The Sign of the Messiah

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12 NKJV

It is interesting that “historian” Luke provides the special detail of the baby Jesus being wrapped in swaddling cloths as well as “lying in a manger.” In his description of the birth he simply says, “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger…” (Luke 2:7 NKJV) Then to the shepherds the angels said, “You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

The description of a baby in a manger would be more unusual than a baby swaddled in cloths. I found it interesting that when my daughter’s children were born, she was very intent on them being “swaddled” in their cribs. The tight wrapping of an infant in a blanket is to provide a sense of security and to provide the familiar feel of the womb.

Mary showed her “mothering care” in providing for her newborn son a customary practice. We don’t know if there was another woman around or midwife to assist with the birth. It is interesting that Mary was visiting Elizabeth when John was born, so she would have seen the birth process and care given to a newborn.

Strips of cloths were used when a child was born and then when a body was prepared for burial. Certainly the imagery is not lost on the “Son of God, slain from the foundation of the earth.”

A baby in a manager would certainly be an unusual occurrence. Once again the imagery of the One who would be declared, the “bread of life” being in a feeding trough, on display for all to see, would speak of the destiny of this child.

Consider the “signs” of Jesus birth, to the first visitors and the world. There was the giving of His name, there was the star the wise men followed; there was a baby in a manger for the shepherds. We see foreshadowed in these signs the life and work of Jesus as the Christ and Savior of the world. In our “natural” world, we can find the signs of the “supernatural” if we look for them.

Prayer for today…. Lord, help us to have open eyes to see the “supernatural” in our “natural” world. Thank You that heaven invaded earth on that first Christmas morning and it still does in our world today.