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Where Would Jesus Be Born Today?

Where Would Jesus Be Born Today?

Micah5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."

The name of the place is significant. Bethlehem means the house of bread; a proper place for Jesus to be born, who is the Bread of life, the Bread that came down from heaven. But that is not all; Bethlehem is the city of David, and He, who is the Son of David, must be born there.

Luke 2:1-7 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.          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 room for them in the inn.

Rulers make decrees, but God is in control. A new tax or a new health care law may be unwanted, unnecessary, unjust, and unworkable, but God can use the decree to fulfill prophesy and conduct His plans for our benefit. We can trust Him.

For example, Caesar’s decree caused a situation where Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem. This decree appears unnecessary. It doesn’t seem to benefit them. It will lead to more taxation. Traveling 80 miles to Bethlehem is an untimely hardship for Mary, now in the last days of pregnancy. This decree seems cruel, unjust, unnecessary, and certainly unwanted. However, this new census and tax created a written record and proof that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem; fulfilling the prophesy in Micah 5:2.

Jesus was not born in the house of royalty, or the house of riches, or the house of celebrity. Jesus was not born in any political, commercial, cultural, educational, or socially significant city of the day. He was born in Bethlehem, "The House of Bread". Bread is one of life’s most common things.

John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

Bread is a good comparison to our Lord, because He satisfies, gratifies, and strengthens us spiritually just as bread does physically. Unfortunately, many are eating unhealthily.

Isaiah 55:2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

The words of Christ are beneficial to our life and delightful to our soul and spirit. However, it is easy to get caught up in searching for meaning in life from the wrong things, because there are a lot of things that bring temporary pleasure. But only Christ satisfies the desires of the human spirit. Christ is all the “soul” food man needs for spiritual satisfaction.

1 Corinthians 10:17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.

That "one bread" is Christ. He is the only bread that offers life and the decision to receive Him is an individual one. No matter how insignificant we may seem to ourselves, God wants us to become His children by being born of His Spirit through the “Bread of Life”, Jesus Christ.

Therefore, the question is not "have you become a church member?", or "have you given to charities?" The question is, “has Christ been born in you?” In other words, “have you become His Bethlehem?”

Luke 1:35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Jesus Christ was born into this world, not from it. He did not come from the human race; He came into it from above. Jesus Christ is not the best human being; He is a Being Who cannot be accounted for by the human race at all. He is God Incarnate, not man becoming God, but God coming into human flesh, coming into it from the outside. His Life is the Highest and the Holiest, entering in at the lowliest door, through the humble Virgin Mary.

Just as our Lord came into human history from the outside, so He must come into us from the outside. So I ask again, “Have you allowed your body to become a ‘Bethlehem’ for the Son of God?” In other words, “Has Christ been born in you?”

We cannot enter into the realm of the Kingdom of God unless Jesus is born in us, giving us a spiritual rebirth, a birth totally unlike natural birth .

John 3:5-7 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'

Jesus said to Nicodemus, a very righteous man according to the law, “You must be born again,” that is, something must come into you from the outside. We make a huge mistake by thinking the new birth to means nothing more than rising up and doing better by our own efforts. The conception of the new birth in the New Testament is that something enters into us. That something is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of God.

Like our physical birth, being born again spiritually is just the beginning of Life. We are apt to rejoice in the number of souls who profess Jesus as their Savior, but what becomes of them all? They have been born again into the Kingdom of God, but as yet there is no evidence that Christ is formed in them.

Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Jesus Christ sent His disciples to “disciple” all nations. The new birth is God’s work. As His disciples, we are to work under His orders on the basis the Great Commission and the power of the Holy Spirit to make disciples, followers of Christ, out of these new born by patiently teaching them. It can be a painful labor, but for the joy set before us, we continue until Christ is formed in them.

Galatians 4:19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,

The Life after a new birth has some very simple characteristics. One great characteristic of the new birth is that we now come to Jesus, not only because of what we have heard about Him, but because we realize Who He is. Our Lord did not send forth His disciples on the ground of what He had done for them; He sent them because they had seen Him after His resurrection, and therefore, they knew Who He is.

“Now go and tell My brethren.” Jesus said to Mary Magdalene. However, she had no Good News to tell until she had realized Who Jesus is after His resurrection. Then Jesus said—“Go.”

If Christ is born in us, the great characteristic is that we know Him and perceive Him for ourselves. We do not need anyone to tell us about Him now; He is our Lord and Master, and He lives in us by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In Acts 1:8 our Lord said But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

When Christ is born in us, we also realize we are exactly where He wants us for now, and we are to be His ambassadors to witness about Him to whomever we meet. Whenever God moves us to another location, our mission remains the same.

Immediately Christ is born in us, His nature begins to work in our hearts and He renews our mind so that our thinking lines up with His Word. We know what the nature of God is like, because we see it manifested in Jesus Christ. Therefore, we can tell others what we have witnessed and what we know about God without any doubt.

John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

Another evidence of new birth is that we see the Kingdom of God everywhere. Those born of the Spirit recognize, in all the ordinary circumstances of their life, the hand of God and the rule of God. In the beginning, we only discern the rule of God in exceptional things, in crises, or marriage, or death, but that is an elementary stage. As Christ is formed in us, we learn to see God’s rule in all of life. Nothing happens by chance to a saint, no matter how haphazard or bad it seems at the moment.

To those born again, the Word of God is not a set of principles to be obeyed apart from identification with Jesus Christ. For instance, the Sermon on the Mount is a statement of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is getting His way with us. The Holy Spirit applies the principles of Jesus to our circumstances as God engineers them, and we have to see that we walk by the Spirit and not our flesh. Jesus Christ does not lay down the statements in the Sermon on the Mount as a law; He is describing what the new life is like for those born into the Kingdom of God.

On the contrary, a fanatic is one who takes the statements of Jesus and tries to live up to the standard of them while he ignores the necessity of a personal relationship with God through the new birth. We are not to live according to law, but according to the new life in us, the Holy Spirit, and then we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.

The one thing that will enable us to stop sinning is the experience of new birth. When we are born again of the Holy Spirit, the life of Christ Jesus in us cannot sin. That does not mean that we cannot sin; it means that if we obey the Holy Spirit in us, we need not sin. God never takes away our power to disobey; if He did, our obedience would be of no value, for we would cease to be morally responsible.

By the new birth, God puts in us the power not to sin. Our human nature is just the same after new birth as before, but the chief motive is different. Before the new birth, we sin because we cannot help it; after new birth, we do not have to sin.

In summary, Christians are born, not made. They are not produced by imitation, nor by praying and vowing; they are produced by a new birth of the Holy Spirit. After we are born again, we yield ourselves so completely to the Holy Spirit that Christ is formed in us. When He is formed in us, we see Jesus for ourselves; we see the rule of God; we quit sinning; and we bear the characteristics of Jesus Christ, the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

John 1:12-13 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

When an individual has faith to believe, decides to receive Jesus of their own free will, and is willing to die to themselves in baptism, then Jesus enters them spiritually like bread enters us physically when we decide to eat it. At that moment, they are born again of the Holy Spirit. Today, Jesus wants to be born in you.

Jesus said, Revelation 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Christ was born in Bethlehem, "The House of Bread", so He could come into our hearts and lives if we let Him be born in us. Will you become a “Bethlehem” for Him? He is standing at the door of your heart and knocking. Open the door and let Him be born in you. He will give you rest, peace, and satisfaction for your soul.