Isaiah 9:1-6 II:
1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.
2 This was the first enrollment, when Quirin'i-us was governor of Syria.
3 And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered.
7 And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8 And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.
10 And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people;
11 for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and 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 among men with whom he is pleased!"
- (v.2) Quirinius: The governor of Syria in A.D. 6-7. It is difficult to identify the exact year of Jesus' birth, because the census mentioned in this passage took place after A.D. 6, while Luke 1:5 situated Jesus' birth during the reign of Herod the Great, who ruled before Quirinius, from 37-4 B.C.
- (v.3) Nazareth is a village in Galilee fifteen miles southwest of the Sea of Galilee. Bethlehem means "house of bread" and is the ancestral home of the line of David.
- (v.7) "First-born son" is a legal designation for the one who has special privileges and position under Mosaic law (Deut. 21:15-17). Christian faith understands Jesus to be the "first-born of many brothers" in a spiritual sense (Rom 8:29).
- The swaddling clothes and manger are symbols of poverty and humility; "No room for them in the inn" and "laid him in a manger" are two factors that indicate their staying in a shelter for farm animals.
- A manger is a place to hold food. Jesus lying in the manger is food
for the world. [JEROME]
- (vv.13-14) The angels' sing of glory as the highest praise to Jesus
despite his humble birth.
- The shepherds were poor, uneducated, commonly regarded as thieves, and classed along with tax collectors and prostitutes [FULLER]. The young David was also a shepherd. Thus, the presence of the shepherds has two meanings: Jesus came to the poor, and Jesus is closely associated with the Kingship of David.
One Main Point
This passage describes the humble birth of Jesus the Savior of humanity. Jesus was born in a very lowly setting and was welcomed into the world by the lowliest and poorest people, yet His birth was announced by the angels as 'good news of a great joy which will come to all people'.
- How do I receive the good news of the coming of Jesus Christ as the Savior of humanity, and as my personal Savior?
- As I am determined to follow Jesus, how do I reach out to those who
are lowly or 'poor' in different aspects of life, and those who are suffering physically or emotionally? How do I bring the 'good news of a great joy' to them?
- What am I willing to give up, like Jesus gives up His throne in heaven, to reach out to the poorest and lowliest? My material life? My time? My comfort zones?
Enter Reader's Response or View Reader's Response this week
A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community