Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Testament Devotional Series (2): By No Means The Least

Matt 2:6 "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; NIV

Matthew quotes from Mic 5:2 and the phrase he uses is quite interesting. At the time of Jesus’ birth, it was a humble village to say the least. In previous times, it was most noted for being the hometown of King David, the burial place of Jacob’s wife, Rachel and the setting for much of the Book of Ruth.

Why would Matthew say this about Bethlehem, when at the time of his writing it was most likely in severe decline? The answer is in the second half of the verse. Matt 2:6 “for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'"  NIV

You see there was nothing about the geography or topography of Bethlehem to make it special, yet it was special because God had chosen to bless it with His appearance. Even in Old Testament times, God used it in a special way choosing it as the hometown of David, who as the shepherd King was a “type” of Christ. 

Then, came the kinsmen redeemer Boaz, who was also a “type “of Christ. Finally, the appearance of God in the flesh, Jesus, the eternal shepherd King and kinsmen redeemer for all who put their trust in Him.

We can apply this same concept to ourselves. In a real sense, before the appearance of Christ in our lives, there is nothing in our geography or topography that makes us special either. We might even be in severe decline as was Bethlehem.

But, when Christ appears and comes into our lives, everything changes. When we accept Christ, God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our lives. He takes lives that would otherwise be unnoticed by the world and gives them meaning. Just as Jesus did all things to “please the Father” (Jn 8:29) and to glorify Him, our lives will also be pleasing to the Father, when led by the power of His Spirit.

Bethlehem became a different place when Christ appeared, not in a physical way but in a spiritual way. It was still a humble village, the perfect place for the humble servant King. But people were drawn to this place to come and worship Him. Would that we, as the humble abode of, the risen King, have our light so shine as to draw many others to Him as well.

God Bless You,


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