“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28, NASB)
All who were in any way connected with the Advent of the Messiah into this world paid an enormous price. Consider the following:
Mary. It could not have escaped Mary that submitting to God’s will would result in the betrothal agreement with Joseph being terminated, being ostracized from her community, and possibly her death. Yet she responded, “Be it done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Costly.
Joseph. Based on an explanation for which there was no precedent that Mary’s child would be conceived by the Holy Spirit, Joseph “did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife” (Matthew 1:24). Costly.
The Shepherds. Owners had entrusted their flocks to the care of the shepherds who would be held accountable if any were stolen or killed. But after hearing the angelic announcement “today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11), at personal risk “they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph and the baby.” Costly.
The Magi from the East. These magi were advisors to the king and would have been his diplomats in bringing tribute to the one born King of the Jews. Their journey necessitated a large retinue of servants, a long time of preparation, a long journey and months of travel. This was occasioned by the revelation of the birth of the King of the Jews. Costly.
Simeon. He had been given the promise that he would not die until he had first seen the “Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:26). Seeing Jesus he exclaimed, “My eyes have seen Thy salvation” (Luke 2:30). To await the fulfillment of this promised expectation required much perseverance. Costly.
Anna. As an 86-year-old widow she had fasted and prayed about the Redeemer. Her long wait demanded much patience. Costly.
Although what was asked of each was costly, each one received the same reward. Each one saw JESUS.
-Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost (1915-2014), Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX