by Dr. Sharon Norris Elliott
For many of us, a part of Christmas is in entertaining visitors. As empty-nesters, my husband and I are excitedly looking forward to a houseful this year, as our one left in college is home, our working sons will be together, and our daughter and her family are flying in. Other relatives will join us as well for what undoubtedly will be an exuberant celebration.
But what of the visitors to Christ that first Christmas? Contrary to one popular Christmas carol, the Scriptures do not tell us of the visit of a little drummer boy at the manger. They do speak of shepherds as the first actual witnesses of the birth of the Christ child.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them… (and) said to them, ‘…I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day…a Savior, who is Christ the Lord… You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger…’ So it was… that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass…” (Luke 2:8-17 NKJ).
Some time later, the young family received more visitors. Kings from the east visited Jesus, bringing gifts for Him. Matthew Henry’s commentary tells us that these wise men “are here called Magoi—Magicians… philosophers and their priests… men of the east… (also called) kings…” The Bible bears out the details of their visit:
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him…’ Then Herod… sent them to Bethlehem… And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And… they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:1-11 NKJ).
I know why we are being visited by our Christmas guests this year; they are related to us in some way, but why did shepherds and kings visit Jesus? The relationship is clear. The shepherds would know a lamb when they saw one, and there in the manger lay the Lamb of God (see John 1:29 and 36). Kings would recognize a king when they saw one, and there in that house, although a young Child, was the One they had searched for, the One who was not only “born King of the Jews,” but who was King of Kings (see I Timothy 6:15).
Revelation 17:12-14 sums up the logical reason for a visit to Jesus from shepherds and kings. These verses say that ten kings will receive authority for one hour and “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings…” (NKJ).
As we celebrate Christmas with our visitors, let’s keep in mind those visitors who came to see Jesus during that first Christmas season and remember that Jesus is the Lamb who is King.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: “Live significantly!” That’s the inspiring message of Sharon Norris Elliott, award-winning author, editor, agent, engaging speaker, and licensed minister. Author of 12 books, and associated with several prestigious organizations such as AWSA, ACE, and HSBN.tv, Sharon is also co-director of the WCCW conference. She is founder/CEO of AuthorizeMe® Consulting, Coaching, & Editing Firm and Literary Agency. www.AuthorizeMe.net
Sharon’s latest release, A Woman God Can Bless, walks through the house of your life with you and Jesus. This book will help you ease open the doors of old patterns of behavior, ingrained habits, and accepted dispositions with which you’ve grown accustomed. Within these pages you will find gentle prompts that will help you let the Lord remodel those closed rooms by redesigning your thinking and behavior to line up with His will for how you should then live.
Join the conversation: What visitors do you expect this Christmas?