Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Christ exemplified a character of being the humble ruler, the good shepherd and the passionate deliverer. What will we do with this? Should we really care about this at all? Why was God so mindful of us? Why should He have cared? Are we really worth it?

Opening illustration: Abraham Lincoln’s humble beginnings have become part of American lore. But one historian says that the most difficult part of young Abraham’s life came not during his early years in a Kentucky cabin, but after Thomas Lincoln moved the family to Indiana in 1816. The family arrived in Indiana during early winter, needing immediate shelter. Thomas and his son built a three-sided log shelter called a ""half-faced camp,"" the only protection on the fourth side being a fire that burned day and night. The Lincolns began building a log cabin after finishing the shelter, and the family moved in during February, 1817.

Many of the world’s great rulers came from humble beginnings, but none more so than earth’s rightful Ruler, Jesus Christ the Messiah. Actually, Micah’s famous prophecy in verse 2 speaks both of Jesus’ earthly beginnings as the Son of Man and of His eternality as the Son of God.

Let us turn to Micah 5 and catch up with the prophecy of Christ the King becoming a humble servant and our deliverer.

Introduction: Having showed how low the house of David would be brought, a prediction of the Messiah and his kingdom is added to encourage the faith of God’s people. His existence from eternity as God, and his office as Mediator, are noticed. Here is foretold that Bethlehem should be his birthplace. Hence it was universally known among the Jews, Matthew 2: 5. Christ’s government shall be very happy for his subjects; they shall be safe and easy. Under the shadow of protection from the Assyrians, is a promise of protection to the gospel church and all believers, from the designs and attempts of the powers of darkness. Christ is our Peace as a Priest, making atonement for sin, and reconciling us to God; and he is our Peace as a King, conquering our enemies: hence our souls may dwell at ease in him. Christ will find instruments to protect and deliver. Those that threaten ruin to the church of God, soon bring ruin on themselves. This may include the past powerful effects of the preached gospel, its future spread, and the ruin of all antichristian powers. This is, perhaps, the most important single prophecy in the Old Testament: it respects the personal character of the Messiah, and the discoveries of himself to the world. It distinguishes his human birth from his existing from eternity; it foretells the rejection of the Israelites and Jews for a season, their final restoration, and the universal peace to prevail through the whole earth in the latter days. In the mean time let us trust our Shepherd’s care and power. If he permits the assault of our enemies, he will supply helpers and assistance for us.

What qualified Jesus to be ‘The Servant King?’

1. The Humble Ruler (vs. 1 – 2)

a) He has laid siege against us: Israel will be humbled by foreign powers, and even her judges will bear insults.

b) But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah . . . out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel: In this time of humiliation under foreign powers, God will raise up a great Ruler from a humble place - Bethlehem.

• Bethlehem was well known as the hometown of David, Israel’s greatest king; yet it was never a great or influential city. It was truly little among the thousands of Israel. Yet God chose it as the birthplace of the Messiah, the Ruler in Israel.

• This passage from Micah 5 was quoted by the chief priests and teachers of the law when Herod asked about the birth of the Messiah (Matthew 2: 5 - 6).

• That was the old name of the place which the Jews retained and loved. The meaning of it is, ’fruitfulness,’ or ’abundance.’ Ah! Well was Jesus born in the house of fruitfulness; for whence cometh my fruitfulness and thy fruitfulness, my brother, but from Bethlehem? Our poor barren hearts never produced one fruit or flower, till they were watered with the Savior’s blood." (Spurgeon)

c) Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting: This glorious promise was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and Micah’s prophetic voice declares that though Jesus came from Bethlehem, He did not begin there. His goings forth are from eternity past.

(i) The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. (Revelation 22: 13) This means from the very beginning, Jesus was there. There was never a time when the Jesus did not exist.

(ii) Before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He existed as the Second Person of the Trinity (John 17: 5, 17: 24). These passages tell us that there was a relationship of love, fellowship, and shared glory that the Father and the Son shared in eternity past. The name "Jesus" was not known as a name for the Second Person of the Trinity until the angel Gabriel announced it to Mary (Luke 1: 31). But the eternal Son existed before He revealed Himself as "Jesus."

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