Today in the town of David a Savior 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.”
Speaking of the shepherds, how did they know where to find Jesus? The angel tells them, You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
What is a manger? It is a stone feed trough used for animals. We saw real mangers from the time of Jesus when we visited Israel. Since I saw a real manger, I still know wooden mangers are here to stay. But there’s nothing like the original.
Last Christmas I talked about this and my friend from church secretly made me a replica stone feed box manger and gave it to me for my birthday!
Anyway, we picture Jesus in the manger, but where is the manger located?
The Bible doesn’t say, only mentions the feed trough. Animals in Bible times either slept in the home along with people or outside in caves. Caves were convenient and made it possible to keep them safe by penning them off. There is no such thing as wooden stables or barns in first century Israel. But, again I still like wooden stable looking buildings in Christmas manger scenes. But, knowing Jesus is born in a cave is another important contrast God gives us.
Does it matter if we authentically represent things from the Bible like a stone feed trough? How about images of Jesus?