We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Back to Bethlehem - Part 4

Although Christmas 2019 is behind us, can we take one last lingering look at the little town of Bethlehem? This tiny village was a place of wonder, a place of worship, and also a place of warning

God knew what Herod was up to even though the wise men did not. He warned them not to return to Herod. They didn’t insist on their own plan. They didn’t try to change Herod’s mind. With humility, the mysterious Magi obediently and quietly slipped out of the country another way, never to be heard from again.

God, ever watchful of His Son, also warned Joseph in a dream. "Flee to Egypt! Herod is about to search for the child to destroy him” (Matthew 2:13). Joseph gathered the family together by night and headed south on a journey that would take them over 100 miles to safety. 

Not long after, Bethlehem became a place of weeping

Herod must have been very insecure to allow an 800-year-old obscure prophecy and an unknown infant to upset him to the point of murdering babies and toddlers. He was furiously enraged when the wise men foiled his plan - and had all the male children under two years old in the region of Bethlehem killed. Cruel and ruthless killings. Babies ripped out of their mother’s arms by soldiers with swords. Screams of anguish long to be remembered. Do mothers ever get over the death of a child? Especially when murdered in cold blood? Tragic.

But the story doesn’t end here. 

Thirty years went by . . . enough time for a 20-year-old shepherd to turn 50. When Jesus began His public ministry, did some of those same shepherds suspect that this teacher, who spoke with authority, was the grown-up infant they had discovered in a manger in Bethlehem so many years before? Did they witness the healings? Did they hear of the feeding of the 5000 or the Sermon on the Mount? Where they among those who believed?

What God began in a small town in Judea named Bethlehem, He finished on a hill outside of nearby Jerusalem. Three days later, the resurrection of Jesus made Bethlehem a place of winning! For this was the mircle that made it possible for our sins to be forever forgiven and for death to be swallowed up in victory!

From the baby in the manger to a risen Savior, Jesus offers us abundant life now and eternal life forever. “Thanks be unto God for His precious, inexpressible, indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15 AMPC).

1 comment:

  1. I love the overarching perspective of a prophecy to an insecure murderous king to a narrow escape, (an evil plan foiled!) from shepherds on a hillside to the possibility of a middle aged shepherd witnessing Christ's ministry 30 years later, and from a manger to an empty tomb. It truly is all about perspective. Thanks for the reminder that it isn't over, until it's over. And we know there is victory, hope, and a promise (of winning!) in the end. Thank you, Sarah.