1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2 ([And] this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen [it], they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard [it] wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered [them] in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
The angels told the shepherds: unto you is born this day in the city of David, a saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Note the words unto you, in the city of David, this day, a saviour, Christ the Lord.
Angels are not the ones to whom this birth concerns here. This birth is unto us. Many times we have talked about Jesus Christ as the Son of David, we have also talked about him being the Son of God. But here, the city of David is mentioned in particular. Bethlehem is formed from two Hebrew words: Beth meaning house, and Lehem, bread. Bible scholars tell us therefore, that Bethlehem means the house of bread.
Also Christ is a saviour. The Hebrew and Greek concepts of what a name means seems to me to be somewhat stronger than in English. The Hebrew word for name is Shem, and the Greek word is Onoma. When we talk about a name in Hebrew and in Greek, it also has the sense of character. We usually command in the name of Jesus, but hardly do we have his character. So in a sense, Jesus becomes our saviour when we are like him, with no sin. The Bible says unto those that wait for him will he appear a second time, without sin unto salvation.
In God's house there are many mansions: what this means to me is, in God's house there are many positions, or places. Some might have a parlour relationship with Christ, some might be close to the bedroom, but never enter, while a select few have a bedroom relationship with him. Those in the bedroom relationship with Christ should hardly confess their sins. Those with a parlour relationship might believe in deliverance and get away with it, but those who have entered the Holy of Holies with Christ must believe their sins have been washed, and they are free from sin. When they err, they only have to repent, Jesus has saved them from sin. Not doing so is usually cause for different types of illnesses in a person.
Jesus says in my Father's house are many mansions (the Greek word for mansions is Monai). Monai is probably from the Greek word Meno, to remain. Our relationship with Christ, our different relationships remind me of the concept of a house, and the concept of a partition in Mathematics. It also reminds me of the concept of fundamental particles, and the laws of nature in Physics. Everything in nature points to Christ, the Word of God. And light could either be represented as a wave in Physics or as a particle. Words could be represented as waves.
The Bible also says this day in the passage above. The Bible says Today is the day of salvation, harden not your hearts as in the day of provocation, when your fathers tempted me, provoked me, and saw my works. So what should the Christmas season mean to us? It should be a time of stock taking. The Bible says we should examine ourselves, whether we be reprobates, and that we should work out our own salvation. We already have the salvation, we should only work it out. I am not saying we should be brought under the law of commandments again, but we should use the Christmas season to take stock.
The Bible also says the law is made for the adulterer, the perjurer, the fornicator, and such like. The law is not really made for the righteous person. Once we decide to be under the law, that means we are still a murderer, a fornicator, a perjurer, a liar, etc. We can only be justified with God by our faith in Jesus' shed blood and atonement on the cross. Just as Abraham was justified by faith, so can we, if we operate by faith.
Many people have turned the Christmas period to one of feasting and merriment. And it should be partly so, for the angels said to the shepherds, I have brought you good tidings of great joy. Perhaps God knew this all the while, that people would turn the birth of Jesus to a sort of festival, irreminiscent of His original plan. Actually, He knows all things. Bethlehem as we have said is the house of bread. It is good to feast during the season of Christmas, but remember, there is a more important reason for it. Jesus Christ is the Bread Of Life. While you might feast on the material things that could only lead to the Bios, the physical life, remember the sacrifice of Jesus is one which gives a more important life, the God-life, Zoe.
This should be our attitude at Christmas. Do not let us be so much concerned with the feasting, and the things of this world, that we should forget the lessons of Christmas for what it is. It is a time, we celebrate the time Jesus Christ our saviour came to save us from sin.