If you've paid attention for the last few weeks, you know how slowly I have crawled through the first two chapters of Luke. Even though I've read the book several times, I continue to find parts of the story I've never noticed.
In Luke 2, we find the Christmas story as made famous by Charles Schultz. Verse 7 says Jesus was born in a stable because there was no room for his family at the Inn. I never asked myself why God would orchestrate the birth of His son like this. If not in a palace, why not at the very least have him born in a comfortable place? Why invite the local ner-do-well shepherds to the party?
I think Jesus hinted at this later to his disciples in 22:24-27. "A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, 'The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at the table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.'"
If Jesus had come to earth as a powerful or wealthy man, people may have felt compelled to listen and obey. He might have found more panderers than genuine followers. More than anyone, though, Jesus demonstrated humility and became a servant.
Do you think you would have had an easier time listening to a humble peasant or a proud ruler?