The firstborn Son

Luke 2:7  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Why does the Bible point out that Mary gave birth to her “firstborn son”?  The Bible minces no words, says nothing in vain.  Everything has meaning.  So why is this phrasing included in the story of Jesus’ birth?  We already know from the previous chapter that Mary was to give birth to the Savior though she had never “known” a man.  The Holy Spirit was to work in her to conceive the child.  Knowing that, we’d know that this was her firstborn.  So why mention it?

There are several reasons that this is significant wording.  One is that King Herod had heard about this child who was to be born “King of the Jews”.  Because he was a paranoid man (He actually killed his own sons because he considered them a threat to his throne), he had all of the firstborn sons of the Jewish people killed.  Everyone that he thought could be this “king” was slaughtered.  Jesus was a firstborn son, but He escaped the infanticide.

Another significant reason to mention that Jesus was the firstborn is that this is a title given to Him as the Son of God.  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15).  Now in this case, the word doesn’t actually point to birth order but rather ranking or stature, but we see a picture painted here.

Maybe not lastly, but the last we’ll look at, is the idea that God always required the firstborn animal to be offered as a sacrifice in the Old Testament.  The firstborn all belonged to God (Numbers 3:13).  Jesus was HIS firstborn, and He offered Him as a sacrifice once and for all.  That is why it means something that Jesus was the firstborn in this verse.