"THE BEST HE COULD OFFER"
And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7)
Mary loved her baby. You can see it in her actions. She wrapped Him in swaddling clothes—these were strips of cloth that mothers used to bind their babies so they would grow up straight and strong. And of course, she wanted the best for her baby. So she must have packed them, back in Nazareth, in case of need. They weren't silk or satin, but they were the best she could offer.
Joseph loved the baby, too. We can see that by all the hard work he went to, to keep Jesus and His mother safe. Was it he who brought over the manger so that Jesus could have a safe place to sleep and Mary wouldn't have to worry about Him? It seems likely. He couldn't provide Jesus with a crib or cradle, but he could at least get Him off the floor. It was the best he could offer.
And God the Father? Ah, His love was the best of all. For He also provided the best He could offer—Jesus Himself, our Savior. God did not send us an angel. He did not send a wise and holy man, or a great leader, or an epic hero. He sent His own Son Jesus into the flesh: God incarnate born as a human baby.
Jesus offered Himself up for our sakes—from the first day of His life to the last. He offered Himself at the cross in order to destroy the power of sin, death, and the devil. He brought the whole human race out from under those terrible powers. And when He rose from the dead, He guaranteed that whoever trusts in Him will have the best of the best—will become a child of God and enjoy His love, and deep, joyful, meaningful life, forever.
Who could offer anything more?
THE PRAYER: Father, thank You for Jesus. Take my heart and help me to trust in Your Son forever. Amen.
* What kinds of things would you do for a baby to care for it?
* Name one thing God has provided for you this week that shows His love.
* What is one thing, big or small, you choose to offer to God because you love Him?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Today's Bible Readings: Nehemiah 1-3 Revelation 16
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