Summary: What is the significance with regards to the place, Bethlehem and the manger, where Jesus was born. Can we find any significance in it. Does it have any meaning for us today. After all, God did choose where Jesus should be born. The question is why there?
I want to start off with a couple of related questions this morning:
• Why are you here in this place, in this church, this morning?
• Why are you in South Africa and not in America or Europe or Asia?
• Why are you at the work you are at?
• Why are you in the social or sport club you are in?
• Why have you been born at the place that you have been born at?
These are all important, or unimportant, questions, depending on how you look at it, which might be answered as accidental occurrences, as chance.
But it might also be answered as divine intervention.
That God has purposely placed you at a place for you to fulfill His purpose through you.
Now most Christians, I hope, do believe that God has a plan and purpose for their life.
They do believe that God has placed them at a certain place for a certain reason, for a certain purpose.
They do believe that God has placed them at certain places in order for them to gain experience, gain knowledge, to learn.
So ultimately, God has a purpose for us being born at a certain place.
We are busy with the second part of our three part series on the significance of Jesus’ birth.
Now last week we discussed the significance of the time of Jesus’ birth.
We saw that it is important to realize that God has a purpose with our time and therefore we need to give all our time over to Him.
It is also important to understand that God, therefore, needs to be in control of all our time.
And only when we give our time to Him, can He use us in His time.
We also saw that there is a waiting period when we are looking for the correct timing to do something.
Now this morning I will be speaking to you on the Significance of the Place of Jesus’ Birth.
But before we do that let’s read from God’s Word first.
As I told you last week, we have a series scripture and a sermon scripture.
Let’s start with the series scripture:
Luke 2:1-7 KJV
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Our Sermon Scripture for this morning
Micah 5:2 GW
(2) You, Bethlehem Ephrathah, are too small to be included among Judah's cities. Yet, from you Israel's future ruler will come for me. His origins go back to the distant past, to days long ago.
When we speak of the place of Jesus’ birth, we are faced with two areas, namely:
• Bethlehem and
• The Manger
Both these places have significance and this morning we will be exploring some of these connotations.
But before I do that I want to state the following:
Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem and in the Manger was not by accident.
It was by divine intervention.
God had a reason for Jesus to have been born in Bethlehem and in a Manger.
1. HE IS OUR NOURISHMENT
Prophesy came True
We read in Luke 2:4 that “Joseph … went … unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem…”
And in Micah a prophesy went out that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem
That prophesy came true when Jesus was indeed born in Bethlehem.
Throughout the Old Testament prophesy have been given regarding the birth of a Messiah, a King that will redeem the Jewish nation.
A conqueror that will overthrow the Roman Government.
And then, in Micah, the place of His birth are prophesy.
The question is, Why Bethlehem?
What about Jerusalem?
Would it not have been better that a King, a future ruler, the conqueror of the Jews, should come from a big and important city like Jerusalem?
One would think that.
But God does things much differently than we humans can ever think of doing.
He does it in ways that we do not always understand.