Humble Birth: the Manger

December 17, 2011

This time of year the word manger is at the top of the list of search words that brings folks to this site. Here is a manger we photographed in Jericho back in November, 2005. This was among other artifacts visitors could see; there was no info available as to where the manger was actually discovered, whether near Jericho or elsewhere.

Manger at Jericho. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Other posts on Jesus’ becoming flesh and being placed in a manger may be seen here and here. I continue to stand amazed at the thought of our eternal Creator becoming flesh, and having a feeding trough as a bassinet! It thrills my soul to think of God becoming flesh!

Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (NASB).

Note the rendering of the CSB: Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough– because there was no room for them at the inn.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NASB).

It was necessary in God’s Redemptive Plan that the Eternal Word should become flesh, that he might defeat Satan, and become the propitiation for our sins.

It is also helpful to remember that when the Apostle John saw the resurrected Christ, the Son of God in His present glory, he did not see a baby in a manger. At Patmos, John wrote, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades'” (Rev. 1:17-18, NASB).

Likewise we would do well not to limit our thoughts of Jesus to a baby in a manger, but see Him also as the Lord of lords and King of kings, the One before Whom all shall give account on the last day.

Click on image for larger view.

Away in a Manger

March 29, 2011

When you read of the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, what imagery comes to your mind? At different sites in Israel you can see still see mangers such as this one at Caesarea:

Manger at Caesarea. Photo by Leon Mauldin.


It is staggering to the imagination to think of the Creator who made the universe and all things in it, becoming flesh!  Eternal Deity became human! Born in Bethlehem to the virgin Mary, a feeding trough was His bassinet.

As Deity (only), the Eternal Word could not die. He had to become flesh in order to be a substitute offering for the sins of the world (John 1:29; Heb. 2:10-18).

It’s also interesting to consider who first heard the news that Jesus was born. It wasn’t Caesar Augustus, the ruler of the Roman world. Nor was it the High Priest, or the Sanhedrin. It wasn’t someone rich or famous. The first to hear were shepherds, unnamed shepherds, just common people (Luke 2:8-20). Aren’t you glad that God cares about common people?

It is impossible that we should praise Him too much for His love and provisions. The plan of the Father for Jesus to come into our world for His redemptive work is referred to by such terms as “eternal counsel and foreknowledge,” and “before the foundation of the world” (Acts 2:23; 1 Pet. 1:20; Eph. 3:11).

Here is a manger we photographed at Megiddo. Hopefully today’s photos will help you to visualize the kind of setting the shepherds saw on that night they would never forget. This photo was taken the same day as the photo above (Caesarea Maritima). You can tell it had been raining earlier.

Manger at Megiddo. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

On a personal note, we have a new grand-baby born Sun. PM, a boy, making a total of 6 grandchildren for my wife and me. We are thankful to God for His many blessings.


The Manger, a Bassinet for Jesus

August 17, 2010

The Gospel writer Luke tells of the night Jesus was born in Bethlehem:

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 “And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (2:8-14).

What comes to your mind when you read of Jesus’ lying in a manger? Our photo shows a manger (located in Caesarea Maritima) which illustrates that which served as a bassinet for Jesus as an infant.

Manger (Caesarea Maritima). Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

I never cease to be amazed at the thought! Eternal Deity, Eternal God, the Word became flesh (John 1:14).  The One who created all things (John 1:1-3) came to earth, and a feeding trough was His bassinet!  Jesus always was and always is divine, but He became human, He became flesh, that He might die for our sins (Heb. 2:14-15; 1 Pet. 2:24).

On another note, while one is visiting Caesarea on the coast, you can see the ruins of Roman columns.

Roman Columns at Caesarea. Imported from Aswan Egypt. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Those in our photo are pink granite.  These were not quarried locally, but were imported from Aswan Egypt.  This reflects that because Caesarea was the Roman capital of Israel, there was sufficient wealth and resources to acquires such materials.  In the background of photo you can see the theater. Remember to click on images for higher resolution.

Other Matters.

Obituary. Our friend bro. Dave Bradford passed away this past Thursday. He had served as evangelist for the church of Christ at Auburn 27 years (during part of which time he also served as elder), but for the past 6+ years had been located in Cullman AL.  On numerous occasions we did radio programs together.  I always enjoyed the association.  He had been plagued with failing health for the past several years.  Funeral services were conducted Saturday at Hoover, AL, with Bill Simmons, as well as Tom Holley, Perry Hurst and John Christian speaking.  Singing was led by Doyle Bullard.

Schedule. I’m looking forward to being at Salem, IL., beginning this Sunday, for a 6-day series which will include my “Steps of Paul” series plus other lessons.  Such speaking opportunities provide occasions for usage of Bible lands photos, and reinforce the historicity of the biblical record.

%d bloggers like this: