“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.” — Micah 5:2
A little child may grow up in a small town but still make a big difference in the world. Everybody is from somewhere and some of the smartest and most talented people started in a place without a stoplight or a courthouse. Perhaps few people know a person’s name until he or she becomes an inventor or a famous athlete.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, most people outside His community did not know who He was, even though He was a descendant from the royal tribe of King David. If Mary and Joseph were prominent people, they could have demanded a place for Jesus to be born when they traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census, but this common family brought forth their firstborn in a stable alongside cattle. It was one of the most humble births ever. “And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them” (Luke 2:7).
When the wise men later came to see Baby Jesus, they expected to find Him in the big city of Jerusalem, but the prophet said long ago that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. “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” (Micah 5:2). Long ago, the prophet Micah gave strong hints about this virgin-born child being much more than a man.
As Joseph and Mary watched Jesus grow up, they never heard Him say a wrong word and never saw Him do anything wrong. Jesus lived a perfect life. Mary and Joseph did not understand everything about Jesus, but the angel reassured them that everything happened according to God’s plan.
Therefore, Jesus changed the world during His manhood as He taught, performed miracles, died on the cross and rose up from the grave. The Bethlehem Baby gives hope to the world.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
If you would like to submit a reader devotional, please email all submissions to