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable.” The hinge he referred to was not a hinge on the Bethlehem stable in which Jesus Christ was born. Notice, he said the hinge of history. That is the testimony of Scripture. The Old Testament looked forward to Jesus and the New Testament looks back to Jesus. The prophets and apostles spoke of His appearing and death. Among all of God the Father’s plans, the birth of Jesus was unique. I want to take a few minutes and share four unique facts about the birth of Jesus.
Jesus’ Birth Was Uniquely Planned
While God the Father had planned for the creation of the angels in the invisible world and mankind in the visible world, He only planned for the salvation of men and women in order to rescue us from an eternal life of suffering in hell due to our sin. That is, God’s plan for the salvation of sinful men and women was unique among His creation. Ephesians 1:4 teaches us that God put the plan of salvation into place before the foundation of the world—even before He created man.
. . . just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. Ephesians 1:4 (NASB)
He did not plan to rescue angels (Hebrews 2:16). This means the birth of Jesus was uniquely designed for mankind. That also explains why Jesus had to take on human flesh. The very nature, essence, character of the Son of God was not transformed from deity into a human. He did not cease to be deity. Instead, He took on human flesh and was both deity and human (Philippians 2:5-8). Hebrews 2:14-17 states that Jesus became like us because He only planned to rescue us.
For assuredly He does not give help to angels . . . Hebrews 2:16 (NASB)
That was the Father’s rescue plan. It was uniquely planned for us.
Jesus’ Birth Was Uniquely Announced
God the Father sent us announcements telling us that His Son was going to be born. He used His prophets to tell us His son was coming as King (Genesis 49:10; Numbers 24:17; 2 Samuel 7:15-16; Isaiah 9:6). In Isaiah 7:14 God told us His Son would be virgin born. In Isaiah 9:6 He would be a child and become an adult. In Micah 5:2 we are told the King would be born in the city of Bethlehem south of Jerusalem and would be our God.
But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity. Micah 5:2 (NASB)
Here the prophet Micah announced that the promised Messiah would be a ruler in Israel and would be from days “long ago” and “from the days of eternity.” Twice Micah announced that He would be God. The ancient Jewish rabbis believed that Micah 5:2 was about the birth of the Messiah (Matthew 2:1-6). Pre-Christian Jewish interpretation of Micah 5:2 said it referred to the Messiah.
Amazingly, the prophet Daniel prophesied the time of His death in Daniel 9:25-26 as April 1, A.D. 33. From that date it is easy to estimate His birthday.
So Jesus’ birth was uniquely planned for us from the foundation of the world. Additionally, Jesus’ birth was uniquely announced because God the Father used His prophets to announce it even thousands and at times hundreds of years before the birth occurred.
Jesus’ Birth Was Uniquely Timed
In addition, Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us that the timing of Jesus’ birth did not occur immediately after Adam sinned and plunged creation into futility (Romans 8:20-21). Jesus’ birth did not occur as soon as possible. The message of Romans 5:6 is that God the Father waited until the right time for Jesus to be born.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6 (NASB)
Hebrews 1:1-2 adds that God the Father waited until what He considered to be the last days for Jesus to be born in human flesh.
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son . . . Hebrews 1:1-2 (NASB)
Galatians 4:4 echoes the same truth. You see, the Father had determined that it would have been a mistake for Jesus to be born earlier or later.
So the Father’s plan for the birth of Jesus was uniquely planned for us from the foundation of the world. Jesus’ birth was uniquely announced through the ancient prophets. Further, Jesus’ birth was uniquely timed. He came at just the right time the Father had planned.
Father’s Birthday Party For Jesus
The birth of Christ is also unique in all the pages of Scripture. While Genesis 4 tells us that Adam and Eve had two boys named Cain and Abel, the announcement of their birth is found in just one verse—Genesis 4:1. The announcement of the birth of Adam and Eve’s third son, Seth, is contained in just one verse—Genesis 4:26. Genesis 5 contains a list of men who were born and the description of each birth is contained in only one verse. Maybe the most significant birth in the book of Genesis is that of Isaac. Only two verses describe his birth—Genesis 21:2-3. The same pattern is true of every birth description in the pages of Scripture – except for the birth of Jesus.
The description of Jesus’ birth is unique in the pages of Scripture. It is recorded in Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 2:1-15. We could include the angel’s announcement to Mary in Luke 1:26-38, her Magnificat in Luke 1:46-56, and the entire account surrounding the arrival of the magi in Matthew 2:16-23. No other birth is given so much attention in the pages of the Bible.
While the description of Jesus’ birthday is truly amazing, we must notice that God the Father gave the greatest birthday party at the birth of Jesus. The birthday party was the culmination of the Father’s unique plan, announcements, and timing. We must not miss the words spoken by the angels at the Father’s birthday party for Jesus. The angel told the shepherds,
Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 (NASB)
God the Father did not pass out cigars and distribute silly gifts. He had His angels announce the gift of Jesus. For the angel said to the shepherds, “There has been born for you a Savior . . .” Notice the phrase “for you.” Jesus was born for them, for you and for me! Jesus was a gift to everyone who believes in Him. He is the Savior who rescues every repentant sinner who humbly believes Jesus is our God, Savior, and Lord.
Then verse 13 says a multitude of the angels praised God the Father.
And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased. Luke 2:13-14 (NASB)
You see, the birth of Jesus was the culmination of the Father’s plan, announcements, and timing. The angels knew it and praised Him in adoration. The Father had a birthday party on the day of Jesus’ birth, and the angels celebrated with Him. The shepherds joined in along with Joseph and Mary. Luke 2:19 says,
. . . Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. Luke 2:19 (NASB)
God the Father’s birthday party for Jesus was also unique.
How did God give a birthday party? He gave us the gift of Jesus, our God, Savior, and Lord. But that was not the end of the Father’s gifts. In Romans 8:32, the Father reminds us that He gave us other gifts.
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32 (NASB)
It says He has given us “all things.” They came through Jesus. In Romans 6:23 the Father tells us through the Holy Spirit,
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NASB)
Did you notice that God the Father gave us the gift of eternal life? It is available through Jesus Christ.
Our Christmas parties are insignificant compared to the birthday party God the Father “hosted” for Jesus. Do not miss out on the gifts the Father has made available to you. The Father’s gifts are Jesus Christ, through whom we obtain the gifts called faith, eternal life (Ephesians 2:8), righteousness (Romans 3:24; 5:17), and the gift of His grace (Ephesians 3:7). The gift of Jesus made it possible for the Father to give us the gift of eternal life.
God the Father has given us many other gifts that are available to everyone who is repentant of their sins and humbly submits to Him, trusting in Jesus to forgive their sins. Are you a believer in Jesus? If you are not, Romans 10:9-10 promises that if you humbly trust Jesus to forgive your sins, then you will be saved from your sins.
. . . that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” Romans 10:9-10 (NASB)
This is the purpose of Jesus’ birth.
1. Robert J Morgan. Preacher’s Sourcebook of Creative Sermon Illustrations.. Thomas Nelson Publishers. 2007. p. 10.8
2. The Jewish Study Bible. Jewish Publication Society. Oxford University Press. 2001. p. 1213.
Suggested Links:Searching for God — Go To Heaven
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Arrival of the Magi To Visit Christ
Prophecies About Christ
Messiah – Prince of Peace
Is Isaiah 7:14-16 a prophecy about Jesus Christ?
Where Did Jesus Come From?
The Gift – The Virgin Birth of Christ