I wonder how much Jesus could see and know about the events surrounding His birth. He was always ahead of His time. In the second chapter of Luke, we find Mary and Joseph looking for Him, only to discover that He was in the temple at Jerusalem interacting with the teachers who “were amazed at His understanding and His answers (verse 47).”
I wonder if He understood the reason for the lack of privacy. The guest room was apparently occupied, so Mary and Joseph had withdrawn to a stable at the back of or underneath the house, perhaps in a cave. A feeding trough even served as a crib. How simple and bare it must have all seemed.
I wonder if He realized that Luke’s later story of His birth would speak of this starkness. Luke, recognizing the need for Christ to identify with the poor, lowly and marginal of the world, gave us a poignant perspective of those early hours.
I wonder if He heard the angel and the heavenly host announcing His arrival. Mary and Joseph did not. These two, busy with the chores of childbirth under the most difficult of circumstances, do not themselves experience heaven’s visit, but hear of it from, of all people, the shepherds.
I wonder if He heard the angel announce His threefold title of “Savior, Christ, and Lord.” Interestingly, Luke is the only gospel writer who offers the word “Savior” in his birth setting. Maybe Luke the physician, more than all the others who would later follow Jesus, recognized what “saving” a life really meant.
I wonder if He heard the heavenly host singing of peace and salvation. And could he imagine that this peace would be granted not only to persons, but also societies through a restoration of balance in all the forces of creation, which influence our lives.
And I wonder about those shepherds. I wonder if Jesus thought about why the shepherds played such a crucial part in those preliminary plans. Did He know that it was all part of God’s plan to tie Jesus to the shepherd king, David (II Samuel 7:8)? Did He recognize that much like the poor, maimed, and blind, the shepherds belonged on Luke’s guest list for the kingdom?
I wonder if Jesus was aware of the fact that even though the stable was bare, the glory of God was everywhere. For most of us, the problem of celebrating Christmas is not one of simplicity and barrenness, but rather complication and busyness.
Yes, the glory of God is everywhere. It just takes us a while to see it. So, what I really wonder is, will we see it this year?