Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

TTE Advent Calendar Day Eleven – December 11th


TTE Advent Calendar Day Eleven – December 11th

Jeremiah 31:15 (ESV) Thus says the LORD: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.”

Thank you for reading our eleventh installment of our advent series, please check out our advent page for more articles in this series.

Thanks for reading our article today and we look again at the prophecies that point towards the messiah and see how they are fulfilled in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

A few days ago we quoted this verse and the story that we told then we will go into a little further detail. We spoke about this when we looked at Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the account when they fled to Egypt due to Herod wishing to get rid of this new king.

I will be honest with you, unless I had the confirmation by Matthew having been inspired by the Holy Spirit, I wouldn’t have made the link between the two events. Matthew declares that it is and quotes the passage in the prophet Jeremiah verbatim.

I love that it is quoted though, it is like finding a jewel in the most humble of places and it is very God. Look at how the messiah was born, in the humblest of surroundings when he was (and still is) the king of Kings. He should have had servants, the finest palaces, and the best of the best but look at where he was born.

See him lying in the stable bare

Luke 2:1 (ESV) 1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 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, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 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.

I love that the God inspired infallible, inerrant word of God is so specific. It stands the test of time and gives way more information that is required in order to verify its contents. It gives a historical account of who was the Roman in charge at that point, it gives the governors name also. We can clearly identify the point in history when Jesus was born of Mary.

This whole section is a fulfillment of prophecy

1) Born of a woman (verse 5)
2) Born in Bethlehem (verses 4-6)
3) lineage of parents (verse 4)

Need I go on? The evidence is overwhelming.

We see that the messiah, the King of Kings, LORD of LORD’s, the one who no name is higher being born in the most humble of circumstances. He didn’t even have a hotel room at an inn (modern day bar room) the only cover they found was in a smelly barn surrounded by animals.

He did not even have a crib or bassinette, his place to lie down was a receptacle that was used to feed animals. There was no mattress; he lay in cloth that was set aside for wrapping the dead. He lay on straw but in that baby who was a few minutes old was 100% human but also 100% God.

He did not need to be born this way, God could have created him fully grown as he did with Adam and Eve, but God allowed him to experience everything that we as humans experience. Jesus relates to every situation. He understands what it is like to be tempted, to have seen poverty, he lived as we lived but lived the lives we should have lived.

Herod kills the little children

Matthew 2:16 (ESV) 16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

As we read two days ago, Joseph took Mary and Jesus and fled to Egypt. God could have used Jesus as a baby and with the power of God could have wiped out Herod’s soldiers, but this was not the plan of God. God knew this would happen and chose instead to use this wicked king in order to fulfil prophecy.

I would think that he would have used the information taken by the recent census (remember that is why Joseph and Mary were there in the first place) he would have had fresh information where the young children would have been and there would have been little searching required.

Herod was known historically for three things:

1) Vast building and structural projects to flex his muscles over his (puppet) kingdom
2) Suspicion over threats to his rule
3) Killing people for personal reasons, including members of his own family

We see points 2 and 3 are evident here, he saw this “new king” as a threat to his earthly kingdom. Herod was so blinded in maintaining his own little position of power that he missed the point of the messiah.

There is application in there for all of us, how often do we pass up what God has called us to, regardless of how humble that may be to chase after things that we were never called to. Sometimes we do this through vain ambition, personal discontent and sometimes it is just good old fashioned pride, other times we do it trying to do Gods will and do Gods job for him, we have to be careful and validate that it really is God’s plan for our lives.

Jesus came not to take his kingdom but to be the sacrifice for all of our sins. Jesus will return and establish his kingdom without end. The cross was not the end but merely the beginning. So Herod’s actions were futile. He died a few years later and others took his throne.

His legacy is very much a negative one, this makes me think about my legacy and how I will be remembered. Really and not to be too blunt but my priority is my family, how I am viewed by my wife and daughter. I fully realize that I have some major work to do in this area. Some areas I do not do well in and other areas I plain stink. I am in prayer that I see the priorities and that I do better.

My wife did an awesome blog entitled “How will my daughter remember me” and I would encourage that you read that.

God bless you one and all, I thank you for reading this article. Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads you too.

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