And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
So a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. The decree of that taxation forced everyone back to a certain place. While we can all relate to the taxation thing forcing us into a certain place, being taxed can happen in many more ways than just paying taxes to the government.
In Hebrews 12:22-24 the Bible says, “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
The phrase, “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven” is the same idea as when the decree from Caesar Augustus forced everyone back to their hometown.
The writer of Hebrews is saying your name is written on the roll of your heavenly home and Jesus is there and Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant.
The angel came to the shepherds watching over their flocks by night out in the field, not in the city, and said, “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” the Saviour, Christ the Lord is born. and this shall be the sign unto you; “Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
It is time that the shepherds who are supposed to be watching over the flocks by night in the field stand up and say Christ the Lord is born and He is lying in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes. I fear that the shepherds are not recognizing Christ the Lord because He is wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. We so often are looking for the King of Glory to come riding in at the head of His angelic army and deliver us from all the taxation of life, that we fail to point out the Christ that is lying in a manger in the middle of a barn full of animals, noise and smells. A manger is a crib like device that held hay so that animals could fed from it. Jesus was laid in a manger as a sign to us that we are to feed upon the birth of the Christ child just as an animal feeds on hay from a manger.
Do we recognize the Christ child and feed on His goodness, love and new life in the midst of our barns or do we look for Him to deliver us from the taxation and the yoke of bondage as His people have done for so many years?
Jesus is wrapped in swaddling clothes and He is lying in a manger!