I've tried to imagine the savior's birth so many times, and every time it seems surreal, mysterious, and bewildering. The all-powerful lord of the universe became human. Not a mighty prince in a palace. Not a powerful warrior or a superhero.
He was born to an unknown, a young woman from nowhere—not a Cinderella engaged to a handsome prince but a small-town girl promised to a small-town carpenter.
But Joseph wasn't just any small-town carpenter. He was a prince after all—unknown but nonetheless royal—from the lineage of King David. Time and turmoil had ravaged the kingdom. Kings and conquerers had come and gone. His ancestors had been tested, exiled, and some were executed, but a remnant persisted.
Joseph had lived in anonymity—minding his own business—planning to marry the young woman pledged to him. He planned to live out his days building a family and building homes and furniture.
But his life changed forever when he discovered Mary was pregnant. I imagine he felt an immediate sense of betrayal, but he must have been a man of compassion and understanding, since he planned to divorce her quietly—dampening her shame and his.
But an angel of the Lord awakened Joseph to his greater purpose. His life would be more than bricks and beams. He was going to be part of building the kingdom that will never end. The angel appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Joseph, the carpenter, descendant of kings and concubines, prophets and prostitutes, the desperate and the dysfunctional would adopt and raise the Son of God and give Him the Name Jesus, Savior, Yeshua, ישוע.
I'm not sure I even begin to understand God's amazing, convoluted, seemingly paradoxical plan to rescue us from ourselves, but I'm confident of this much: His ways are higher than mine. His reasoning is beyond my comprehension—beyond my imagination and my dreams.
The Highest became the humblest. The forgotten became the favored. The frail became fearless. The religious became the rotted and repulsive. The faithless became the faithful. And the rejected became the redeemed.
Our High King came as baby. No one had room for him. Not Nazareth. Not family. Not Bethlehem. Not even Israel. Before He was two years old, his family had to flee to Egypt to save his life.
The baby born on the ground and placed in a bed of hay would become the savior of the world. He would build a kingdom that is not yet seen though it is here. The kingdom that showers inexplicable peace in our hearts. And that tiny baby is our Prince of Peace.