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I made an early morning trip to Denver today. It was actually for a job interview. I'm not sure what will come from the meeting and I will let you know what develops. I found myself walking through some open doors and engaging in the process. It was the first time in over twenty years that I have been in a structured interview process. Since it was an interview team, it was like being before a church board or search committee.
I did have the opportunity to visit with my mother and that went well. She had friend over making fudge and peanut brittle. I return to Fort Collins in time for a nap before Debbie and I head to Cheyenne to join Charlie Simineo for an improv play that features his son.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY...“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? .....[The scribes told Herod] “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ Matthew 2:5,6
One of the more remarkable aspects of Jesus' birth is the number of prophecies that were fulfilled as it took place. In addition to the place of his birth consider these...
"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” Matthew 1:22,23
"[Joesph] rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egyptand remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Matthew 2:14,15
Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:“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.” Matthew 2:17,18
The birth of Jesus was a surprise to Mary and Joesph. It was disturbing to King Herod. It was a mystery to the wise men. It was a wonder to the shepherds. But it was all planned by God in His time and in His way in order for the words of the prophets to be fulfilled.
These words spoken by the prophets at the time didn't have a direct connection to the coming Messiah, but as the events of the birth and early days of Jesus unfold we see the meaning unfold. All of these individual prophecies spoken at different times and by different prophets converge into a sequence that is revealed in the birth of Jesus.
The basic reminder and "take-a-way" for today is that God has a plan and purpose that is still unfolding and will continue to unfold throughout time until the return of Christ. If you would have placed the details of these prophecies out on a table or some format to study you would have, "virgin birth, born in Bethlehem, out of Egypt, called a Nazarene." Trying to picture how these would all be fulfilled would have been a challenge and a good occasion to "throw up your hands" in confusion.
I recall many years ago in my Bible study thinking, "If the stage is going to be set for the end times, the USSR as we know it today will need to come to an end." I was a little surprised when some years later the "iron curtain" fell. I remember prophecy teachers saying that, "in the end times, it appears the U.S. may have lost its significance on the world stage." As I see some current events and foreign policy decisions and practices put into place, I can see how that can happen.
When it comes to our life of faith and God working out His plan, be prepared to be surprised. Mary and Joesph were, King Herod was and I believe when the time comes for the Lord's return people will be as well.