The Significance of the Manger

Text: Luke 2:7, 12, 16

“Were you born in a barn?” use to be a common colloquialism to describe our kids’ lack of discrimination between what’s inside the house and what’s outside the house.  That saying came from the birth of Jesus Christ in whose case it was true that He was born in a barn.

The word manger only shows up three times in the Bible; all three times are in the verses we will preach from in Luke chapter 2.

It’s significant who was in the manger

  • the babe…That baby is God.  Your calendar would forever be changed with this event.
  • In that manger was the humanity of God
    • 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh… God in diapers, what a thought!?  God as a child learning, growing, asking questions, hitting his thumb with a hammer, getting splinters, scraping his knee.  Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.  Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (3 words that changed everything)
    • John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
    • Righteousness, wisdom, sanctification, and redemption all have a body – 1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
    • Eternal life has a form – 1 John 1:1-3 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
    • Truth is a man – John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

It’s significant that the manger is where the flock was fed

  • The angel said this would be a sign to the shepherds that they’d find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  The sign to the shepherds was unmistakable.
  • The manger is where the flock is fed.
    • Here is Jesus Christ, the bread of life, to feed the flock of God.
    • John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

It’s significant that the manger smelled like cattle

  • Make no mistake, the manger is a feed trough.  It was dirty.  It smelled like animals.
  • Manger, like you and me are dirty because of our flesh.
  • Manger, like you and me are unworthy of divine royalty.
  • Manger, like you and me are places God chose to put Himself.
    • You get close enough to another Christian and you realize they stink like an animal.
    • Christians if not careful begin to focus on the smell of cattle in another Christian rather than the work of God in that soul’s life.
  • Ordinary stable furniture turned to something extraordinary because of who was in it.
    • God would take the ordinary, insignificant, common feed trough and make it special by putting someone priceless in it.
    • Like a sinner that gets saved.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

It’s significant why Jesus was there

  • No room in the inn.  The inn would be like a house with a couple extra rooms.
  • I’ve heard multiple sermons about where there is no room for Jesus and you probably have too.
    • No room in culture.
    • No room in education.
    • No room in politics.
  • All that is true.  We don’t have any misconceptions about the world and there really is little reason for me to tell you the world has no room for Jesus.
  • I like the Christmas music, the lights, the decorations, the days off work, the presents, the get togethers.  But some things about Christmas which is suppose to be a birthday for Jesus Christ.
    • Christmas is the only birthday celebration I know of where everyone else gets gifts except the one with the birthday.  We may say He’s the reason for the season, but how many of you have a gift to give the Lord Jesus Christ?
    • Christmas is the only birthday I know of where sometimes the birthday boy is not allowed to attend.  Instead the heroes are Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty.
  • Let’s get personal.  Haven’t you found in your life fitting Jesus in is like an overbooked innkeeper who would have to say no to other guests in order to make room.
  • It’s significant why Jesus was in the manger.
  • No room because of ignorance.
    • You didn’t know he’d be here, so you’re booked.  No rooms vacant.  You’ve let guests in that you shouldn’t have.
    • Entangled.  Now, it’s going to be hard to get those guests out to make room for him.
  • No room because of indifference.
    • Maybe you didn’t care he was coming.  Church, prayer, Bible, preaching, teaching, witnessing; none of it is “your thing.”
    • You can take him or leave him.  Makes no difference to you.
  • No room because of inconvenience
    • Look, as an innkeeper, to take on a pregnant mother means special accommodations are going to have to be made.
    • Things will have to be rearranged in order to make room and I just don’t want to get into that.