2000-02-07 - Born in Bethlehem
The Prophecies Fulfilled Series, Part 1
Micah 5:2, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."
I am going to begin a new series today. One that will go on for quite some time. I intend to take prophetic passages concern Christ from the Old Testament and show their fulfillment in the New Testament, and then discuss. One of the reasons I am doing this is, once completed, I think they will show a great unity in the Bible and how its focus, from start to finish, is in Christ.
Luke 2:4-7, "So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him, and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time cam for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her first born, a son..."
Bethlehem was a small city, six miles south of Jerusalem. It was also called Ephrathah, because the people living there were known as Ephratites, Genesis 48:7. It's claim to fame is that King David was born there. For Christians there is the additional claim to fame that Christ was born there.
There are some who claim to know the stable where Christ was born and they offer tours to the spot of a grotto or cave, that is cut out of the rock. It is a cave into which you have to descend in order to enter. There is no evidence that such a cut out cave like this was ever used, anywhere in the Middle East as a stable, and those doing the business and showing the supposed birth place of Christ are probably deceiving those that they bring there.
The practical implications of Christ being born in Bethlehem are minimal at best. Try applying the birth of Christ in Bethlehem to your life today, and I bet you will be no better for it. However, the implications that Scripture is fulfilled and that Christ has come have huge implications for our lives.
Scripture being fulfilled means that it is faithful and we can trust God's Word. Christ having come means that the savior has arrived. The savior that Scripture foretold would be born a certain way, was born that way. It adds assurance to the work, life, ministry, and atonement of Christ.
So, in short, the coming of Christ means everything to the Christian. And it is important that He was born in Bethlehem because Micah proclaimed that He would be born there. The application is simple. Rest in this savior. Trust in Him, His work of atonement, and the grace offered through His Gospel.
Soli Deo Gloria,