God’s Promise about Bethlehem
And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, Luke 2:3-4
Has anyone ever made a promise to you? Did you know that God made a promise that His son would be born in Bethlehem? In fact the exact details of Jesus' birth, His life, His death, and His resurrection have all been promised and have and will all be fulfilled because God is a promise maker and promise keeper!
In today’s verses we see another promise fulfilled in the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
So while Caesar issued a decree to be registered each to their home town, Joseph did in fact need to go according to Roman law back to Bethlehem. It was his own town. Yet there was another reason why they needed to go.
More than 500 years before Jesus was ever born there was a prophet by the name of Micah that God chose to share a promise: the messiah would be born in Bethlehem! (Micah 5:2) Even though Bethlehem may not have seemed very important, it was important for the Jewish people of faith. King David, the Shepherd King (I Samuel 16:11-13) was born there (Luke 2:11). Now Jesus, the coming King of the Jews and their Good Shepherd, was to be born there (John 10:11)! Bethlehem literally means the house of bread. Jesus would later call Himself the bread of life (John 6:35). All of this took place in Bethlehem because God is a promise maker and a promise keeper (John 7:42).
Questions for reflection and discussion
1. What can we learn about God if He makes promises and keeps them?
2. If God is a promise maker and keeper, do you think He wants us to be one too? Why?
Lord, thank You for keeping Your promises. Thank You for Your son, Jesus. Help us to keep our promises. We want to share and show the love of Christ by living more and more like You. In Jesus' name, amen.