December 25, 2020 – Friday
Micah 5:2 NIV
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.”
Ask almost any Christian where Jesus was born and they will reply Bethlehem, but as the verse above tells us, it was Bethlehem Ephrathah (f-ruh-thuh) which is identified as a few miles south-southeast of Jerusalem. It is where Joseph and Mary traveled to from Narazeth, a distance of 70-90 some miles as the crow flies. It was likely 100-120 miles for the trek they would take with Joseph walking the whole way.
We are told in Luke 2 the reason they made the trip was because of a decree from Caesar Augustus that a census be taken. Joseph was from the house of David, so they needed to travel to Bethlehem to register for the census. Of course Mary, pledged to marry Joseph went with him.
Where did Mary and Joseph stay as they awaited the birth of Jesus? We don’t know, but from Luke 2:7 we do know when she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. But if we look at Micah 5:2 above, Jesus was born in Bethlehem Ephrathah which would be part of the town of Bethlehem, but outside the town proper. If that is correct as Micah tells us, it was in the area set aside by King David for the raising of lambs for sacrifice for Passover and other High Holy Days for sins and atonement.
This is significant as Jesus was born to be the final required lamb, without blemish (sin), to be sacrifice for the sins of mankind to reconcile us to God if we would accept His sacrifice, repent, and take Him as our Lord and Savior. A youtube video, What Mary Didn’t Know, tells us that is exactly what happened and why it was even significant that Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes. I recommend the video, it is only 7 minutes 37 seconds long and well worth the time.
It is my hope that tying Micah and Luke together with the linked video will make your Christmas all the more special. I know it did for me and my family.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Thank You not only for the wonderful gift of Your Son, but how You tied so much of prophecy and even the location of His birth together. – In Jesus name, amen.