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.
West Baden, Indiana. Do you know much about it? Probably not. Unless you’re one of the 500 people who live there. The only notable thing about this little town might be the fact that NBA All-Star Larry Bird was born there. Otherwise, it’s not well known beyond the borders of Indiana. In fact, it’s hardly known by the people who live in the Hoosier state.
That was first-century Bethlehem. It had been a thousand years since anyone famous had come from this little town—and that was King David. So why was the Christ Child born in the lowly, tiny town of Bethlehem? One big reason: to fulfill the prophecy written by the prophet Micah 700 years earlier. God promised that his Son, the Messiah, would be born in Bethlehem. As God always does, he made good on his promise.
But why Bethlehem? Perhaps it fits God’s pattern of using the seemingly powerless and puny to showcase his gracious power. He chose David, the youngest son of Jesse and the least impressive of all his other sons, to become the greatest king of Israel. He chose an unknown girl from Galilee to be the mother of his eternal Son. He chose a feeding trough to cradle the mightiest, most glorious King of kings. He chose nails and a wooden cross to be the means by which he redeems the world. He chose an empty tomb to be a symbol of life and hope.
And so he chose not a booming trade town, but lowly, tiny Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. Let that serve as a reminder to you of how meaningful you are to God. No matter how little you may feel or how far you’ve fallen—you are not insignificant. Outside of your own circle of friends and family, others may not know your name and, they probably don’t care. God knows your name. God cares. He cares about you!
Heavenly Father, remind me today of how precious I am in your sight. I don’t deserve your love and favor, yet you sent Jesus to be the Savior of the world—my Savior. Thank you! Amen.