“You, Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come forth for Me One to be ruler over Israel—One whose origins are of old, from the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2 –

Bethlehem – the town prophesied to be the birthplace of the Messiah… a humble village of little renown out of whom would come the Christ… the promised One. The prophet Micah foretold of Bethlehem’s monumental role in history 400 years before it came to be. This divine prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

“He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from that time and forevermore.”  Isaiah 9:7

Old Testament prophets wrote of the future King to come out of the City of David – Bethlehem – birthplace of King David. It was prophesied that Messiah Christ would arise and rule for time everlasting. Although born of David’s ancestral line, His divine origins stem from eternity past. He is Creator God… He is the Word become flesh (John 1:14)… He is the eternal King.

“Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.”Matthew 2:2

The emperor of Rome calls a census, decreeing that all people in the land travel to their place of origin to be counted. Joseph and Mary leave their town of Nazareth in Galilee and travel to Bethlehem. For Joseph belongs to the lineage of King David. There, Mary gives birth to their firstborn son, Jesus – Immanuel – “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14).

Magi journey from the east seeking the promised Messiah born in the land. Upon their arrival in Jerusalem, the chief priests and teachers of the law tell of the prophecy of Bethlehem, a nearby town where they might find Him. For God had providentially orchestrated time and events to bring Joseph and Mary to this humble town at this precise moment in history to fulfill prophecy.

“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:10-12

This dark winter night, an angel appears to shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem. The skies light up with the glory of the Lord.  As they gaze in fear and wonder at the sight, the angel shares the joyful news of the Messiah’s birth. Suddenly, a heavenly host of angels appears in the sky with a glorious display of praise to the God of all creation…

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.“  Luke 2:14

Jesus Christ came as a Shepherd over His people. Is it any wonder that news of His holy birth should be announced first to shepherds watching over their flocks? The shepherds set off to discover the Christ Child and are filled with joy at the sight. They praise and glorify the God of heaven… spreading the news of the birth of the long-awaited Messiah. The Lamb of God has made His arrival into His world.

“You, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.”  Matthew 2:6

The prophecy of Bethlehem appears again in the gospel of Matthew as this apostle shares the Christmas story. God chose the lowly village of Bethlehem over the lofty city of Jerusalem, just five miles to its north, to be the birthplace of His Son. Here, the long-awaited Redeemer broke through into human history… altering its course… and changing the lives of all mankind forever.

God worked the extraordinary in ordinary Bethlehem. Just as He chose this insignificant town, so God chooses us, however insignificant we may feel, to tell of His redemptive grace. When we share the good news of the world’s Redeemer, God takes our ordinary lives and works the extraordinary. He uses us to lead the unsaved to Him… thereby changing lives forever.

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6

The prophecy of Bethlehem reached its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. The world would never be the same. This heavenly King fulfilled all the prophecies of the Old Testament. His rule is over His people from everlasting to everlasting. He is the long-awaited Messiah… the prophesied Christ… the Savior of the World… born that holy night in the humble town of Bethlehem.