Scene one: A stable in Bethlehem, Judea. There, a group of shepherds kneel before a baby sleeping in a feeding trough (Luke 2:8-20). The society of the day despises these grimy, unclean shepherds, and they can’t believe they’re here. How could they have been given such a privilege?
Scene two: A little peasant home. A group of wise men from Eastern lands stand gazing at the baby (Matthew 2:1-12). They’re powerful, esteemed, and rich—you don’t bring gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh without having money. Their fine clothes and jewels look out of place in this village, but soon they also kneel before this exceptional child.
For this infant would become a boy and this boy would become a man; and this man would be found to be so much more: A carpenter by trade, but a King by birth. The God of the universe was visiting His people in person (John 1:1).
From the beginning, it was clear that this King would be different from others. As those shepherds knelt down, we saw that He’s a King for the Jews; and as those wise men knelt down, we saw that He’s a King for the Gentiles. When a fisherman knelt down, we saw a King for the workers (Luke 5:8); and when a centurion sought His help, we saw a King for the rulers (Matthew 8:8-9). And what kind of King hangs out with both priests and sinners? (Luke 7:36-38).
The real gift of Christmas is not more goodies under a tree, but a King and a Lord who came for every one of us. You can be wealthy or destitute, powerful or lowly. You can be burdened with all the shame that your sins have brought upon you. Yet this King will accept you, heal you, and forgive you as you kneel before Him.
Yes, bowing is most fitting in the presence of the King born for all.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 1 John 1:1-10
Read Philippians 2:9-11 to see the words that Paul used to describe Jesus as the true King of heaven and earth.
Why would you feel unworthy to be in the presence of King Jesus? Why would you think others are unworthy of Him?