What The Birth of Jesus Means For Marriage

Imagine, the very first people to know of the arrival of the Messiah were shepherds. At the time, shepherds were not revered as the holy symbol of caretakers of the flock. No. At the time, most people with any education or skilled vocation scoffed at shepherds because they were dirty, perhaps even smelly from walking long distances and sleeping with the animals. They were not the ones held in high regard yet, God chose them to be the very first to reveal the good news to the world.

There are so many focal points about the birth of Jesus that people picture with their mind’s eye. Some will focus on the wise men and their ability to recognize a sign in the night’s sky that something miraculous was happening. Others focus on Mary and Joseph and their perseverance to find an inn only to stay in a manger with the animals. Yet others focus on the actual birth of Jesus knowing that He was placed there in a virgin’s womb and her husband overcame his feelings and trusted God that he was blessed. But only a few focus on the shepherd’s side of the story.

'When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. ' Luke 2:17-18

Why shepherds? Why not men and women of influence? Surely the prominence of the powerful people in the community having access to resources would be the fastest way to spread the good news. It seems illogical to take people who are already cast aside by society and looked down upon to be the heralds of the birth of the Messiah. But God knows something that our worldly minds don’t quite comprehend.

If you read the bible, you will know that it is filled with the most unlikely of characters and circumstances being used to demonstrate the love our Father in heaven has for us. Just like shepherds were used to be the first to share the good news of Christ, it was at a wedding where the very first recorded miracle in the new testament was written. There, during a covenant wedding ceremony, where two people became one flesh, Jesus turned water into wine and launched into His ministry.

Why a wedding ceremony? God’s every move has intention. There are no accidents. A wedding ceremony is a prophetic picture of the relationship Jesus has with the church. Like shepherds, God uses marriages to speak of the everlasting love He has for us. God’s love is enduring and forever. I believe Jesus used His one and only “first public” miracle at a wedding because marriage exemplifies the enduring love He has for us. Marriage speaks of a Covenant that can never be changed. Like the shepherds, married people are also heralds of the love Jesus Christ has for us.

I bet you are thinking, I don’t have the perfect marriage. My current situation is hardly the picture of God’s love for the church. That is why your marriage was chosen to glorify God. You can’t look at your current situation. Do you think that Mary and Joseph thought that giving birth to a baby in a dirty manger would be the everlasting picture of the arrival of the Messiah? Do you think that the poorly dressed, smelly shepherds in the desert hills of Bethlehem thought that they would forever be chosen as the first heralds of the coming of the King? It is completely acceptable for you to look at yourself and your marriage and question how your situation will be used to glorify God. However, truly I can tell you, it will.

'And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” ' - Mark 2:17

What better circumstance than a broken marriage to testify to the enduring, everlasting, never wavering love of God? You have to hold onto who Jesus came for. He came for the brokenhearted. He came to heal the sick. He came to call people out of the darkness. He came for you! It says in His word “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3). What better way to demonstrate to the world the true heart of Jesus than by restoring your marriage and family so that you run like the shepherds to share the good news?

People that have “stuff” in their lives are a privileged group of people. His Word speaks of leaving the ninety-nine to rescue the one. My friend, you are the one! Yes, you. You are the one. Let that sink in. While you think you are alone under that olive tree, Jesus is quite literally with you because He knows your name and He knows the name of your spouse. He is choosing you now for things to come. Maybe your time has not yet come but, trust me it will. And you will shout from the rooftops of the glory of your King as He restores you.

This Christmas, hold your head up high. You are chosen. You are his special treasure. You will be the herald of His goodness and love. You will be like the shepherds who were chosen from all the people of the good news of Christ. He is choosing you to speak of His everlasting love for you and your marriage. Remember that He chose a marriage ceremony to be where His first public miracle was shown and that He’ll do it again for you.

By Pastor Koji Bell
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