I Am a Poor Boy Too, (puh-rum-pum-pum-pum)

I Am a Poor Boy Too, (puh-rum-pum-pum-pum)

Written By Greg Kilgore

I Am a Poor Boy Too, (puh-rum-pum-pum-pum)

When reading through the narrative of Jesus’ birth in Luke 1-2, there are several themes that stick out: the miracle of Jesus’ birth, the glory of God declared, the hope of the long-awaited Savior, and the marvel of the Messiah’s birth. However, one theme that can easily get lost in the glory of Jesus’ birth is His humility. There are countless places that Jesus could have been born; however, he was born not in a palace where his birth would be declared by great rulers but in the “lowly” town of Bethlehem and placed in a manger. 

As a parent, I have reflected on the reasons why Jesus was born in such a lowly place. Ultimately, we know that it took place to fulfill the prophecy of Micah 5:2. As a parent, I want to set my kids up for living a godly and faithful life. Ultimately, I want them to know, love, and serve Jesus. I also want to give them a good foundation for their lives. Yet, here we have Jesus starting off his life where? In a manger. Not surrounded by royalty but surrounded by shepherds. Why does this happen? In Christ’s birth, we see the great lengths that God went to in order to identify with us in our humble condition so that we might be saved from our sins.

As much as I hate to admit it, over the years, a certain Christmas carol has grown on me. Ok, I will admit that I enjoy singing The Little Drummer Boy with my family. There are some silly lines in this song. What does it even mean, “the ox and lamb kept time?”

Although this song is not about a real story, this song has a much deeper theology than we might first recognize. This song tells the sentimental story of a little boy who was to go along with the magi who brought gifts to Jesus. This little boy does not have a gift, so what does he do? He plays his drum for the king.

There is a line in this song that teaches us a great amount of Christology. It communicates to us the great lengths that Jesus went to when He became human. One of the most theologically rich lines of any Christmas carol is found in the line: “Little baby, I am a poor boy too.”

Do you see that? Jesus was born into a family of very humble circumstances. So why did Jesus become a poor boy, too?

Parents generally want their children to have the best, but Jesus starts off in a manger. Why? God is showing us the great lengths that He was willing to go for us. The humility of Christ’s incarnation and birth sets us up to see the great lengths that Jesus went to to save us from our sins.

When we are called to Christ, we are called to humble ourselves in faith and repentance.  While Jesus had nothing to repent of -because He was sinless, in Luke, we see the great humility of Jesus. He left all the glories of heaven to come to earth to save sinners.

Here is our King, our Savior, the Messiah, and where was He born? In a palace? No, He is born amongst animals and placed in a feeding trough. The greatest miracle to happen at that point in biblical history was the eternal Son of God becoming a man, and it happened in a quiet, obscure village outside of Jerusalem.

Do you see the great love of God on display here in Jesus’ humble birth?

About the Author

Greg Kilgore
Associational Missions Strategist, Mid-Valley Southern Baptist Association

Greg Kilgore is the associational missions strategist for the Mid-Valley Southern Baptist Association in Fresno, California. He is a member of Woodward Park Baptist Church. He and his wife, Megan, have three children: Owen, Camille, and Judson Titus. Greg is a PhD student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor.

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