God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are. (I Corinthians 1:27) From a human point of view to have the King of Kings being born to young inexperienced parents is not wise. To have her conceive out of wedlock – shameful – then to have her travel on the back of a donkey from the security and comfort of her own home – just ridiculous!
But God’s ways are not our ways and in His perfect plan He had Mary in the final stages of pregnancy when Caesar Augustus called for a census. This meant a 70 - 80 mile trek for Joseph and Mary to the town of Bethlehem. If it had been me, I am sure the question in my mind would have been “why now?”
There are so many events or timings of God that we might consider coincidental but the Great Conductor is ordering our footsteps aright. Jesus needed to be born in Bethlehem to fulfil prophecy. The Lord just uses man and natural events to fulfil his purposes. He does the same in our lives. At just the right time He brings people into our lives that can speak a word in season or have us at a place that will touch our lives forever.
For Mary and Joseph to make the journey to Bethlehem is one thing but then to find nowhere to stay must have been heartbreaking and frustrating. These people are known for their hospitality. It wasn’t unusual to welcome a stranger into their home. To be rejected or turned away from where they expected a welcome was a prophetic sign of what the Saviour would encounter later. The very people that He comes to will often turn Him away at the door of their heart.
Fortunately there was a barn that had room to welcome the tired couple. Not exactly the sterile and clean environment that we like to have our babies born into. But this too is a prophetic statement as to where the Saviour would come. It is right in the midst of life’s situations, problems, sickness, addictions and needs that God loves to come. Jesus is not waiting for us to “clean up our acts” before He comes in. If that were the case we would have no need for a Saviour. He wants us to welcome Him into the midst of whatever is happening in our lives so that His power in us can work in and through us.
If I had been Mary I would have had many questions about the timing of the birth and the place. But God in His wisdom was proclaiming to the world a profound statement. “I have chosen the foolish things, the shameful things, the despised things, the lowly things to confound the wise and nullify the things that are so that no one may boost before Him.”