Hope in a HayTrough (Luke 2, Romans 15)

Luke 2:1–7 (NKJV)

2 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Roman oppression
Taxing is coupled with a census
Everyone to his own city.
A time of overwhelming tyranny, subjects of a king not chosen by them.
The one mile burden law, the right to a Jew’s coat, etc.
There was very little hope.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, went to his home town to be counted in the census.

His wife was pregnant, expecting Jesus.
When a woman is pregnant, the question is often asked, “Are you expecting?”
She is considered to be “expecting.”
Pregnant means to be on the verge, full of possibility, poised to give birth.

There are some sitting here today living in a place of oppression and darkness. You are either a slave to sin or in the midst of a family crisis, perhaps in need of a physical healing, but you need to understand that there is an expectancy in this house today. You are not hopeless, but because of this Son, you have hope.

The expectancy of Mary turned into a real blessing, a reality of fulfillment. She brought forth her firstborn Son, and placed Him in a simple, common trough for hay, a manger.

Jesus did not come in sterile, hospital-like conditions. Some even speculate that the stable was in a cave. Either way, it was in a dark, cool, even dirty place where Jesus was born. In the same way, Jesus does not just come to places that are sterile and neat. Instead, Jesus comes to us in our dirty, cold, and dark places to bring light and joy.

He was not brought home in a christening gown or a cute little ones. Instead, He was wrapped in torn pieces of cloth. He was not adorned in a three-piece suit or an Armani dress. No, He was dressed in leftover cloth torn into strips.

The point is this: You do not have to get yourself right, or be of a certain pedigree in order to be blessed by or saved by Jesus. He will meet you where you are.

Romans 15:12–13 (NKJV)
12 And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus rose to reign over all peoples, including Gentiles such as me and you. He is Lord of All! In Him we hope!

So may the God of hope fill you with joy and peace.

May He respond to your faith, your believing with blessings beyond what you have ever known.

May you abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Takeaway Thoughts

  • Jesus was born in the middle of an oppressed, dark culture.
  • Jesus came in absolute poverty (hay trough) and still reaches into the poverty of our situation to redeem us (hope).
  • The God of hope brings joy and peace through the Holy Spirit

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