Which One Are You

In the Bible we see many people who rejected Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name). They usually had a reason, for example, some read the prophetic scriptures and concluded Yeshua was not the promised Messiah. They assumed they knew where He was from and therefore, He couldn’t be from God. In Nazareth they knew Yeshua and His family, but they didn’t know He was born in Bethlehem or that He was from God, born of a virgin. (John 7:27; 6:42).

  • The prophets said He would be David’s son, from Bethlehem. They thought we was from Galilee and didn’t know He was born in Bethlehem; was in the lineage of David through both Joseph and Mary, and were unaware of the prophecy about Galilee. (Micah 5:2; Matt. 4: 13-16).
  • They refused to believe the miracles He performed as signs of the Messiah and doubted when they didn’t see it personally, though thousands witnessed it. (Matt. 11:21,23). 
  • They were looking for a warrior Messiah who would deliver them from Roman rule. He came as a meek servant, poor, rejected by the influential and powerful, a preacher of God’s truth and love. (Isa. 31: 4-5; 53: 3-12).
  • They relied upon the religious leaders who were not looking for the Messiah or God’s will and only cared about preserving their positions of power. (John 11:48).
  • They were pursuing their own interests, religious traditions and had no real interest in the Messiah or God’s will. (Matt. 19: 21-22; 6:5).
  • They saw Yeshua only as a man who did not satisfy their worldly desires and expectations. (John 6:26-27).
  • They were consumed with hatred of the Roman occupation and thought they must produce their own deliverance. Similarly, they weren’t looking for the Messiah and had little or no knowledge of him.  (Luke 23:18-19).
  • Yeshua’s message of selflessness, mercy, forgiveness, humility and the true nature of God’s love was offensive to their prideful lifestyle. (Matt. 23:23-26).
  • Yeshua’s words of knowing God, doing His will, fulfilling prophecy, and demonstrating He was the Messiah made them mad, so angry they tried to kill him more than once. (John 8:59; 10:31).
  • They didn’t believe in God and/or the God disclosed in the scriptures. (John 9:29).

Today, there are new objections, such as: He was never an actual person; He was killed by the Romans and stayed dead; the resurrection never happened; the whole Bible is a myth, only science is Truth; Christians are evil and bad, etc. Most believers were under one or another of these delusions, but something happened to change everything. For example, Saul was imprisoning Believers until Yeshua showed up and confronted him. It may have been a scripture, message, or testimony they heard, or a serious event that got their attention and suddenly as though the lights came on, and there was the Lord and Savior, Yeshua Messiah. Scripture says everyone who seeks finds. (Luke 11:10). If you seek Him, you will find Him in some manner, like the woman at the well who was expecting the Messiah. (John 4: 7-26). Have you sincerely and earnestly sought the only one who can give you life abundant, true peace, and healing within your innermost being?

Bethlehem

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2.

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David): To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.   And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:4-7.

Jesus was born in the little Judean town of Bethlehem which is only 5 miles from Jerusalem.  Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was in answer to a prophecy made some seven hundred years before by Micah.  This prophecy assures us that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem and that his origins were ancient and unsearchable.  Ruth and Boaz, the great grandparents of King David, lived in Bethlehem and thus it subsequently became David’s home as well.  Jesus, David’s descendent, was later born there.  Long tradition, all the way back to the second century, has it that the manger where the baby lay was actually situated in a cave rather than a stable, although the Biblical account does not say for sure.

After Constantine’s conversion to Christianity In the early fourth century his mother, Helena, came to the Holy Land and began to construct great churches marking spots of the major biblical events.  By 330 the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem was built over the traditional site of Jesus’ birth.  In its early stages the Bethlehem church was fairly small and was later damaged seriously in an uprising.  In 529 the Emperor Justinian expanded the building to its present form.  The church miraculously survived the devastating Persian invasion of 614 and was likewise spared destruction by the Moslems as the Crusaders took over the Holy Land in 1099.  The old church, perhaps the oldest continuing Christian church in the world, has survived war, earthquake and fire and still stands today.

Since the 1995 Oslo Accords, Bethlehem has been administered by the Palestinian Authority.  Due to the resulting rise in Moslem persecution there is a sudden and drastic decline in the Christian Arab population which has now shrunk to less than 15 percent from over 80 percent in 1950.

Bethlehem is only a small city in Judah but it has had a momentous history, most importantly as the birthplace of our Savior.  We need to pray this Christmas season for Israel and Bethlehem that they be protected/released from the Islamic oppression that they are now experiencing.  Further, we should reflect that it was in this small, otherwise insignificant city, that the King of kings was born.