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December 24 – The firstborn son

She brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” –  Luke 2:7 

Scripture reading: Luke 2:1-7

The word firstborn has a special meaning here. We would already know this reality from the context; it would be obvious. The term “firstborn” highlights the special status of this Son. The birth of a firstborn child is always a special moment; it is the moment we start parenting.

There was even more to this status in Bible times. God had taught his people from the moment they left Egypt that their firstborn children belonged to Him (Luke 2:23). They had to pay a special redemption price for their firstborn sons, similar to what they had to offer the first fruits of their harvest. There was an expectation that the Messiah would be a firstborn King, made evident by prophecy (Psalm 89:26-27). The word “firstborn” here is as much a title as it is a description. It indicates that despite the poverty and shame in this scene, this Child is indeed the Chosen One.

Mary gives her Son the very best care, respect and love that she can. She is deeply impressed by these events (Luke 2:19). She was caring for the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29). He is the firstborn over all creation, the owner of everything (Colossians 1:15). He is the only firstborn that is worthy of worship (Hebrews 1:6). He is the firstborn from the dead and the ruler over the kings of the earth (Revelation 1:5). His birth would change everything. The coming of the Lord’s angels in the following verses was a sign of these truths!

Suggestion for prayer

Pray that God’s gift of His firstborn Son would once again be seen as the hope of all the earth. 

Pastor Robert VanDoodewaard currently serves the Free Reformed Church in Powassan, Ontario, Canada as a minister of the gospel.

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