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Little Lamb

  • Little Lamb from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Have you ever wondered what it was like to be on Earth the night Jesus was born? What was the world like then? What do we know about it? Well, things were complicated. It was a difficult time. 

    Under Julius Caesar, Rome had expanded to a vast empire that spanned from Egypt to England, which was called Britannia. Then came Caesar Augustus. He was born with the name Octavian, named after his father. 

    Octavian was the grandson of Julius Caesar's sister Julia. He was a talented young man, and his great uncle Julius eventually adopted him as his official heir in about 45 B.C. Octavian was just seventeen years old, and within the year, Julius Caesar was conveniently murdered. The young Octavian divided Rome with two others—Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus. 

    The Mediterranean world had been filled with war and violence for decades. Now that it was split into three pieces, it became far worse. These were years of bloody, brutal fighting for power and money in Rome and its divided provinces. Octavian and Antony pushed out Lepidus, then Octavian defeated Antony and Cleopatra's combined forces, and he took the title "Caesar Augustus" as ruler over all of Rome about 31 B.C.

    Augustus means "exalted and sacred." Before Augustus, Rome had been a republic that prided itself on being a nation governed by laws, not by any man. No man was considered above the law in Rome, but Augustus changed all of that. Rome became an empire, with him at the top. The first emperor of Rome was Caesar Augustus, and the month of August was named after him. For decades, the world of the Mediterranean basin that Augustus lived in and that Jesus Christ would be born into was wrecked by war, destruction, brutality, and immorality.

    The historian Will Durant captured it beautifully:

    "The lusty peninsula (of Rome) was worn out with twenty years of civil war. Its farms had been neglected, its towns had been sacked or besieged, much of its wealth had been stolen or destroyed. Administration and protection had broken down; robbers made every street unsafe at night; highwaymen roamed the roads, kidnapped travelers, and sold them into slavery. Trade diminished, investment stood still, interest rates soared, property values fell. 

    Morals, which had been loosened by riches and luxury, had not been improved by destitution and chaos, for few conditions are more demoralizing than poverty that comes after wealth. Rome was full of men who had lost their economic footing and then their moral stability: soldiers who had tasted adventure and had learned to kill; citizens who had seen their savings consumed in the taxes and inflation of war and waited vacuously for some returning tide to life them back to affluence; women dizzy with freedom, multiplying divorces, abortions, and adulteries."

    This was the world that Jesus was born into, the first Christmas. Caesar Augustus called for a census to register and count all the people in the empire. Everyone was required to return to their hometown to register and be counted. It wasn't for record-keeping but so they could tax everyone in the Roman empire more effectively.

    This was known as the "first" census, for there were more to follow. One man in the ivory palaces of Rome gave a command, and the whole known world had to travel back to their hometowns to be counted. In Micah 5:2, he prophesied that Jesus would be born in the town of Bethlehem. The census helped make that happen.

    (Micah 5:2 NKJV) “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” 

    Joseph was from Bethlehem, so he and Mary had to travel between 80 to 100 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register for this census. It was a long trip that cost them time and money, and it would have taken 8 to 10 days when walking. That would have been very difficult on a pregnant woman.

    While they were in Bethlehem, Mary went into labor and gave birth to Jesus. One of the greatest events in history is merely stated as: "She gave birth to her firstborn Son." Because the inns were filled with traveling people, Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a feeding trough. As far as we know, Mary was completely separated from all her family and supporting friends who lived back in Nazareth.

    About 150 A.D. Justin Martyr, an early Christian apologist (a defender), wrote that Jesus was born in a cave in Bethlehem. The church of the nativity is built over the cave now, but at that time, it was just a cold cave they used to shelter livestock from the weather. This was the location of the birth of Jesus: the first Christmas.

    The sheep raised in Bethlehem were the temple lambs and the only ones allowed to be used in the temple sacrifices at Jerusalem. They were considered the best of the best. Jesus was the Lamb of God without blemish, so it was appropriate for Him to be born in a stable in Bethlehem. 

    After Jesus was born, an angel appeared to some shepherds of Bethlehem, living out in the field and watching their flock. They told the shepherds that Christ the Lord was born, and they would find Him lying in a manger, a feeding trough for livestock.

    The date of December 25th is unlikely but not impossible. That date became popular in the church about the 4th century and being that we don't know the exact day of Jesus' birth, one day is as good as another. Later, some wise men brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then some wise woman probably brought diapers, towels, and blankets.

    It was such a humble beginning for the King of all kings. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God who came to Earth, began His life here in a cold livestock cave, just like the other sheep. He was a beautiful baby lying in a feeding trough. Later, when Pontius Pilate examined Jesus, he said: "I find no fault in this man." The flawless Lamb of God, born in a Bethlehem stable, was eventually sacrificed at Passover. 

    God could have arranged this grand entrance in any way that He chose. One example is that His parents could have been rich. Mary could have given birth in a palace or a temple. Yet, God chose a livestock cave for His Lamb to be born in. 

    There is a simple, down-to-earth humility and lack of pomp about God that is so admirable. He is the opposite of insecure and chooses not to impress anyone. When the Pharisees asked Jesus to show them a sign, He ignored them. When James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven and burn up a village that rejected Him, He said, "How about we just go to the next town?" 

    Though Rome had conquered Israel and the Jews saw their coming Messiah as a great king like David who would free them and take their country back, Jesus avoided the searing political drama of the day. Instead, He focused on the kingdom of God and refused to be dragged into their petty conflict.    

    The Lord sees things much differently than we do. Keep your eye on the prize. Remember that Jesus is the reason for all seasons, and may God richly bless you!

    You can pray this with me if you like: 

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I adore You. Thank you so much for sending Your Son, Jesus, to redeem me. Please help me get in tune with what You are doing on Earth today. Speak to me in a way that I understand, fill me with Your Spirit, and don't pass me by. I want more of You in my life today. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Happy Birthday, Jesus! Amen.


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20 comments
  • 2
Debi Burton
Debi Burton Heavenly Father, I adore You. Thank you so much for sending Your Son, Jesus, to redeem me. Please help me get in tune with what You are doing on Earth today. Speak to me in a way that I understand, fill me with Your Spirit, and don't pass me by. I want more of You in my life today. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Happy Birthday, Jesus! Amen. ❤️
December 26, 2022
  • 2
Schalk  de Beer
Schalk de Beer

Yes, amen Lord. 

December 25, 2022
  • 3
Nell Neathery
Nell Neathery

Micah 5:2 NKJV) “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” 

 

 

I named my youngest daughter Mary Hannah.  and my song for her is "Mary Hannah Little Lamb!"  My oldest daughter is Amy...I think of Alpha.  My middle daughter is Megan...I think of Omega.

 

 

 

 

December 25, 2022
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Amen, Nell! He came in the most humble estate and in the town of Bethlehem, the least of all places in Judah, blessed be his name!!! (h5)

December 26, 2022
  • 2
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

Thank you God Amen 

December 25, 2022
  • 2
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen 

December 26, 2022
  • 2
Dana Rozell
Dana Rozell

Amen! Thank You Father God.

December 26, 2022
  • 3
Kevin J. Eck
Kevin J. Eck

Amen, Keep me humble and let there be no pride in my heart Father. I lay at your Feet and gaze at your total Awesomeness! Yet you come into this World as a Baby Lamb,but able to move the Stars in the Heavens with Love and Power! Thank You Jesus!

December 26, 2022
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Amen and Amen!!! (h5)

December 26, 2022
  • 3
David Krull
David Krull

Amen. Help me Lord keep my eyes upon You. In Jesus Name 

December 26, 2022
  • 2
Candy Laventure
Candy Laventure

Very interesting, Pastor.

Praise the Lord. Amen!

December 26, 2022
  • 1
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

Hallelujah,  Amen 

December 26, 2022
  • 1
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann

Amen thank you for another great Christmas service God bless you all 

December 26, 2022
  • 1
Yvette York
Yvette York

Amen Good Morning Everyone Thank You Father For Everything 

December 26, 2022
  • 1
Maria Melendez
Maria Melendez

Amen ! Glorioso .

December 26, 2022
  • 1
Celeste Strenn
Celeste Strenn

Amen❣️thank you so very much dear Lord Jesus that you show us how to live❣️❣️starting with your Humble Birthday❣️

December 26, 2022
  • 1
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!!

December 26, 2022
  • 1
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

Heavenly Father, I adore You. Thank you so much for sending Your Son, Jesus, to redeem me. Please help me get in tune with what You are doing on Earth today. Speak to me in a way that I understand, fill me with Your Spirit, and don't pass me by. I want more of You in my life today. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Happy Birthday, Jesus! Amen!

December 26, 2022
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Amen and Amen and Amen!!! Blessed be the name, blessed be the name, blessed be the name of all names, the most holy name in heaven and on earth, our Lord and God, our Savior Jesus Christ!!! For He is Holy!!! Thank you my Lord and God for taking on carnality and such a humble estate just for us, just for me to bring salvation to us, to me!!! You are my all in all (h5)

December 26, 2022
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen! 

December 27, 2022