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Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Edifier du Jour-Matthew 2:1:6
1 Now after Jesus was (1) born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of (2) Herod the king, [1] magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, 2 "Where is He who has been born (3) King of the Jews? For we saw (4) His star in the east and have come to worship Him." 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They said to him, "(5) In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: 6 '(6) AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER WHO WILL (7) SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'"
A couple of things come to mind here. The first is that God chose a lowly town to be the birthplace of the Messiah. Why not have him born in Jerusalem? No, this was to be a trip of humility. The second is the symbolism of the shepherd. Shepherds are about lowest of positions in that culture; it wasn't something you wanted your kids to grow up to be. Also, remember that sheep are stooopid and rarely do the right things on their own. This is both a humbling position for the Messiah to be in and even more humbling to have Israel declared almost too stupid to live. We are poor lost sheep who have lost their way, baa, baa, baa. Thankfully, we have the Good Shepherd to show us the way.

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