Ninety miles. The distance Joseph and a pregnant Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem. It was census time in Judea. As David’s descendant, Joseph made the trek to Bethlehem, the city of David, to register. The young couple was unaware that this trip would change the course of history.
Bethlehem means “house of bread”. Centuries before Jesus’ manger birth there was a famine in Bethlehem. This famine led another man, Elimelech, on a journey with his wife and two sons. This journey cost him his life (see Ruth 1:1–3). All because there was no bread in the house of bread.
Thousands of years later, another “man” took a journey that would cost him his life. He wasn’t fleeing Bethlehem. He was born there. The same famine-stricken location now housed the most precious gift in human history. In a quaint manger in Bethlehem, the “bread” returned in person of Jesus Christ.[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”#1e29c9″ class=”” size=”30″]In a quaint manger in Bethlehem, the “bread” returned in person of Jesus Christ.[/perfectpullquote]
Until that time, there was a spiritual famine in the land. Hundreds of years passed between Malachi and this moment in the manger. It was a moment that began a trip. The destination? The Cross. As the bread of life who came down from heaven (see John 6:41, 48), this same Jesus would later be broken on the Cross. And he did it to satisfy our spiritual hunger and reconcile us to God.
That’s Good News! Others need to know this truth. As Christians, we are duty-bound to share the Gospel with a hungry world. It is our responsibility to look at the spiritual famine in our land and declare, “There is Bread in the House!”
*Prayer: Lord, thank you for entering a broken world as a newborn in Bethlehem. I’m grateful that you are the only bread that can satisfy this world’s spiritual hunger. Because of that glorious truth, give me a heart to share this life-giving bread with others. Amen.*
**And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7 ESV)**
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