What Jesus’ First Home Tells Us

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Luke 2:1-7

She . . . laid him in a manger. (v. 7)

Jesus’ first home was a feeding trough behind a motel with no vacancy. Let that sink in. The God of the universe, by whom and for whom all things were created (Col. 1:16), this eternal Word who existed before the beginning (John 1:1), could have chosen any place to make his first home. He chose a manger in a sleepy shepherd town.

Last year, televangelist Jesse Duplantis came under criticism for asking viewers to believe God with him for a new $54 million private jet. He defended his desire with a stunning claim, “I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey.” I’m not as sure as Jesse. That Jesus made his first home a stable tells us something.

It would be decades later before the apostle Paul wrote that Christ “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant” (Phil. 2:7), but the manger of Luke 2 is an opening statement by Jesus that his kingdom would be different. In every way, Christ took the form of a servant, obedient ultimately to death. That life of humility began right then, right there, that night in Bethlehem. By identifying with the humblest of folk, Jesus invites all of us to follow the way of humility. One day we will reside with him in his Father’s house. Until then, faithful followers learn to travel the way of the servant, living lives that point to the ultimate Servant. —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, ask God to help you live in the way of Jesus.