Summary: A look at three prophetic passages that Jesus Christ would be born in Bethlehem, that he would be a great light shining in the darkness, that he would be "God with us" and that he would be Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor.
When you look at the life of Jesus, He fulfills all 322 of the prophecies in the Old Testament about the coming of the Messiah. The odds of just 8 of the major prophecies being fulfilled by one person is 1 in 10 to the 17th power, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. And this is only 8 of them! To help illustrate the odds of this, it would be like taking 10 to the 17th power of silver dollars and laying them on the surface of Texas. They would cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can go anywhere he wants, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? The same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man.
Can you imagine what the odds would be for all 322 prophecies being fulfilled by one man? It would be astronomical.
A King will be born in Bethlehem
Tonight we are going to look at three prophecies regarding the birth of Christ. The first can be found in Micah 5:1-5 “A Promised Ruler From Bethlehem.”
5 Marshal your troops, O city of troops,a for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel’s ruler on the cheek with a rod.
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clansb of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose originsc are from of old, from ancient times.d”
3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.
4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.
5 And he will be their peace.
1. verse 1 is a prophecy for what is to come in the near future. It is the prophecy that King Nebuchadnezzar was going to attack Jerusalem and that King Zedekiah would be struck on the cheek with a rod. This came to pass and Zedekiah was taken captive and tortured resulting in Zedekiah being blinded.
This initial verse describes a large city that is under siege and will be defeated and a weak king that will be taken captive, dethroned, tortured and defeated. A picture of strife, defeat and hopelessness is painted. The following verses are a contrasting picture of the first verse as the Prophet Micah transitions in verse 2 to a prophecy for the distant future. Micah quotes the Lord who states that He will send a king with the following characteristics:
a. He will have humble beginnings. He will be born in Bethlehem, a town approximately 5 miles south-southwest from Jerusalem. Compared to Jerusalem which was a large city with majestic buildings Bethlehem was small. It was small in size but it was a town that was small in stature and was actually an insignificant town. When people ask me where I grew up I tell them Toledo, Ohio. Most people have heard of Toledo, Ohio. But I actually grew up in Walbridge, Ohio which is a small town one mile outside of Toledo. Nobody knows about Walbridge. They would have no point of reference for where that is. It is a small town that is one square mile in size and is relatively insignificant. Out of something small and weak God brings significance and strength.
b. Out of Bethlehem, this insignificant little town would come the Messiah, the King of Kings who was in the beginning and forever will be. He will shepherd His flock. He will provide for their physical and spiritual needs. He will care for them, lead them, and protect them, unlike the earthly kings that look only to their own interests and well being. He will rule by the strength of the Lord not the strength of engineering, technology or reason. His scope of authority will not be limited to Jerusalem or Israel but will stretch to the ends of the earth. He will have complete authority over every tribe, every kingdom and every nation. Because his flock can never be out of His reach or authority He will be their peace. Through the Christ-child born in Bethlehem we have eternal security knowing that He has conquered Satan, death and the grave and provides an eternal home for each one of us. That is a peace that cannot be shaken if we live our lives according to our faith.