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Luke 2:5

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

With Mary his espoused wife - There was no necessity for Mary to have gone to Bethlehem, as Joseph's presence could have answered the end proposed in the census as well without Mary as with her; but God so ordered it, that the prophecy of Micah should be thus fulfilled, and that Jesus should be born in the city of David; Micah 5:2.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The fulness of time was now come, when God would send forth his Son, made of a woman, and made under the law. The circumstances of his birth were very mean. Christ was born at an inn; he came into the world to sojourn here for awhile, as at an inn, and to teach us to do likewise. We are become by sin like an outcast infant, helpless and forlorn; and such a one was Christ. He well knew how unwilling we are to be meanly lodged, clothed, or fed; how we desire to have our children decorated and indulged; how apt the poor are to envy the rich, and how prone the rich to disdain the poor. But when we by faith view the Son of God being made man and lying in a manger, our vanity, ambition, and envy are checked. We cannot, with this object rightly before us, seek great things for ourselves or our children.
Ellen G. White
The Adventist Home, 290

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 290.3

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Ellen G. White
The Adventist Home, 477

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 477.3

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 83

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 83.3

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 141

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 141.2

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 44-7

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

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Ellen G. White
Early Writings, 108-10

The time has come when a large portion of those who once rejoiced and shouted aloud for joy in view of the immediate coming of the Lord, are on the ground of the churches and the world who once derided them for believing that Jesus was coming, and circulated all manner of falsehoods to raise prejudice against them and destroy their influence. Now, if any one longs after the living God, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, and God gives him to feel His power, and satisfies his longing soul by shedding abroad His love in his heart, and if he glorifies God by praising Him, he is, by these professed believers in the soon coming of the Lord, often considered deluded, and charged with being mesmerized or having some wicked spirit. EW 108.1

Many of these professed Christians dress, talk, and act like the world, and the only thing by which they may be known is their profession. Though they profess to be looking for Christ, their conversation is not in heaven, but on worldly things. “What manner of persons” ought those to be “in all holy conversation and godliness,” who profess to be “looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God.” 2 Peter 3:11, 12. “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3. But it is evident that many who bear the name of Adventist study more to decorate their bodies and to appear well in the eyes of the world than they do to learn from the Word of God how they may be approved of Him. EW 108.2

What if the lovely Jesus, our pattern, should make His appearance among them and the professors of religion generally, as at His first advent? He was born in a manger. Follow Him through His life and ministry. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. These professed Christians would be ashamed of the meek and lowly Saviour who wore a plain, seamless coat, and had not where to lay His head. His spotless, self-denying life would condemn them; His holy solemnity would be a painful restraint upon their lightness and vain laughter; His guileless conversation would be a check to their worldly and covetous conversation; His declaring the unvarnished, cutting truth, would manifest their real character, and they would wish to get the meek pattern, the lovely Jesus, out of the way as soon as possible. They would be among the first to try to catch Him in His words, and raise the cry, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” EW 108.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2 (EGW), 1018

28. David and Saul Contrasted—David and Saul stand before us in this history as men widely different in character. The course of David makes manifest the fact that he regarded the fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom. But Saul was shorn of his strength, because he failed to make obedience to God's commandments the rule of his life. It is a fearful thing for a man to set his will against the will of God, as revealed in his specified requirements. All the honor that a man could receive on the throne of a kingdom, would be a poor compensation for the loss of the favor of God through an act of disloyalty to heaven. Disobedience to the commandments of God can only bring disaster and dishonor at last. God has given to every man his work, just as truly as he appointed to Saul the government of Israel; and the practical and important lesson to us is to accomplish our appointed work in such a manner that we may meet our life records with joy, and not with grief (The Signs of the Times, September 7, 1888). 2BC 1018.1

34, 35. Samuel Active in Retirement—After Israel had rejected Samuel as ruler of the nation, though well qualified for public labor, the prophet sought retirement. He was not superannuated, for he presided as teacher in the school of the prophets. This service for his God was a pleasant service (The Signs of the Times, October 19, 1888). 2BC 1018.2

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Ellen G. White
Education, 107

Parents and teachers should aim so to cultivate the tendencies of the youth that at each stage of life they may represent the beauty appropriate to that period, unfolding naturally, as do the plants in the garden. Ed 107.1

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. Children should not be forced into a precocious maturity, but as long as possible should retain the freshness and grace of their early years. The more quiet and simple the life of the child—the more free from artificial excitement and the more in harmony with nature—the more favorable it is to physical and mental vigor and to spiritual strength. Ed 107.2

In the Saviour's miracle of feeding the five thousand is illustrated the working of God's power in the production of the harvest. Jesus draws aside the veil from the world of nature and reveals the creative energy that is constantly exercised for our good. In multiplying the seed cast into the ground, He who multiplied the loaves is working a miracle every day. It is by miracle that He constantly feeds millions from earth's harvest fields. Men are called upon to co-operate with Him in the care of the grain and the preparation of the loaf, and because of this they lose sight of the divine agency. The working of His power is ascribed to natural causes or to human instrumentality, and too often His gifts are perverted to selfish uses and made a curse instead of a blessing. God is seeking to change all this. He desires that our dull senses shall be quickened to discern His merciful kindness, that His gifts may be to us the blessing that He intended. Ed 107.3

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 401

After Christ had condescended to leave His high command, step down from an infinite height and assume humanity, He could have taken upon Him any condition of humanity He might choose. But greatness and rank were nothing to Him, and He selected the lowest and most humble walk of life. The place of His birth was Bethlehem, and on one side His parentage was poor, but God, the Owner of the world, was His Father. No trace of luxury, ease, selfish gratification, or indulgence was brought into His life, which was a continual round of self-denial and self-sacrifice. In accordance with His humble birth, He had apparently no greatness or riches, in order that the humblest believer need not say that Christ never knew the stress of pinching poverty. Had He possessed the semblance of outward show, of riches, of grandeur, the poorest class of humanity would have shunned His society; therefore He chose the lowly condition of the far greater number of the people. The truth of heavenly origin was to be His theme: He was to sow the earth with truth; and He came in such a way as to be accessible to all, that the truth alone might make an impression upon human hearts. FE 401.1

Christ's contentment in any position provoked His brethren. They could not explain the reason of His peace and serenity; and no persuasion of theirs could lead Him to enter into any plans or arrangements which bore the impression of commonness or of guilt. On every occasion He would turn from them, plainly stating that they would mislead others, and were unworthy of the sons of Abraham. He must set such an example that little children, the younger members of the Lord's family, would see nothing in His life or character to justify any evil deed. You are altogether too particular and peculiar, said the members of his own family. Why not be as other children? But this could not be; for Christ was to be a sign and a wonder from His youth, as far as strict obedience and integrity were concerned. FE 401.2

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 313

At the time of Christ's first advent the priests and scribes of the Holy City, to whom were entrusted the oracles of God, might have discerned the signs of the times and proclaimed the coming of the Promised One. The prophecy of Micah designated His birthplace; Daniel specified the time of His advent. Micah 5:2; Daniel 9:25. God committed these prophecies to the Jewish leaders; they were without excuse if they did not know and declare to the people that the Messiah's coming was at hand. Their ignorance was the result of sinful neglect. The Jews were building monuments for the slain prophets of God, while by their deference to the great men of earth they were paying homage to the servants of Satan. Absorbed in their ambitious strife for place and power among men, they lost sight of the divine honors proffered them by the King of heaven. GC 313.1

With profound and reverent interest the elders of Israel should have been studying the place, the time, the circumstances, of the greatest event in the world's history—the coming of the Son of God to accomplish the redemption of man. All the people should have been watching and waiting that they might be among the first to welcome the world's Redeemer. But, lo, at Bethlehem two weary travelers from the hills of Nazareth traverse the whole length of the narrow street to the eastern extremity of the town, vainly seeking a place of rest and shelter for the night. No doors are open to receive them. In a wretched hovel prepared for cattle, they at last find refuge, and there the Saviour of the world is born. GC 313.2

Heavenly angels had seen the glory which the Son of God shared with the Father before the world was, and they had looked forward with intense interest to His appearing on earth as an event fraught with the greatest joy to all people. Angels were appointed to carry the glad tidings to those who were prepared to receive it and who would joyfully make it known to the inhabitants of the earth. Christ had stooped to take upon Himself man's nature; He was to bear an infinite weight of woe as He should make His soul an offering for sin; yet angels desired that even in His humiliation the Son of the Highest might appear before men with a dignity and glory befitting His character. Would the great men of earth assemble at Israel's capital to greet His coming? Would legions of angels present Him to the expectant company? GC 313.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 128.1

The more we think about Christ's becoming a babe here on earth, the more wonderful it appears. How can it be that the helpless babe in Bethlehem's manger is still the divine Son of God? Though we cannot understand it, we can believe that He who made the worlds, for our sakes became a helpless babe. Though higher than any of the angels, though as great as the Father on the throne of heaven, He became one with us. In Him God and man became one, and it is in this fact that we find the hope of our fallen race. Looking upon Christ in the flesh, we look upon God in humanity, and see in Him the brightness of divine glory, the express image of God the Father.—The Youth's Instructor, November 21, 1895. 3SM 128.1

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Jesus' Birth and Early Childhood
The Birth, Childhood, and Baptism of Jesus