Born in Bethlehem

An angel appeared to some lowly shepherds while they were watching their flocks. Fear over took them, but the angel told them to not be afraid, there is great news, a savior has been born. After the angel’s message of joy, a multitude of heavenly host appeared praising and worshiping God and saying, “Glory to ‘god in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” The shepherds went to find the child that the angel spoke about. The shepherds went to Bethlehem (Hebrew name: house of bread) and found Jesus lying in a manger (a feeding area). When the shepherds left, they began “glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.”

It is interesting that Jesus was born in the city called “house of bread”. He was found in a feeding area for animals, and later He makes the claim, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35). “In Western cultures, bread is often optional, but it was an essential staple then.)1 Bread (food) sustains life. Jesus is the Bread of God that brings eternal life. Since Christ has come, one can have a relationship with Christ and live eternally with Him.

As we enjoy this Christmas season, let remember that the baby who was in the animal’s feeding area was the man that went to the cross so we can have eternal life with Him. Let’s follow the pattern that is seen in the nativity account: angels and shepherds praising and worshiping God.

Jesus Christ is worthy of worship and praise.

John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

Luke 2:13-14 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Luke 2:20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

Micah 5:2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”

1 The bible knowledge commentary. Cook. Pg296.

Bread of Life

After the feeding of the five thousand (John 6), the crowds were going to try to make Jesus their king (v. 15). Jesus withdrew to a mountain and the disciples headed toward Capernaum. Jesus went to the boat later that night walking on the water (v. 19). Once in Capernaum, the crowd that followed was there at the feeding of the five thousand; they were seeking Jesus for more physical food. Jesus tells them that they should be seeking the spiritual food that comes down from God and gives eternal life. The crowd also wanted to know what kind of work they were supposes to do to get eternal life. “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’ (v. 29)” The only work they had to do was believe.

The crowds begin to boast how their fathers ate the manna the Moses provided. Jesus corrects them by reminding them that His Father was the one who provided the manna (v. 32). The true bread is the bread that comes down from heaven. Jesus now makes his first “I am” statement in John 6:35. He calls himself the “bread of life” who came down from heaven to do the Father’s will. Jesus said in verse forty, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” The Jews grumbled about this statement because Jesus was claiming to come down from heaven. Also, Jesus was clearly claiming to have a unique relationship with God and claiming to have attributes of God by raising people up on the last day (v. 40).

The only access to God is through believing in Jesus and by doing this you will receive eternal life. Christ is the spiritual food that nourishes the soul like regular food is for the physical body. Jesus is the only bread that can satisfy your soul. Whenever you try to satisfy your soul with anything except Christ, it will leave you feeling empty and unsatisfied.