May 22 – Trip to the Holy Land – Bethlehem (Shepherd’s Fields)


Theme: The Incarnation

Read  Luke 2:1-14

Bethlehem today looks nothing like it did at the birth of Christ. The sprawling city of 40,000 people is filled with street vendors, souvenir shops, tourist buses – even a mall. Obviously, Joseph and Mary had none of those conveniences when they made that long trek from Nazareth.

Today, the Church of the Nativity stands over a series of caves that may have been the location where our Lord entered this world. But as is often the case in the Holy Land, the decorations of a church building tend to obscure the surroundings of a supernatural event described in Scripture.

That’s the case in Bethlehem. So it’s helpful to make our way out of town to the shepherds’ fields. There, it’s not hard to imagine the account recorded by Dr. Luke, which has become some of the most famous words in the Bible:

“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” (Luke 2:4-7 – NIV)

Think about the glory of those words! The Son of God, the Creator of the universe, took a human body to identify with us. We call that “the incarnation.” The word means “in flesh.”  John says, “The Word became human and made his home among us” (John 1:14a – NLT).

Here’s the question all of us should ponder: Why would Jesus come to this earth?  Why would He “make his home among us?”   There’s only one answer:  He wants us to get to know Him. As God in a human body, He revealed what God is like.

The Apostle Paul probably quoted the sayings of early believers when he wrote these words… “Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body….” (1 Timothy 3:16 -NLT). The Apostle John continues, “He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:14b – NLT).

Prayer of reflection:  “Lord Jesus, thank you that you came to earth so I could know you.  Help me to comprehend today more of who you are and what you have done for me.”

Bob Fetterhoff

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