Summary: The Birth of Christ is described as a sign by Isaiah, this sermon explores the fact that his birth was a sign of God’s power, God’s love and God’s faithfulness!
Stoner suggests that “we take 10 to the 17th silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state 2 feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly... Blindfold a man and tell him he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up [that one marked silver dollar.] What chance would he have of getting the right one?”
Stoner concludes, “Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing those eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, ... providing they wrote them in their own wisdom.” [Source unknown -www.bible.org/illus/c/c-59.htm]
Over 300 separate prophecies concerning
the coming Messiah give in exquisite detail the birth of Christ.
Hosea 11:1 prophetically points to Jesus’ escape to and coming out of Egypt.
Jeremiah 31:15 prophetically points to the grief and sorrow that came to the Bethlehem mothers and their refusing to be consoled in spite of their being good reason for such.
Another of those prophecies of Christ birth is found in Micah 5:2. Here Micah told exactly where Christ would be born, “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."
This verse begins with the word “but” and is the introduction to something new, something grand, that is about to enter human history. And surprise, surprise, the origin of this grand new work is not in one of the world’s capitals, not even in Jerusalem, but in Bethlehem.
We all know about the town of Bethlehem and we are used to hearing the name of Bethlehem. This morning we sang the song, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” we have heard of this town ever since we were old enough to understand the Christmas story. But 2,000 years ago, Bethlehem was not a very well known place. It was similar to being from a small town, like Vilonia, Arkansas. When you are asked where you live and you reply Vilonia, what is the next question? “Where is that?” You not only have to tell where Vilonia is located you usually have to spell it for them as well. Bethlehem was like that, it was a pretty obscure little country town, so obscure in fact that he has to tell us what Bethlehem he is talking about! He says, “Bethlehem Ephrathah,” or the Bethlehem by Jerusalem.
Micah proclaimed that the Messiah would
come from Bethlehem...but a week before Christ’s birth, Mary was still in Nazareth... 80 miles away from Bethlehem... And in a day where they walked everywhere they went, that was a long way.
But God was in control and He took care of that. Caesar Augustus order a census be taken, and this census required that Joseph be register in the city of his families roots (David’s).... Bethlehem.
So Mary and Joseph at just the right time made the four day journey to Bethlehem. As we have seen Bethlehem was to the world a small insignificant village full of blue collar workers, nothing special... But Bethlehem was significant and the thing that made it special and the reason we still sing about Bethlehem today is, that Jesus Christ was there.