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Luke tells us that there was a SIGN given to the shepherds, by which they would know the identity of the Messiah that had been born in Bethlehem.
That sign was primarily that they would find him lying in a manger.
How is the manger a sign of the Messiah?
It is because He was to come as the Bread of Life for all to feed upon. That is also why He had to be born in Beth-lehem, "the house of bread."
A manger is used to feed cattle, including oxen, sheep, goats, and donkeys. Each type of animal has its own spiritual significance and speaks of people with varying character and relationship to God. But a manger does not discriminate, for it provides the Bread of Life to all.
Many in that day thought surely the King of the whole earth would be born in a palace and have an expensive bed and suitable clothing. But it was important as a SIGN that He should be born in a simple manger, with no room in the inn. This suggests rejection in His ministry on earth.
God just does things differently.
The moral of the story: Christ appears in unexpected places and in many despised people.