Waiting for the Birth of Jesus
“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in labor and agony as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: There was a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and 10 horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. His tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth. And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth he might devour her child. But she gave birth to a Son—a male who is going to shepherd all nations with an iron scepter —and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. The woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, to be fed there for 1,260 days.” (Revelation 12:1–6, HCSB)
John was given a series of visions while he was on the island of Patmos. These visions were primarily about his present and the future. However, one vision starts with the past. In this case, John is seeing what some scholars call an “apocalyptic” vision of the birth of Jesus Christ.
My first thought about this is why would John need to see this vision in the first place? It happened in the past. Why was seeing a vision of an event that already occurred?
Unless this vision shows the plan of God from beginning to end.
Notice that the woman is pregnant and is about to give birth. Notice that the red dragon already has seven heads and ten horns, and ten crowns on his heads. Notice that the dragon already sweeps away one-third of the stars (representing angels). This supernatural drama was unfolding in heaven.
Yet the dragon waits for the birth. Not only were angels waiting for the birth. Not only were wise men waiting for the birth. Not only were prophets waiting for the birth. Not only were Simeon and Ann waiting for the birth. Even Satan waited for the birth of Jesus. Everyone was waiting to worship Jesus, except Satan. He was waiting to kill Jesus, while He was a weak helpless infant.
The woman gave birth to Jesus and He survived to fulfill His mission. For us, the birth is passed. We don’t wait for the birth so much as we reflect on the birth. Satan is also reflecting on that birth. His opportune chance to destroy God’s plan is thwarted by God.