Summary: Bethlehem is a city that is held sacred by Jews & Christians from around the world.
December 16, 2012 Bethlehem Dr. Mike Fogerson
A Bethlehem is a city that is held sacred by Jews & Christians from around the world.
1 Bethlehem is only about 5 miles south of Jerusalem:15 minute drive (traffic being accounted for).
a Today, it is Palestinian control and because of that the Jewish/Christian sacred sites are in danger of being lost, inaccessible to Christians (Jews are already forbidden from the city.)
b Today, the Church of the Nativity is about the only site pilgrims come to visit.
aa Unwelcomed, unwanted by the Palestinians who control the city of Bethlehem.
bb Hostile towards Christians.
2 It is where Ruth was gleaning wheat from the sides of a wheat field, a god-fearing woman from Moab, met and married Boaz, producing the ancestral line of David.
a It was near that field in Bethlehem that the Prophet Samuel had came to anoint the next king over Israel, David.
b Bethlehem is also the place of Rachel’s tomb.
aa Jacob, along with his pregnant wife Rachel, were traveling from Bethel when Rachel’s delicate condition became too great for her travel any further.
bb As they came to Ephrath (AKA Bethlehem) she gave birth to Benjamin, dying in childbirth.
c Two women in Scripture came from the north to give birth in the “House of Bread”, Rachel gave birth to Benjamin, Mary gave birth to Jesus.
3 In Ephrath/Bethelehem is a tower called “the Tower of Edar,” which translated means “The tower of the flock.”
a The prophet Micah speaks of this tower (in Bethlehem) as the place where the kingdom of God would enter earth.
b Mic. 4.8,9; It was in this watchtower that shepherds would look over their flocks that were being raised to used in temple sacrifice.
8 "As for you, tower of the flock, Hill of the daughter of Zion, To you it will come— Even the former dominion will come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.9 "Now, why do you cry out loudly? Is there no king among you, Or has your counselor perished, That agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth? Micah 4:8-9 (NASB)
aa Bethlehem, “town of bread”, was where God chose to intersect with humanity.
bb Ground Zero for the incarnation.
cc If we know what we’re looking for, when can climb to the top of the tower and see one lamb in particular, the lamb of God, that was born in the town of bread.
B 1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger , because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:1-7 (NASB)
1 “ . . . there was no room for them in the inn.”
a It wasn’t just Jesus that the innkeeper had no room for but also for those with Him.
b There is no room in this world for a true follower of Jesus Christ.
aa Not only no room . . . no rest, relief, release.
bb The world has no room for those who love Jesus!
2 You will be lied about, laughed at, mocked, criticized, called crazy, simple, naive, gullible.
a 23 "Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets. Luke 6:23 (NASB)
aa If you expect the world to welcome, applaud you & your good works . . . you are mistaken.
bb The church, clergy, sacred Christian beliefs are no longer are respected (off limits for irreverence)
cc There is no room for us at the inn.
b The world has no room for those who have made room for Jesus.
aa You and I are soldiers in the Lord’s army, pilgrims, foriegners in a strange land, aliens, not of this world . . .
bb 19 "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. John 15:19 (NASB)