The Spiritual Significance of Bethlehem
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me, The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” Micah 5:2
Micah was a true prophet that delivered a message from God foretelling that Jesus would come out of Bethlehem, or Ephrathah. What significance is it that Jesus would come from Bethlehem?
- JESUS IS HEIR TO THE THRONE: Luke 2:11 mentions Jesus' birthplace as the "town of David." Jesus was a descendant of David, in the royal bloodline. Kings in Israel were born into their position, in the royal line. Jesus was the promised Messiah, a Savior, and a King, with authority from God. Not only was Jesus promised to the Jews; but as the Seed of Abraham, this promise was extended to all people.
- THE WAY TO GOD IS THROUGH FAITH: Bethlehem is a small town, unsuspecting of any king; yet God often chose the small, the weak, and the despised to teach the dependency of faith. Our relationship with God is based on humble reliance, which Jesus demonstrated from the manger in Bethlehem to the cross on Calvary.
- JESUS GIVES US A NEW WAY OF LIVING: Bethlehem is Bet LeHem, meaning "House of Bread." In John 6, Jesus said He was the "BREAD OF LIFE." Our bodies must have food to live; similarly, in the spirit, our reliance on God eagerly takes in God's Word to function and live. Bread symbolized provision. And oh, how we need Jesus to live (John 1:14). The Father provided Jesus for our redemption! Let's not forget the power of communion, taking bread to symbolize our covenant with God through Christ and the body that was pierced for us.
Hallelujah! Bethlehem indeed has spiritual significance for our redemption! I pray this Christmas season has a deep and personal revelation of Christ for you!
In addition, here are some other interesting events that took place in Bethlehem, or Ephrathah, or Ephrath:
- Ruth, the harvester, met Boaz, her kinsman redeemer, in Bethlehem, the house of bread. Ruth, a foreigner, found herself not only rescued by Boaz, but her son was King David's grandpa. This story communicates redemption and gives us purpose in the kingdom for the Lord of the Harvest.
- Bethlehem (Ephrathah) was where Jacob returned and met his brother. Ephrathah means "fruitfulness." We know God chose the younger, Jacob, for the family's inheritance, not the older brother, Esau, yet Jacob comes to Bethlehem to bless Esau.
- In 1 Chronicles 11, David is thirsty and wants water from Bethlehem, his hometown. Three men risked their lives to break through enemy lines to get the water, but because of the bloodshed, David offered it to the Lord by pouring the water out onto the ground. Jesus, too, from Bethlehem, poured Himself out as a sacrifice for our salvation.
The Bible is rich with layers of revelation. I hope His Word speaks to you today!