December 23, 2015
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
It seems like quite an obvious question – Where Was Jesus Born? The Bible tells us in more than one place that it was Bethlehem:
• The prophecy of it is in Micah 5:2 (King James Version) – “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
Twice this verse identifies the location of Bethlehem. It says this little town is located in the tribal allotment of Judah. Ephratah means fruitfulness, and Bethlehem means house of bread – so it is the fruitful house of bread! The designation, Bethlehem Ephratah differentiates this town from another town to the north – in Galilee – named Bethlehem. So this prophecy – more than 700 years before Christ was born – is very specific!
• The fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy encompasses the second and third references. It is found first in Matthew 2:1, where it says, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem….”
The third reference is just four verses later. Herod received the wise men and inquired of them whom they were seeking. It then says in verse 4 that “…he gathered all the [Jewish] chief priests and scribes…together, [and] he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.” Their answer is in verses 5 and 6: “In Bethlehem of Judea….” And they proceeded to quote Micah’s prophecy: “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.”
• The forth reference we will look at is in Luke 2:4 – concerning Joseph having to go to his ancestral town to be registered for a decreed Roman census. “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David.”
• The last reference considered is found in John 7:42. Some of the Jews who were interacting with Jesus thought the Lord had been born in Galilee, because He was becoming known as “…Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” (Matthew 21:11). So they questioned the possibility of Him being the Christ, saying, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was? ”
All this to say that it is indisputable, according to Scripture, that the answer to the question, Where Was Jesus Born? – is Bethlehem!
But this is not the most important birthplace of the Lord Jesus Christ! For it says in John 1:12:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children
of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor
of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
It is called in John 3:3, 5 & 7; and I Peter 1:23 being born again. But being born again is actually the event where – by the Holy Spirit – Jesus Christ is birthed in your human spirit! Paul refers to this when he wrote to the Galatian church in Galatians 4:19: “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you….” And in Colossians 1:27 he writes, “…Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Just as the Holy Spirit conceived divinity in the womb of Mary, so He also conceives within us that same divine nature of Christ! Paul says Jesus is “…all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9). And Peter reminds us in II Peter 1:3 and 4, “…that through…the knowledge of Him…[and His] exceedingly great and precious promises…you may be partakers of the divine nature…” – the very nature of God birthed in you!
So when we ask the question, Where Was Jesus Born? – the most important place in which He could be born is inside you! Have you been born again? Has He been born in your spirit by His Holy Spirit? And is His life then living through you so He can be seen in all you do, say and think?
This Christmas season, seriously consider this question: Where Was Jesus Born? Your eternal destiny depends on it!