Do you ever just skim through a Bible passage in order to get to the “good” part? Quickly scan the details to find the heart of the story?
That’s a habit that is necessary to break. Every word in the Bible carries significance and meaning, even those we just see as small details.
In this video, Rabbi Jason Sobel* shares the importance of the “swaddling clothes” that Jesus was wrapped in the night He was born. For the shepherds, this small sign would have deep meaning.
Brian Kelly from Catholicism.org says this:
“And this shall be a sign unto you? How could swaddling clothes a “sign” if all babies were wrapped in such? A baby in a “manger” yes, that would be a sign, but what of these bands? There is a tradition that the shepherds, who in the hillside were not too far from Jerusalem, provided the “lambs without blemish” for the temple sacrifice at Passover. That first new-born lamb, to protect it from blemish (as it was required to be by the Law), was wrapped in swaddling cloth and placed in a food trough apart from the other sheep. Ah, this would be a sign indeed! They would find the Savior, Christ the Lord, wrapped just like they wrapped their own precious lamb after its birth.
This was Our Lord’s first binding, one of love. His second binding was when He was taken away by His enemies, His hands tied together by cords, in the Garden of Gethsemane. The third binding was the bands that wrapped Him in His funeral shroud. Mary removed the first bands. His executioners removed the ropes of the second binding so that He might carry the Cross of salvation. And, on Easter Sunday, the Glorified Christ Himself removed the cloths that bound His Body around His funeral shroud.”
For the few remaining days of Advent and into the season of Christmas, take the time to read and meditate on every word of the Gospel. Though you’ve heard it countless times before, God may be speaking to you through words you previously thought were insignificant.
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