Advent Devotional | December 6, 2020
“When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'” Matthew 2:4–6
“God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him.” – Hudson Taylor, Missionary
Herod and the Magi were both interested in Jesus. The Magi sought the Messiah to worship Him, while King Herod desired to destroy Him and remove any competition. One was thinking about the things of God and the other the things of man. It is fascinating that, in God’s economy, the unexpected takes front and center. What is important to mankind and what is important to God are two different things.
Remember back to Genesis 49. Jacob blesses his sons and prophetically tells Judah that out of him shall come a ruler. Now, look at what the prophet Micah tells his readers, over a thousand years after Jacob’s blessing: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2). Let me connect the dots for you. It was expected that the Messiah would come from the small clan in Judah. But again, God does things differently than we do.
Throughout Scripture, God uses the weaker, smaller, lesser things of our kingdoms to establish His Kingdom. Our eyes and minds betray us in this way. God sees things entirely differently than we do! If you and I are to be followers of Jesus, we must see as Jesus sees. Living out our discipleship on the world’s stage should be as unexpected as Jesus’ birth to the smallest clan, tucked away in a manger. “O little town of Bethlehem…”
Pastor Dave Mergens