Gospel Geography

December 24th, 2011

RG AUDIO 122411Matthew 2:1-6

Even if we don’t know how the story is supposed to turn out, the bald facts of geography offer an initial clue. Messiah will not be born in the great and holy capital city of Jerusalem. Whatever God intends for this particular Jewish child and the kingdom he inaugurates, Jesus would not be born as expected near Jerusalem’s palace or imposing temple. Only much later will Messiah Jesus invade both temple and palace in his own purposeful, enigmatic way. But now it is Christmas Eve, and another story is being told in our text.

What kind of story is this? The gospel says the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem, a barnyard, backdoor arrival as unexpected as it was uninvited by the powerful, neighboring elite. Jesus is born in Bethlehem. Why? Ours is the God conspiring to make great things out of very humble beginnings!


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