Luke 2:22-24 2 When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord” ), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
The gospel is the great equalizer: No matter one’s racial, cultural, or socioeconomic background, regardless of gender, geographical or religious heritage, Jesus Christ completely levels the playing field by his grace.
Not one of us can brag of our fame, prominence, attractiveness, talent, church affiliation, economic independence, self-acclaimed righteousness. No, each comes equally to the one who both humbles and then elevates us to glory by his compelling grace. Notice the three completely distinct groups within the birth narratives.
In the Matthew 2 account, we read of the first group, the visiting Magi who’ve traveled a long distance to come and worship the Christ. These distinguished leaders were very rich, powerful, prominent; most likely they were upper-level leaders of a religious priestly caste from Persia. Many would be impressed with their lavish gifts and splendor.
In the Luke 2 account, we read of a second group, lower class shepherds who were tending the fields by night. But unlike the Magi, these men weren’t wealthy or notable; instead they were working-class poor, likely disheveled and dusty; not quite dressed for church. Many wouldn’t want to be bothered by their presence.
And of course we must remember the third group, the young and unwed couple, Joseph and Mary. They who were most likely publicly shamed (at least initially) by their offensive situation obviously didn’t have any social clout or connections: They couldn’t even line up a room for the birth; no room in the inn! Nor did they possess any financial means: They were so poor that when they came to present the baby Jesus at the Temple for the rite of consecration/circumcision (Luke 2:22-24), they were only able to give the lowest gift possible; the poverty offering. Two small birds.
Such a wide array of people in these three groups, but they had so much in common. All three groups saw, heard, and believed the angelic message of glorious redemption: That God on earth in human form came to bring salvation and deliverance. So the Magi, the shepherds, Joseph and Mary, and so many more, worshiped the Christ.
The gospel is the great equalizer.