Bethlehem is located in the West Bank. Today it is under Palestinian (Hamas) Authority. Just outside the city is the traditional site of Rachel’s tomb. It is called the City of David. In 330 A.D., Constantine the Great built the Church of The Nativity, perhaps the oldest surviving Christian Church, to honor the birthplace of Yeshua, the Messiah, God’s only begotten Son! The Gospel of Luke records after Mary gave birth to Jesus, angels declared and sang in the fields nearby in the presence of shepherds, “Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you…Glory to God in the highest!”
This great city was also the birthplace of David, second King of Israel. He was anointed there by Samuel. It’s where the well is located that the three heroes risked their life for David to get him water when he was in the cave of Adullam! Since Joseph was from the lineage of David, it’s why he came here to pay his taxes and thus fulfill God’s prophetic word about Bethlehem.
David could rescue a city and a nation, but only Jesus could rescue mankind. David could sing, play beautiful music, slay giants and chase evil spirits away, but only Jesus could reach into hell and hold court! David was gifted, anointed and an incredible leader, but Jesus was God. While it is right to acknowledge the contributions of great men, only one deserves to be worshiped. His name is Jesus! During this week of busy activities, find time to celebrate His birth and worship Him! “Oh Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are but a small Judean village, yet you will be the birthplace of my king who is alive from everlasting ages past!” (Micah 5:2).
By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor