Doug Johnson: God sent his son to be born in a stable, not a mansion

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 23, 2023

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I enjoy spending time with my family. But what makes Christmas so special to me is it’s one of the days God fooled Satan.  

I once read an article by Pastor Joe McKeever and he explained it this way: Satan is not a god — he is a created being, a fallen angel. He is not omnipotent, omniscient, nor omnipresent… only God is. 

So, when it comes to predicting what is going to happen — Satan has to rely on what he remembers from when he was in Heaven, what he sees in the world, and what’s recorded in the Bible. 

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Micah 5:2 records: “But you, Bethlehem… though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel.” (NIV) 

Satan knew Bethlehem was the place Messiah would be born. 

So, I imagine he sent his demons to Bethlehem to look for the Messiah—but God is always a thousand steps ahead of the Devil. 

Luke 1:26 tells us “The angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth.” 

God didn’t choose a couple from Bethlehem — He chose a couple from Nazareth. 

Satan never saw it coming! 

Next, God didn’t choose a couple that was already married but an engaged couple. Luke 1:27 tells us the angel appeared “to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph.” 

Mary became pregnant with the Son of God while engaged. When Joseph found out Mary was pregnant he wanted to call off the wedding. 

However, God sent an angel and told him it was okay to marry her because the child was actually God’s Son. 

Satan probably figured there was no way God would use such people as Mary and Joseph. 

A teenage girl pregnant outside of marriage with someone else’s baby would never gain God’s favor. 

Once again, he was fooled!

Then, God moved them to Bethlehem secretly. He caused Caesar Augustus to call for a census of his empire. Luke 2:3 tells us: “Everyone went to his own town to register.” There were so many people traveling to Bethlehem that Satan couldn’t keep up with them all!

Next, God purposely did not put His Son in a mansion, palace or hotel—but in a stable. 

Satan remembered that God resides on a level of glory in Heaven that is unmatched on earth. 

He must have thought, “Surely the Son of God would never be born in a stable.” 

Once again, Satan was fooled.

Then, God chose a band of the lowliest people on earth to welcome His Son, shepherds. 

No one would have cared (not even Satan) about a band of shepherds coming into town looking for what else — but a stable! 

Later, the wise men came to visit after following a star for many months. 

Satan noticed this and put it in King Herod’s heart to kill Jesus. 

Matthew 2:16 records: “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding angry… and killed all the children that were in Bethlehem… from two years old and under.” 

Satan was determined to kill Jesus. 

But Joseph, being warned by an angel, moved his family to Egypt and once again Satan lost track of Jesus. 

Thirty years later, Jesus shows up on the banks of the Jordan River. 

His cousin, John the Baptist, declared “Behold, the Lamb of God! Who takes away the sins of the world!” 

Satan saw that and he came to Jesus personally and tempted Him in the wilderness. But Jesus used the Word of God to defeat him.

It all ended three years later, when the Roman soldiers stretched Jesus’ broken body out and nailed it to a cross. 

Jesus cried out, “It is finished.” 

Satan probably threw a party… he thought he’d finally won. 

But I imagine on Resurrection Day, an imp running into Satan’s presence, interrupting his three-day celebration. 

He said “The tomb was empty, Jesus had risen and the soldiers were all lying unconscious on the ground.”

God had fooled Satan again! 

Some businessmen are saying this could be the greatest Christmas ever. Actually, I think the first one was the best. 

Merry Christmas to you and your family

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.