”And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David…” (Luke 2:4)
The promise of a deliverer – “the serpent’s head crusher” was made to “cancel” the evil one and his plans. Implicitly, the promise pointed to the fact that we (human beings) cannot win by our own power…we need a deliverer powerful enough to take on the evil one.
The battle against the evil one and his cohorts is beyond our capacity – we need divine reinforcements. God planned for us a comprehensive delivery.
An extra layer to the initial promise was revealed to us by the spirit-inspired prophets. The deliverer will definitively “crush the head of the serpent” but additionally, will provide the necessary guidance for our daily life.
Hence the deliverer will be a (guiding) light. His light will illumine the whole world (Isaiah 9:2; 42:6; Luke 2:32), not only the Jewish nation.
Then…the deliverer came: Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:4).
With Emanuel (God with us) another layer of the ancient promise was revealed. Because “man shall not live on bread alone” (Matthew 4:4), God provided the much needed “bread”, His Word. Jesus affirmed, “I am the living bread of life…” (John 6:35, 48 and especially v. 51).
It is interesting (but not a coincidence) that the “living bread of life” was born in a place (village) called Bethlehem.
Bethlehem means “the house of bread”. We gather (Micah 5:2) that it was an insignificant place, to begin with, yet “making the headlines” for two reasons.
First, being the place where David (the king) could trace his roots from. Second becoming a place associated with the birth of the Messiah.
The house of bread produced more than the daily bread, it gave the world the living bread: Jesus.
With Bethlehem, God chose an insignificant place (again) to work out our comprehensive and complete delivery: salvation. God is for us!