In a sermon given on December 24, 1854, titled “A Visit to Bethlehem,” Charles Spurgeon portrayed a conversation between a Christian family on Christmas day. This excerpt is drawn (and slightly modified) from part of that conversation, and includes one of my favorite verses: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Meditate on the truth of that for a few million years! (We will—may as well get a head start.)
We ought all of us to think how our blessed Lord cast in his lot with the poor. When those wise men came from the East, I daresay they were surprised, at first, to find that Jesus was a poor man’s child; yet they fell down and worshipped him, and they opened their treasury, and presented to him very costly gifts—gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Ah! when the Son of God made that great stoop from heaven to earth, he passed the glittering palaces of kings, and the marble halls of the rich and the noble, and took up his abode in the lodgings of poverty.
Still, he was ‘born King of the Jews.’ Now, did you ever read of a child being born a king before? Of course, you never did; children have been born princes, and heirs to a throne, but no other than Jesus was ever born a king. The poverty of our Saviour’s circumstances is like a foil which sets off the glorious dignity of his person. You have read of good kings, such as David, and Hezekiah, and Josiah; yet, if they had not been kings, we should never have heard of them; but it was quite otherwise with Jesus Christ. He was possessed of more true greatness in a stable than any other king ever possessed in a palace; but do not imagine it was only in his childhood that Jesus was the Kinsman of the poor.
When he grew up to be a man, he said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Do you know that our comforts were purchased at the expense of his sufferings? “He became poor that we, through his poverty, might be rich.” We ought, therefore, to thank and praise the blessed Jesus every time we remember how much worse off he was in this world than we are.