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The Incarnation

The Incarnation


But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.” — Luke 2:10-11 NIV

One of the hardest scenarios to process as a human is when we’ve been looking forward to something and it falls apart.

We wait in eager anticipation for it... We tell our friends about it... We dream about the fulfillment of it...

And the moment that it all comes crashing down is devastating.

Maybe it was something you were dreaming up on your own. Or maybe it was a promise made to you by someone else they didn’t keep.

Broken promises and broken dreams lead to broken pieces of our heart.

What a tragedy it would be if all the events and promises in the Old Testament of the coming Messiah never took place. What an immense heartbreak if we opened our Bibles and in the table of contents we only had the Old Testament but not the New Testament. But because of God’s faithfulness, none of these hypothetical heartbreaks are true. And as we’ve journeyed through the Old Testament looking for Jesus, we’ve seen rich evidence over and over again of just how very present Jesus was and is. He’s never been absent.

The Messiah, the Anointed One, was present at every turn of every page in the Old Testament in so many different ways.

01 Think back on all you’ve learned about Jesus. How do these truths encourage your heart in places you may feel disappointed or disillusioned today?

02 How do these truths challenge you to look at something you’re facing with more assurance that the Lord is with you?

For such a long-awaited moment in human history, we may expect the most glorious, highly produced, red-carpet entrance. The most spectacular palace filled with the largest banquet of food and drink. And maybe some orchestra music and a choir singing His praises as He’s so warmly welcomed.

This is what we would expect. In fact, this is exactly what the wise men expected when they saw a sign in the heavens that told of the birth of a new King. This is exactly why the wise men’s first stop was King Herod’s palace (Matthew 2:1–3).

Where else would a future king be born but in a palace?

But King Herod’s palace was empty, and the King of Heaven and earth instead was born in the most unforeseen place: a barn.


Before we continue studying the incarnation and birth of Jesus, there is some historical background information that’s important for us to grasp.

The emperor of Rome at the time was Augustus, and he was known as the one who brought peace to Rome. In fact, Augustus was such a big deal that he was seen as the hope of the world at the time. We can know this because various historians have noted how:

  • The empire celebrated him.
  • Choirs in the palace sang his praises.
  • He was viewed as a god.
  • He was thought to have saved Rome.
  • He allegedly brough peace.
  • He proved he had power by taxing the people.

Luke is such a brilliant historian in the way he details the birth of Jesus in Luke 2. It’s intentionally designed to help us see how Jesus, in a peculiar way, surpasses everything that Augustus accomplished. But Jesus does this through the most unorthodox ways.

  • He was born in humble circumstances, yet all of creation celebrates Him.
  • He had no earthly palace, yet angels sing His praises.
  • Some denied His divinity, but Jesus is God.
  • Through self-sacrifice, Jesus saved not only Rome but the entire world.
  • Jesus did not focus on political peacemaking but brought a more important spiritual peace.
  • Jesus proved His power not by exerting His authority and causing others to suffer (like Augustus’ taxes) but by laying His own life down and suffering on the Cross.

03 What stands out to you the most as you see the comparison between Augustus and Jesus?

You see, if we expected Jesus to come as a triumphant earthly king and behave in the same way as Augustus, we would have absolutely missed Him. We would have been disappointed, confused, and grown even more weary over time that God was just getting our hopes up. In fact, we probably would have believed that Jesus never even showed up. It would have left us empty and even defeated.

04 How does it encourage you that every single promise of the coming Messiah was fulfilled through Jesus?

The greatest miracle of all is not just that Jesus came... but that He came down from Heaven to take on human flesh to be with us.
He could have come in so many other ways that were grander, less every day, and certainly in ways that required much less suffering on His part. But He didn’t choose that. Instead, He came to be with us and suffer alongside us.

05 Take a moment to close today and thank God for sending Jesus to earth and how present He has been and will forever be with you.

Excerpted with permission from 30 Days with Jesus by Lysa TerKeurst and Dr. Joel Muddamalle, copyright Lysa TerKeurst and Dr. Joel Muddamalle.

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Jesus’ incarnation was the fulfillment of so many promises from God. He’s the proof that God lives up to His word. He came to earth to be with us — Hallelujah! ~ Devotionals Daily