The city of David - Bethlehem, called the city of David because it was the place of his birth. See the notes at Matthew 2:1.
Because he was of the house - Of the family.
And lineage - The “lineage” denotes that he was descended from David as his father or ancestor. In taking a Jewish census, families were kept distinct; hence, all went to the “place” where their family had resided. Joseph was of the “family” of David, and hence he went up to the city of David. It is not improbable that he might also have had a small paternal estate in Bethlehem that rendered his presence there more desirable.
A View of the Pattern—For a period of time the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, was only a Babe in Bethlehem and could only represent the babe in its mother's arms. In childhood He could only do the work of an obedient child, fulfilling the wishes of His parents, in doing such duties as would correspond to His ability as a child. This is all that children can do, and they should be so educated and instructed that they may follow Christ's example. Christ acted in a manner that blessed the household in which He was found, for He was subject to His parents and thus did missionary work in His home life. It is written, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him.” “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”27 AH 290.1
It is the precious privilege of teachers and parents to co-operate in teaching the children how to drink in the gladness of Christ's life by learning to follow His example. The Saviour's early years were useful years. He was His mother's helper in the home; and He was just as verily fulfilling His commission when performing the duties of the home and working at the carpenter's bench as when He engaged in His public work of ministry.28 AH 290.2
In His earth life Christ was an example to all the human family, and He was obedient and helpful in the home. He learned the carpenter's trade and worked with His own hands in the little shop at Nazareth.... As He worked in childhood and youth, mind and body were developed. He did not use His physical powers recklessly, but in such a way as to keep them in health, that He might do the best work in every line.29 AH 290.3Read in context »
Christmas as a Holiday—“Christmas is coming,” is the note that is sounded throughout our world from east to west and from north to south. With youth, those of mature age, and even the aged, it is a period of general rejoicing, of great gladness. But what is Christmas, that it should demand so much attention? ... AH 477.1
The twenty-fifth of December is supposed to be the day of the birth of Jesus Christ, and its observance has become customary and popular. But yet there is no certainty that we are keeping the veritable day of our Saviour's birth. History gives us no certain assurance of this. The Bible does not give us the precise time. Had the Lord deemed this knowledge essential to our salvation, He would have spoken through His prophets and apostles, that we might know all about the matter. But the silence of the Scriptures upon this point evidences to us that it is hidden from us for the wisest purposes. AH 477.2
In His wisdom the Lord concealed the place where He buried Moses. God buried him, and God resurrected him and took him to heaven. This secrecy was to prevent idolatry. He against whom they rebelled while he was in active service, whom they provoked almost beyond human endurance, was almost worshiped as God after his separation from them by death. For the very same purpose He has concealed the precise day of Christ's birth, that the day should not receive the honor that should be given to Christ as the Redeemer of the world—one to be received, to be trusted, to be relied on as He who could save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. The soul's adoration should be given to Jesus as the Son of the infinite God.1 AH 477.3Read in context »
The work of parents and teachers is here suggested. They should aim so to cultivate the tendencies of the youth that at each stage of their life they may represent the natural beauty appropriate to that period, unfolding naturally, as do the plants in the garden. COL 83.1
Those children are most attractive who are natural, unaffected. It is not wise to give them special notice, and repeat their clever sayings before them. Vanity should not be encouraged by praising their looks, their words, or their actions. Nor should they be dressed in an expensive or showy manner. This encourages pride in them, and awakens envy in the hearts of their companions. COL 83.2
The little ones should be educated in childlike simplicity. They should be trained to be content with the small, helpful duties and the pleasures and experiences natural to their years. Childhood answers to the blade in the parable, and the blade has a beauty peculiarly its own. The children should not be forced into a precocious maturity but should retain as long as possible the freshness and grace of their early years. COL 83.3Read in context »
In childhood, Jesus did the works of an obedient child. He spoke and acted with the wisdom of a child, and not of a man, honoring His parents, and carrying out their wishes in helpful ways, according to the ability of a child. But at each stage of His development He was perfect, with the simple, natural grace of a sinless life. The Sacred Record says of His childhood, “The Child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him.” And of His youth it is recorded, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:40, 52. CT 141.1
The work of parents and teachers is here suggested.... They should aim so to cultivate the tendencies of the youth that at each stage of their life they may represent the natural beauty appropriate to the period, unfolding naturally, as do the plants in the garden. CT 141.2Read in context »
With amazement the heavenly messengers beheld the indifference of that people whom God had called to communicate to the world the light of sacred truth. The Jewish nation had been preserved as a witness that Christ was to be born of the seed of Abraham and of David's line; yet they knew not that His coming was now at hand. In the temple the morning and the evening sacrifice daily pointed to the Lamb of God; yet even here was no preparation to receive Him. The priests and teachers of the nation knew not that the greatest event of the ages was about to take place. They rehearsed their meaningless prayers, and performed the rites of worship to be seen by men, but in their strife for riches and worldly honor they were not prepared for the revelation of the Messiah. The same indifference pervaded the land of Israel. Hearts selfish and world-engrossed were untouched by the joy that thrilled all heaven. Only a few were longing to behold the Unseen. To these heaven's embassy was sent. DA 44.1
Angels attend Joseph and Mary as they journey from their home in Nazareth to the city of David. The decree of imperial Rome for the enrollment of the peoples of her vast dominion has extended to the dwellers among the hills of Galilee. As in old time Cyrus was called to the throne of the world's empire that he might set free the captives of the Lord, so Caesar Augustus is made the agent for the fulfillment of God's purpose in bringing the mother of Jesus to Bethlehem. She is of the lineage of David, and the Son of David must be born in David's city. Out of Bethlehem, said the prophet, “shall He come forth ... that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2, margin. But in the city of their royal line, Joseph and Mary are unrecognized and unhonored. Weary and homeless, they traverse the entire length of the narrow street, from the gate of the city to the eastern extremity of the town, vainly seeking a resting place for the night. There is no room for them at the crowded inn. In a rude building where the beasts are sheltered, they at last find refuge, and here the Redeemer of the world is born. DA 44.2
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 47.1Read in context »