December 12, 2023 – Tuesday
Matthew 2:5-6 NKJV
5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
Matthew 2:5-6 ESV
5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: 6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Matthew 2:5-6 NET
5 “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they said, “for it is written this way by the prophet: 6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are in no way least among the rulers of Judah,
for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Yesterday was about Zechariah 4:10a, 10a For who has despised the day of small things? Literally about how great things often begin with small beginnings. Here we have the Pharisees and the scribes (teachers of the law) answering King Herod’s question from verse four asking where the Christ was to be born. They answered by quoting (paraphrasing) Micah 5:2, which reads more correctly as (NKJV), 2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”
Bethlehem was a small city and had no expectation of greatness, except for Micah’s prophecy. And what was there was none other than the baby Jesus, born and placed in a manger with straw likely for a mattress of sorts. Truly a day of small things, a small beginning. I recommend this video about the likely area of Bethlehem of Jesus’ birth. It is quite compelling.
Back to our verses for today, after King Herod found out where Jesus was to be or had been born, he went on a killing spree. He hoped to kill the prophesied Messiah. But he was too late. Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt with baby Jesus after He was taken to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (Luke 2:22). It was there they came upon an old man by the name of Simeon to whom 26 it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Then 27 he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: 29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation 31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”
Baby Jesus would become the Messiah for the Jews and bring light to the Gentiles. Big things indeed from a small beginning. The prophet spoke correctly about Bethlehem. And God showed Simeon that Jesus would one day unite Israel when He returns as revealed in Revelation.
Bottom Line: Bethlehem is where Jesus was born to fulfill prophecy. Then brought to Jerusalem where the promise to Simeon was kept. Simeon recognized the truth in Micah 5:2 just as we recognize it today. All as prophesied.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You brought Your Son to us first as a helpless baby. He would one day change the world when He rose from the dead and soon, we will celebrate His birth. Thank You for fulfilling Your word. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God