Luke 2:2–7 (MEV): In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the entire inhabited earth should be taxed. This taxation was first made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to his own city to be taxed.
So Joseph also departed from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to the City of David which is called Bethlehem, in Judea, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be taxed with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So while they were there, the day came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in strips of cloth, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
As we’ve discussed before, God is present in every moment. The fact that Caesar Augustus decreed a tax that would ensure Joseph to be in the city of his lineage was known to God when David called the prophet Samuel.
1 Samuel 16:1 (MEV): The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him from ruling over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have chosen a king for Myself from among his sons.”
Bethlehem is the birthplace of Kings. It is the birthplace of God’s Chosen. In this way, God’s choosing of David was a pattern for Israel, and by extension the whole world. That’s for us!
David’s anointing would be when Israel already had a king… Saul. In the same way, Jesus’ advent was when Israel already had a king… Caesar.
It is Bethlehem. The word that means house of bread. The Bread of Heaven would be born there.
Micah 5:2 (MEV): But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, although you are small among the tribes of Judah, from you will come forth for Me one who will be ruler over Israel. His origins are from of old, from ancient days.
Least among the tribes of Judah.
Everything about His birth doesn’t make us think of kings or rulers. Jesus was born to a regular working-class couple. He was born away from home, in a stall for animals. His first resting place was most likely a trough hewn from stone used for fodder. And Bethlehem… Which was a relative backwater near bustling Jerusalem.
David was born there, too. He was the least of his brothers. He was the shortest in stature. He was a dirty shepherd. Shepherds in those days were the least esteemed of people if they were even considered that. David serves as the pattern.
We were to know that pattern.
God chooses the weak to confound the strong. He chooses the base to offend the intellectual. We choose according to stature, prowess, mental acumen and wealth. These are the things humans esteem. This is not so with God.
A dirty and lowly shepherd boy was chosen to be king over Israel. This David is like a sling stone forging through time to that lands in the midst of that lowly carpenter’s Boy’s circumstance of birth.
It’s that day.
Today (the eve of Christmas,) when you think of Jesus and His birth, it’s not the trappings of silver and gold, the red and the white and the green… Santa Claus or turkey… Or even what skeptics say that really matter.
It’s Who Jesus is that does. God’s desire is that you eat His Bread! Seriously. He wants you to take Jesus into your body by believing He is Emmanuel, God among men… Your King.