“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, you who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”
Yes, this powerful simple significant verse that Matthew quotes in Matthew chapter two when Jesus is born in Bethlehem. Matthew points back to this prophecy about the birth of this baby. “You O Bethlehem Ephrathah who are too little to be among the clans of Judah.” This small city will be the place where a ruler in Israel will come forth, God says, “For me, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”
The creator of the universe took on a robe of flesh.
This prophecy about a baby to be born, the ancient of days God himself incarnate to rule and to reign, to save and to redeem. This is one of those clear places in the Old Testament where we see a picture of Jesus. And every time we see a picture like this it is proper, it is right, it is good just to pause and to praise him so let’s do that.
Jesus, we exalt you. We love you. We worship you. You are God incarnate, God made flesh. Oh God, the mystery of the incarnation we are in awe that you would take on a robe of human flesh, that you would be born as a baby in Bethlehem in order that you might save us from our sins, from our rebellion against you, from the rightful judgment we deserve. Oh, Jesus, we praise you for your humility having found in the very nature of God not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself and became obedient to death.
You weren’t just born. You were born to die on a cross that we might be saved from our sins. We praise you. We exalt you. We love you. We glorify you. We thank you for saving us from our sins. We praise you for that night in Bethlehem for what you had promised centuries before to do, for all of your promises over many centuries, that pointed to that night and to your life and that day when you hung on a cross, and that day when you rose from the grave, and that day when you ascended into heaven, the day you’re coming back. All of our hope is in you. All of our trust is in you. We love you, Jesus. We praise you, Jesus.
Our lives are yours. We submit our lives gladly to your lordship. Lead us today. Guide us today, direct us today for your glory. May you become greater, may we become less. Jesus help us to proclaim your name. Help us to point people to you. Help us to reflect you in the way we love people around us, the way we care for people around us. Make us more and more and more like you we pray. Jesus, you are our savior, our Lord, our King, the promised Messiah from Micah chapter five, verse two. And we exalt, and praise, and honor, and glorify and love you. I pray all of this in your name. Amen.
Throughout the fall, we are following the McLean Bible Church Reading Plan. You can access the reading plan here.