Today, we kick off a brand new series titled Star of Wonder. Black Friday is behind us, Cyber Monday is happening today, and Hallmark Christmas movies have been going for weeks.

This time last year, we were struggling to understand how we would celebrate Christmas during a pandemic. This year, the pandemic is still present, but we are returning to some normalcy.

We view our time together with a renewed sense of purpose, love each other a little more, and hold on tighter. We are blessed and realize it.

For the next few weeks, we will explore the story of Jesus’ birth and the journey of the Magi with a new set of eyes.

The stories of old will seem new, and my hope for you is you meet this baby Jesus in a new way and see Him as the Savior He is. To understand the miraculous birth of Jesus, we need to step back in time and dive into some passages from the Old Testament.

The Road to Bethlehem

In the Bible, several prophecies foretold Jesus’ birth and His eternal kingdom reign, but today, I want to focus on the birthplace of Jesus.

Micah says,

“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

Bethlehem is a small town in the region of Judah, approximately six miles outside of Jerusalem to the south.1 This small, unassuming town first burst onto the scene as Rachel’s death and burial place (Jacob’s wife and Joseph and Benjamin’s mother).2

As you recall from our Faith Heroes study of Ruth, the birth of Jesus can be traced through the lineage of Boaz and Ruth. It began with Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi traveling back to Bethlehem.

From a love story only God could write, Ruth married Boaz, and they had a son named Obed. He later had a son named Jesse. He then had a ton of kids, but the baby, David, would be anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the King of Israel.3

Scripture says David was “a man after God’s own heart.”

A little town called Bethlehem was significant in the line of David in many ways, but its finest hour is to come, as we will see.

Micah says, “out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel.” The Lord is speaking through Micah as he pens these words.

I don’t think Micah would have used the word “me” unless the Lord was speaking. The “me” refers to God himself.

The second part of the verse is equally as important – “whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” This implies that the Savior (Jesus) existed from the beginning of time. Seeing is He was God, then He existed before the dawn of time.

I am reminded that God chooses people, places, and times to fulfill His purpose and will through this verse. We may not understand what or even the why, but God knows.

As you prepare for Christmas, take a few minutes to read through Micah’s account in chapter 5.

Also, take a few minutes to pray for those around you who are struggling. Ask the Lord to reveal to you the names and faces of people for you to lift in prayer.


Lord, thank you for the Christmas season. Thank you for the reminder of Bethlehem, who was small in the eyes of Israel but played a significant role in preparing the way for Jesus. Please bring to mind someone who I can pray for today. Amen!


  1. Negev, A. (1990). In The Archaeological encyclopedia of the Holy Land (3rd ed.). New York: Prentice Hall Press. ↩︎
  2. Negev, A. (1990). In The Archaeological encyclopedia of the Holy Land (3rd ed.). New York: Prentice Hall Press. ↩︎
  3. Negev, A. (1990). In The Archaeological encyclopedia of the Holy Land (3rd ed.). New York: Prentice Hall Press. ↩︎

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Hi, I'm Dave Anthold. I am a small group leader, short-term missionary, and visual storyteller. You can read my story here.

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