DAY 221- BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE LAND
"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..” (NKJV).
Reading: Matthew 5:1-18
What’s your favourite Christmas carol? Mine is O Little Town of Bethlehem. As central as Jerusalem is in the Biblical story, so too is the city of David. Bethlehem is a famous place in the Bible. It was occupied by the Philistines at one time. It was the place where Boaz and Ruth lived. It is also where their grandson David lived, for he was of the tribe of Judah, the Kingly line of Messiah. Most importantly, Bethlehem was the birthplace of Jesus, the Son of David.
Bethlehem means house of bread in Hebrew for it was a place where barley and wheat were grown. Ephrathah is the ancient name for the town of Bethlehem and it means ‘fruitfulness’. When the prophet Micah prophesied, in our reading for today, that the town of Bethlehem would be the birthplace of Messiah, he called the town ‘Bethlehem Ephrathah’, to distinguish it from another town named Bethlehem in the northern part of Israel. It was certainly a place of fruitfulness, for Jesus was born there but it was also a place of great sadness for Bethlehem was also where Herod had baby boys 2 years and younger killed, in an attempt to kill the Messiah.
Bethlehem is known as the royal city since both King David and Messiah Jesus were born there. Both were Shepherds; one of sheep and the other of human ‘sheep’! Bethlehem was the place where bread was made; Jesus is the bread of life who came down from Heaven. Let us feed on Him in our hearts by faith.
Dear Father, thank You for Jesus the bread of life, who came down from Heaven to bring us life. Help us to feed on Him in our hearts by faith and live. Amen
FOR THE FAMILY
Gather lots of different ingredients for sandwiches and allow even the young kids to make their own sandwiches.
As you all eat your sandwiches together, explain that Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, is a Hebrew name. In English it means House of Bread.