Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Luke 2:12

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

This shall be a sign (or token) unto you - You shall find this glorious person, however strange it may appear, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a stable! It is by humility that Christ comes to reign; and this is the only way into his kingdom! Pride is the character of all the children of Adam: humility the mark of the Son of God, and of all his followers. Christ came in the way of humility to destroy that pride which is the root of evil in the souls of men. And thus, according to the old medical aphorism, "Opposites are destroyed by their opposites."

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

This shall be a sign … - The evidence by which you shall know the child is that you will find him wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Angels were heralds of the new-born Saviour, but they were only sent to some poor, humble, pious, industrious shepherds, who were in the business of their calling, keeping watch over their flock. We are not out of the way of Divine visits, when we are employed in an honest calling, and abide with God in it. Let God have the honour of this work; Glory to God in the highest. God's good-will to men, manifested in sending the Messiah, redounds to his praise. Other works of God are for his glory, but the redemption of the world is for his glory in the highest. God's goodwill in sending the Messiah, brought peace into this lower world. Peace is here put for all that good which flows to us from Christ's taking our nature upon him. This is a faithful saying, attested by an innumerable company of angels, and well worthy of all acceptation, That the good-will of God toward men, is glory to God in the highest, and peace on the earth. The shepherds lost no time, but came with haste to the place. They were satisfied, and made known abroad concerning this child, that he was the Saviour, even Christ the Lord. Mary carefully observed and thought upon all these things, which were so suited to enliven her holy affections. We should be more delivered from errors in judgment and practice, did we more fully ponder these things in our hearts. It is still proclaimed in our ears that to us is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord. These should be glad tidings to all.
Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 406

Everything not comprehended in truth is the guesswork of man. Professedly high and learned men may be fools in the sight of God, and if so, the high and learned statements of their doctrines, however they may please and humor the senses, and though they may have been handed down from age to age, and rocked in the cradle of popular faith, are a delusion and a falsehood if not found in the inspired lessons of Christ. He is the source of all wisdom; for He placed Himself directly on a level with the eternal God. In His humanity the glory of heavenly illumination fell directly upon Him, and from Him to the world, to be reflected back by all who receive and believe on Him, mingled with His perfection of character and the luster of His own character. While Christ stood forth distinctly in His human personality, and appealed in striking but simple language to humanity, He was in such perfect oneness with God that His voice came with authority, as the voice of God from the center of glory. FE 406.1

In the record John was charged by the Holy Spirit to present, he says of Christ, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” This is the most precious unfolding of definite truth, flashing its divine light and glory upon all who will receive it. What more important knowledge can be received than that given in the Book which teaches of the fall of man and the consequences of that sin which opened the floodgates of woe upon our world; which teaches also of the first advent of Christ, a helpless babe, born in a stable and cradled in a manger. The history of Christ is to be searched, comparing scripture with scripture, that we may learn the all-important lesson. What are the terms of salvation? As intelligent agents, invested with personal attributes and responsibilities, we can know in regard to our future, eternal destiny; for the Scripture record given by John, at the dictation of the Holy Spirit, contains no terms that cannot be easily comprehended, and that will not bear the most searching and critical investigation. FE 406.2

Christ was a teacher sent from God, and His words did not contain a particle of chaff or a semblance of that which is nonessential. But the force of much human instruction is comprised in assertion, not in truth. The teachers of the present day can only use the educated ability of previous teachers; and yet with all the weighty importance which may be attached to the words of the greatest authors, there is a conscious inability to trace them back to the first great principle, the Source of unerring wisdom, from which teachers derive their authority. There is a painful uncertainty, a constant searching and reaching for assurances that can only be found in God. The trumpet of human greatness may be sounded, but it is with an uncertain sound; it is not reliable, and the salvation of human souls cannot be ventured upon it. FE 407.1

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 421

I have seen what God is willing to do for you, but it is just according to your faith what God will do for you. Therefore we want to arouse your faith, and to get your ideas broadened, and may the Lord roll the burden of the work upon every one of you who believe the truth.—Manuscript 6, 1886. Ev 421.1

Broad Plans for Copenhagen—If in this rich and beautiful city [Copenhagen] there is no suitable room where the truth can be presented to the people, we remember that there was no room in the inn at Bethlehem for the mother of Jesus, and that the Saviour of the world was born in a stable.... Ev 421.2

I am far from being convinced that these small and obscure halls were the best places that could be secured, or that in this great city of three hundred and twenty thousand inhabitants, the message should be given in a basement room that will accommodate but two hundred, and this but half seated, so that a large part of the congregation have to stand. When God sends our brethren help, they should make earnest effort, even at some expense, to bring the light before the people. This message is to be given to the world; but unless our brethren have broad ideas and plans, they will not see much accomplished. Ev 421.3

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 260

The lowly, those bound with poverty, pressed with care, burdened with toil, could find no reason in His life and example which would lead them to think that Jesus was not acquainted with their trials, knew not the pressure of their circumstances, and could not sympathize with them in their want and sorrow. The lowliness of His humble, daily life was in harmony with His lowly birth and circumstances. The Son of the infinite God, the Lord of life and glory, descended in humiliation to the life of the lowliest, that no one might feel himself excluded from His presence. He made Himself accessible to all. He did not select a favored few with whom to associate and ignore all others. It grieves the Spirit of God when conservatism shuts man away from his fellow man, especially when it is found among those who profess to be His children. 1SM 260.1

Christ came to give to the world an example of what perfect humanity might be when united with divinity. He presented to the world a new phase of greatness in His exhibition of mercy, compassion, and love. He gave to men a new interpretation of God. As head of humanity, He taught men lessons in the science of divine government, whereby He revealed the righteousness of the reconciliation of mercy and justice. The reconciliation of mercy and justice did not involve any compromise with sin, or ignore any claim of justice; but by giving to each divine attribute its ordained place, mercy could be exercised in the punishment of sinful, impenitent man without destroying its clemency or forfeiting its compassionate character, and justice could be exercised in forgiving the repenting transgressor without violating its integrity. 1SM 260.2

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 47-8

Men know it not, but the tidings fill heaven with rejoicing. With a deeper and more tender interest the holy beings from the world of light are drawn to the earth. The whole world is brighter for His presence. Above the hills of Bethlehem are gathered an innumerable throng of angels. They wait the signal to declare the glad news to the world. Had the leaders in Israel been true to their trust, they might have shared the joy of heralding the birth of Jesus. But now they are passed by. DA 47.1

God declares, “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground.” “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness.” Isaiah 44:3; Psalm 112:4. To those who are seeking for light, and who accept it with gladness, the bright rays from the throne of God will shine. DA 47.2

In the fields where the boy David had led his flock, shepherds were still keeping watch by night. Through the silent hours they talked together of the promised Saviour, and prayed for the coming of the King to David's throne. “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” DA 47.3

Read in context »
More Comments
Jesus' Birth and Early Childhood
The Birth, Childhood, and Baptism of Jesus