Waiting for Jesus

Many hundreds of years before Jesus was born, a prophet in the Old Testament named Micah made an amazing prediction. He wrote what we just read. This prophecy predicted the exact place where the Messiah (Jesus) would be born. It was not a large city. In fact, Micah told us Bethlehem was the SMALLEST of all the families and tribes of Israel.

One of the things we may not always understand is that, while we singsongs about this place where Christ came to Earth as a baby, it was not a nice place. It was a place where shepherds would come to town for a night to take a break from keeping sheep in the fields. It was not a large village, since it only had one inn, which was already filled with travelers who came to be counted for the Roman government.

In fact, the only place left where Mary and Joseph could stay while she gave birth to the baby Jesus was a cattle shed behind the inn. There, in a place where animals would stay and be fed, Jesus came into the world to be our Savior.

Sometimes we sing or hear the song at Christmas, which says, Away in a manger, no crib for a bed. The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head. Jesus was rejected from the first moments of His life. He was forced to sleep with animals on His first night on the Earth. No room was found for Him with the people He had come to save.

So, as we look at our nativity scenes and particularly at the manger, let’s remember that Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin did not begin when He went to the cross. It began when He cried His first breath on the Earth, and inhaled the smell of cattle and sheep. The Father sent His Son to this place, to show us that no one was too unimportant or too sinful for God to love.

He was born in “the little town of Bethlehem,” just as the prophet Micah said. Knowing the place of His birth “from ancient days,” Jesus came anyway because of His love for us a

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