Sunday, December 16, 2012

Prophecy: Jesus will be born in Bethlehem

1. Lesson
  • Last week, we talked about a special visitor for Mary and Joseph. Who visited them? An angel, that’s right! What did the angel tell them? That they would be having a baby! Their baby would be special because He was from God. 
  • The Bible tells us that God made a promise to King David. God promised him that one of his great, great, great, great, great children would be king forever. That was a promise from God that He would send Jesus.
  • [extra info] In the Bible, we read that King David came from the very first man, Adam. He came by way of some other names you will remember: Noah (and his son Shem), Abraham (and his son Isaac), Isaac’s son Jacob, a man named Salmon (and his wife Rahab). Rahab’s son Boaz (and his wife Ruth). Ruth’s grandson was Jesse, King David’s father. Many kings followed David until a man name Jacob had a son whom he named Joseph. Joseph was the husband of Mary, the mother of the Messiah!
  • Prophecy #3: Jesus will be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) 
  • God had given promises all along the way. The people believed and waited. One of those promises, though, was that the Messiah would be born in King David’s town, Bethlehem. It was a small town. 
  • Not only was Jesus King David’s forever king, but God promised — through the prophet Micah 750 years before Jesus’ birth — that Jesus would be born in King David’s town, Bethlehem.  
  • Micah 5:2
    “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.”
  • But there was a small problem. Joseph and Mary lived far away in the town of Nazareth — about 130km. That’s a very long way without a car! People back then didn’t travel around the way we do today and they didn’t travel very much. When they did, they walked and sometimes rode donkeys. And Mary, who was very heavily pregnant, didn’t have any travel plans.
  • But God made a promise and He had a plan. God used a leader named Caesar Augustus. Caesar Augustus thought he was very important and wanted to count all the people in his empire. Little did he know that God gave him that idea to get Joseph and Mary exactly where they needed to be for His promise to come true!
  • Caesar Augustus made a law. Everyone in the entire Roman Empire must go to the town of their ancestors to be registered. That meant Joseph had to go to Bethlehem. So Joseph obeyed the law and went. He left Nazareth and went to the area of Judea. Bethlehem was in Judea. Joseph went there with his wife, Mary. (Luke 2:1-5)
  • We all know that Christmas story:
    • how Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem (a journey that would have probably taken a week for them in Mary’s condition)
    • how they couldn’t find room because it was so crowded and full of people returning to their hometown
    • how an innkeeper let them stay with his animals
    • and how the King of Kings was born that day as a little baby and laid in a manger (where the animals feed) in the little town of Bethlehem.
  • That night, an angel appeared to shepherds in the field and declared to them: “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11)
    • If God had a plan to get Joseph and Mary to a certain town for His Son’s birth, don’t you think He has a plan for you, too? He does! And just as God made a king want to count his people, God can and will do anything to make His plan for you come true. 
    • The beginning of that plan, though, is to believe His promise. God sent His One and Only Son from heaven to earth for you. Will you accept God’s gift of His Son this Christmas season? You’ll never receive a better one!

3. Suggested Activities
  • Sing: "O Little Town of Bethlehem" vid; or with lyrics.
  • Memory Verse: Luke 2:11Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

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