YAHSHUA  BEHOLD, HE COMETH WITH CLOUDS; AND EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM, AND THEY ALSO WHICH PIERCED HIM: AND ALL KINDREDS OF THE EARTH SHALL WAIL BECAUSE OF HIM.  EVEN SO, AMEN. REVELATION 1:7.

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THE MANGER

 

The manger in the Nativity shows us the beginning of the life of our Lord in the world, well, I should say out of the world. Hated since He came, His story begins outside the house, Luke 2:7, which was the announcement of what His death would be on the cross, outside the other house, this time the spiritual house, the temple of Jerusalem. But there is another house where Christ is at the door and calls to come in, and if we open it He comes into the house of our heart.

The world did not receive the Lord, but He invites us to His house, the house of the King, the house of God our Father. Christ follows His own teaching since He came to this world and offering the other cheek, the one of acceptance and welcoming, being hospitable, but in the manner of a King, the King of kings, who treats us like kings: ...I am going, then to prepare a place for you... ...in my Father's house there are many mansions... John's Gospel.

The manger has two commonly used meanings, it refers to a place, or stable, as well as to a stone recipient in which the food of the flock is placed. Jesus calls Himself the heavenly Bread, that daily Bread of the famous prayer that we ask for, in other words, the Food of His flock, the Church, yes, He himself, as His Word says, is the living Bread, the living Word from which we feed ourselves daily "I am the bread of life". Therefore we must get used to go to the manger every day to eat of Christ, to eat of the Bible so that our spirit won't die of spiritual hunger. The living word, Jesus alive reveals to us as we read, He is the food that we must share with our neighbour every day. Because the Master taught us that there is another food that we must eat, when He was with the Samaritan and His disciples brought him food; He was referring to doing the Father's will. God's will, and that will is in His living Word, in His Son Jesus Christ, Yahshua.

Since Christ is born in the manger of our soul, God does not find a golden throne but an unworthy place for Him, where the king is my own self, but precisely where each of us, by a personal and intimate prayer, by inviting Him, He comes in to make a new creation, yes, in our soul, because we never go back to how we were before we were born again, and what happiness and heavenly peace He brings into our lives!.

How valiant and humble has our Lord been, what a great example of friendship, of friendly and merciful love, close, majestic and omniscient His way of loving us, coming to this world, to a world that is His enemy, a world that has kidnapped His wife, which the Father gave Him, and for which He decided to give His life. What a great news for each of us, for all in unity, that He has come to this manger of our souls.

I will go on to describe the characters in the nativity, in a spiritual meaning in which we shall see how God shows us the depth of His work of salvation, in the beginning, when He came to rescue us from this world. I would like to dedicate this Bible study to a beloved sister to whom I preached more than ten years ago on these lines and whom the Lord finally has brought to His body, as well as her husband, who two months ago, in her wedding was telling my wife and I, that she would never forget this teaching. To Monica, our sister, and to her husband Renato, therefore, and for their children when they come, as well as for all of us, may it be of use every Christmas to bring to the world the beginning of this Story of stories, the one of the birth of the King of the Universe, our beloved Lord and Saviour Yahshua, mostly known as Jesus of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem, according to the prophecy, born in the manger.

 

THE CHARACTERS OF THE SPIRITUAL NATIVITY

Let's go to Bethlehem, this time only passing by, to register ourselves in the census of Heaven, because Christ is born in our soul, later we return to Nazareth, our life, passing through Egypt, the wilderness. We end in Jerusalem to die to our old man on the cross with Christ, our Lord and Saviour, to rise with Him.

The virgin Mary is a symbol of every soul in which Christ is born conceived of the Holy Spirit. She, any of us, does not consider herself worthy, and nevertheless is blessed. This conception does not come from Joseph, who is a symbol of our flesh, because Christ is born in us by faith given to us by the Holy Spirit, not through our deeds of the flesh, our moral, nor our efforts of justice.

Joseph, our flesh, does not normally use the mind for Godly things, but to rationalize and explain scientifically how things work. This is the reason why he wanted to leave Mary secretly, because he could not yet conceive the mind of Christ. You must be born again to understand that you need to deny yourself.

Don't be afraid of receiving Christ in your soul, because He is IMMANUEL, God with us. This is how it is prophesized that the Christ would be born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14.

In the manger of the nativity which is represented every Christmas you also find animals, the two that stand out are the donkey and the ox. Jesus entered triumphantly in Jerusalem riding on a donkey's colt.

These animals, the same way as they accompanied Jesus by the manger, they accompany us since we are born; ...on Saturday (Shabbat), your ox will rest..., the animal that pulls the plough, meaning our mission in this world and in Christ, our work, and your donkey will rest, the animal that carries burden, meaning our spiritual burden and our responsibility in life, because you will no longer carry your own burden, but voluntarily you will carry your cross; both burdens. As long as we do the way the Lord instructs: ...Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29. This way, as we carry our cross and our yoke with Christ, is being of benefit to those for whom we carry the burden. Read the study PRIEST.

The visit of the shepherds or pastors and the sheep, are the brethren that feed the flock of the Lord, who have to visit a new soul where Jesus has been born, to worship the Lord in a new manger, where we see the work He has done in a person giving him the gift of the faith which makes him be born again, the greatest of all miracles, that so many times goes unnoticed. Shepherds, mostly called pastors, must see a new soul as a treasure, as a born child of God who must be taken care of until he grows spiritually, using all the tools that God has provided the church with, the flock of the sheep that we all are, including leaders, pastors, and masters of the Scripture, are enriched with the joint of a new soul of God.

The visit of the wise men, could not mean anything other than the recognition of the worldly leaders who see in us a wisdom, a love, and a mind that is superior, which comes from God. The knowledge of God is superior to any human science, and surprises those who sincerely seek for knowledge and wisdom, which makes them bring to us - to the Lord in us - gold, frankincense and myrrh: the precious metal is a symbol of the height of a king (...a kingdom of kings and priests, to God His Father...), frankincense is a symbol of the anointing they have seen on us which keeps us united to God, and the bitterness of myrrh in the persecution of this world when carrying the cross of the message of the Gospel of Christ, before a society which is enemy of, and opposes God.

The star that guided the wise men means that God is God of the Universe, that He is above all creation, because it is His. That God uses every science to show His supremacy to those who seek, and through it He directs the world to the feet of His Son Jesus Christ, Yahshua, Who is in us.

 

BIBLE TEXTS AND COMMENTARY

...The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his masterís crib... Isaiah 1:3.

...When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:9.

...And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. Luke 2.

When a person receives the Lord in his heart, is born again. Following the Story we are taken to the times and to the situation of those pastors, shepherds watching the fields during the night, which refers to the time of darkness in the history of humanity until the kingdom of God is established. Now, those pastors were visited by the angel and by the millions of angels who were announcing the birth of the King in a manger, and were glorifying His name with spiritual songs. Let us run joyfully as those shepherds, or pastors did to come and see the Lord in a soul, where He is just been born and hug a new brother in the faith, a new member of the body of Christ, another manger where, no doubt, many will eat from when he starts giving testimony of the faith. May we glorify God with songs and spiritual hymns making the new members know how precious their lives are for us and for God.

...doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? Luke 13:15.

The day of the Sabbath is the day a soul knows the Lord. It is then when his burdens are untied, those from life and the spiritual ones, and takes them to drink, in other words, the disciple rests of his projects, those of life and those of religion in the Lord, putting it all in His hands so that our soul may drink from the source of the Spirit, taking his cross, the new burden for love in Christ.

...And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence. 27And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money; for, behold, it was in his sackís mouth. Genesis 42:26.

The ox eats in the house, within the gate of the house are the mangers, outdoors, this way men of God had been doing for generations, taking their donkeys and their ox to the mangers, therefore the representation, literal as well as spiritual.

...I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
 

 

CONCLUSION:

Jesus is born and dies outside of the orthodox place, and this evidence has two sides: One is because the world and religion do not accept God's truth... the other one is that Jesus does not accept them, does not consider them worthy of Him...

We are walking mangers, recipients of spiritual food who carry Christ alive, so that those with an open heart in a truthful way, towards the Truth and the Life, may eat and be born again through the best present that a person can receive for Christmas, faith in the Son of God, and that faith comes by listening to the Word of our God, in the Gospel of Salvation of Jesus Christ. Therefore make many spiritual presents and not only in Christmas, although for a soul who is born again it is Christmas, no matter the day of the year in which he comes to know the Lord spiritually.

I want to pray to the Lord who is the main person in our lives, even more now in Christmas, that with all these spiritual presents that we have shared this Christmas, each one of you may show yourselves as a manger in which your families and neighbours eat, so we may flood the world with spiritual food, so that our Lord may be the centre of attention on His birthday, and the guest of honour in our houses, and that you, with all your family pray a simple prayer that comes from the heart in which we invite Jesus to sit at our table in our homes and to bless us with His presence. Merry Christmas brethren, Merry Christmas Lord Yahshua, Jesus of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem in the manger. Amen.

Micah 5:2

...But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting...

© Carlos Padilla, Christmas 2007

 

  • For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Prophecy of Isaiah 9:6.


  • I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6. Words of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.
  • You want to know God, but you know the way is not through organized religion, nor by sects, nor by society. The world has failed. ...I pray for them;  I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours... John 17:9. Prayer of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.


  • If you really seek God, begin today the new life though the true hand of God. The Gospel is the message for all nations, no matter their race, their origins or culture. God is the saviour of those from humanity who open their hearts to Him.


  • ...Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  1Corinthians 15:58.

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