Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Christmas Letter: Why did the Gospel mention that swaddling baby Jesus and lying in a manger a Sign for The Messiah? Dr. Phil Chan


Swaddling Clothes in a Manger - a Sign.

Fernando Ortega: What Child Is This.
YouTube Video: coram deo


Dear Andy,

Thank you very much for your greetings.

You are a treasured friend who ask honest questions. My thoughts to your question are given below.

a) At Christmas season, we modern Christians tend to talk about the signs of Christmas Star or wisemen/gifts etc but why did the Gospel mention that swaddling baby Jesus and lying in a manger a Sign of The Messiah. I shared this Christmas scripture a few years ago to a Christian group. Luke 2:7-12 :  and she (Mary) gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 

Jesus was a carpenter.

b) The possible clue may come from Micah 4:8: “And you, O tower of the flock, hill of daughter Zion! To you it shall come: the former dominion shall be restored, the reign of daughter Jerusalem”. (this place/tower in OT Hebrew is Migdal Eder … also mentioned in Gen 35:21 A place/tower where Jacob set up camp after the death of Rachel). This verse tells us baby Jesus’ announcement is related to the Tower of the flock. Migdal Eder is a place/tower in the fields of Bethlehem where shepherds care for baby sheep or select unblemished sheep for sacrifice/passover. As selecting unblemished sheep was the duty of priests, these shepherds are likely to be also priests (this is not surprising; Jesus and Paul were “spiritual teachers” who also had a second profession … Jesus was a carpenter and Paul was a tent-maker). New fawns are carefully wrapped with cloth (taken from shepherd-priest clothes) stay warm as in the womb and put into a manger so that the baby lambs will not be trampled on. Thus, when these shepherd-priests went into Bethlehem, they immediately recognised the baby Messiah.

Away In A Manger - YouTube by The SBFII
Susan Boyle.

c) Jesus was born to die to save the world.  Interestingly, in the middle eastern culture, when someone goes on a long desert journey he will bring along special strips of cloth that was used for swaddling dead body for burial in case he dies. Some translations are more explicit about the strips of cloth, e.g. ESV translation of Luke 2: 7 “ She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger”.

Luke 2: 15-20 : When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Indeed, great is the Lord and greatly to be praised !

Wishing you and your family, a wonderful Christmas, good health and a Blessed New Year 2022 !Best Regards,

Phil.

A Christmas Letter: 
Prof. Dr. Phil Chan

Thanks Phil for this illuminating and interpretive explanation.

Images: Google 
Video: YouTube

27 comments:

MICHAEL CHENG [DRUMMER] said...

Hi brother Andy,
Best Wishes for the seasons,
Merry Christmas and Happy 2022
In advance.
Cheers.

CEDRIC CORK [DRUMMER] said...

DREAM CHRISTMAS
HO HO HO
HAPPY HOLIDAYS

CHEW HEE HONG said...

ADVANCE
MERRY CHRISTMAS

RICHARD TOH said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS
HAPPY NEW YEAR
ANDY.
WITH ANDREA BOCELLI
NATALIE COLE
'THE CHRISTMAS SONG'

CHARLIE YAP [LOCOMOTION] said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS

SIMON [BASSIST] said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU
CHEERS

WINSTON KOH said...

DEAR FRIEND,

WISHING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
A BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND MAY
ALL STAY HEALTHY, HAPPY &
SAFE. TAKE CARE, GOD BLESS
WITH METTA. CHEERS.

JERRY SARAM said...

LET GOD FILL OUR HEARTS WITH HIS LOVE
AND PEACE AND SHIELD US WITH PROTECTION.
WITH GOD'S BLESSINGS.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks to our early well-wishers.
Have a blessed Christmas and New 2022.

[Greetings are from WHAT'SAPP]

FL said...

Hi, Andy and everyone, here wishing you all: A very Merry, Merry X'mas and a Happy New Year 2022 ! May all of you blessed with good health, happiness, peace and joy. Lastly, I'd like to dedicate this meaningful song by the late Andy Williams to everyone : May Each Day.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi FL,

Thanks again for being on this journey with me these 14 years. Just like to mention that because of readers and a friend like you supporting, this blog has been archived by the National Library Board Singapore, so whatever personal stories that have been written, told or taken from the internet, will be retained in the files of our well-equipped and functionally exceptional library.

Thank you also for the song by the late Andy Williams.

A Blessed Christmas to you and a safe new 2022.

SITA [DUBAI] said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS ANDY

JIMMY APPUDURAI-CHUA (GUITARIST EXTRAORDINAIRE) said...

Merry Christmas dear Andy
xxxx

TAN SL said...

Andrew, here's wishing you and your family a Christmas that's Merry and Bright and a year filled with Love , Peace and Joy.

JAN CHEONG said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR, ANDY.

GEORGE CHEW [THE BURNS LEAD GUITARIST] said...

DEAR ANDY,

I'm not coming this year, not vaccinated.

SANTA CLAUS

RICHARD RAJOO said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS ANDY TO YOU AND ALL AT HOME
MERRY CHRISTMAS.

MRS DAISY KOH said...

CONGRATULATIONS
You are leaving a fantastic music legacy for future generations.
Keep up the good work.
👏👏

FREDA HANUM TEEPEES [KL MALAYSIA] said...

After reading the amazing story of Christmas I like to share this card I came across recently "The meaning of Christmas"

Far away in Bethlehem, a Baby Boy was born;
Born with neither riches nor with fame,
Yet Wise Men came from all around to bring to Him their gifts,
And peace was felt by all who heard His name.
Angels watched Him as He slept, and gently rocked His bed;
Their voices singing softly in His ear;
His Mother and His Father both gave thanks to God above
For the greatest gift of all, their Son, so dear
They knew His life upon this earth would not be filled with wealth,
They also knew He would encounter strife;
But most of all, they knew that He would be a loving Child,
And teach the love of God throughout His life.
At Christmas, as we celebrate this Birth of Jesus Christ,
Let's keep in mind the truth of Christmas Day;
For it's not the Christmas wrappings, nor the gifts that lie within,
But our gift of love to others in every way...

ALEXANDRA HSIEH [JAZZ SINGER/TAP DANCER] said...

Merry & Blessed X’mas, Andy!
✨✨🎄🔔🎄🔔

PERRY KOH [SINGER] said...

Blessed Christmas, Andy.
God bless you richly with great grace in the new year.

MATTHEW TAN [FROM THE MANDARINS] said...

Have A Very Happy and Blessed Christmas

ERICBRONSON WONG [HONGKONG] said...

Thx Andy for your post which l am happy to see it,,
sure to say it's interesting,,
Have A Beautiful N Blessed Merry Christmas,,
😁😃🤩😍💪✌️👌👍☕☕🥪🍔

ROOP SINGH said...

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all of you.
Take care and be safe and GOD BLESS
🙌 🙏 ❤ 💖 💕 ♥ 🙌

JENNY LAW said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS

ANN ROWENA LIM said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS
ANDY

FACEBOOK said...

THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING FOLKS FOR SUPPORTING THE CHRISTMAS POSTS 20221
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