Christmas Day – House of Bread

James Weidner III   -  

The House of Bread

Matt.2:4-6 – And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:

Luke 2:11 (NKJV) For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

The Prophet foretold the coming, centuries prior to this historic and miraculous birth, when he said, “The Lord will give you a sign….the virgin shall give birth to a son whom will be called “Emmanuel’”……. The word “Emmanuel” is used frequently, which according to the Hebrew translation means that “God is with us”…

Bethlehem actually means “house of Bread” in the Hebrew language. Jesus is the “Bread of Life” that nourishes our souls.

What many of us have not heard is that this word Bethlehem has another secondary meaning, it can also be translated ‘the house of fighters’. This immediately brings several questions into our minds, what could this be referring to and how could the Prince of Peace be called a fighter?

Remember, Bethlehem is the city of David who was also the greatest warrior that Israel had ever known. David famously defeated Goliath and then established Israel with his defeat of the Philistines. David was known and celebrated as a warrior king. His royal seed, Jesus of Nazareth would also be a warrior. Although He did not fight physical battles, He defeated Satan and his plans by the power of the Spirit and the work of the cross. Here are some interesting comments from Brain Simmons on the word Bethlehem.

Born in the City of David.

“Bethlehem, or Byt-lehem, means “house of bread,” the prophesied birthplace of Messiah. However, the Hebrew word lehem can also mean “fighters.” Jesus was born in “the House of Fighters!” This is the city of David, one of the greatestfighters in the entire Bible. Perhaps this is why the people of Jesus’ day expected him to fight the Romans and free their land from foreign occupation. Jesus fulfilled both aspects of the meaning of Bethlehem in Gethsemane and on the cross, where he fought the “Goliath” of our souls and won, becoming Bread for the world. God controls all events, proven by the prophecy that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem even though his parents were living in Nazareth.”

The King was found waiting in the fields of Bethlehem.

  • We can also look at the story of David and see different aspects of the story.
  • Christ was both born from the lineage of David and in the City of David.
  • A sign from heaven The hope of man, though not as we had hoped this was God’s plan.
  • David was in similar fashion the overlooked King.
  • David was not ceremonially consecrated as the others were, though his heart was already set apart to God.
  • Jerusalem was the ancient city that David settled when he conquered the Jebusite city.
  • The city where it all began.
  • But actually it started in a much lowlier state.
  • By calling Bethlehem the city of David, Luke highlights Jesus’ opposition to the powers that be in Jerusalem.
  • He reminds his readers that David didn’t come from a place of great power, but from a little town known as least of all the cities of Judah (see Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:6).
  • The true “Anointed One” would come from there also, and he would stand up for the little guys like the shepherds outside of Bethlehem.In Isaiah’s famous prophesy Jesus is not only called Prince of Peace but also Mighty God. Mighty God refers to the warrior characteristic of the Lord. This mighty warrior was born in a manger in Bethlehem to conquer the enemies of our soul.It was in caring for the sheep that God taught David about having faith.

    1 Samuel 17:34-36 (NKJV) 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.”

  • If we learned anything from David is that he had a heart for God.
  • David was learning what it meant to be a good shepherd.
  • Having a heart for God means is to have a shepherd’s heart.
  • When a lion and a bear came and took a lamb…
  • It was David dedication to the sheep that motivated him to faith.
  • Dedication to oneself is secondary to dedication to the lamb.
  • Goliath was the bear coming against God’s sheep.

“I am the good shepherd.”

The wonder of the journey.

  • Every person’s journey is different.
  • Joseph & Mary’s Journey was a bit rough.
  • Elizabeth and Zechariah’s’ journey from barrenness.
  • The Wise men’s journey from a far country.
  • The shepherds journey from a nearby field.
  • The angels sent from glory to accomplish the command of the Lord.

What do all of these journey’s have in common?

  • Nothing and yet everything.
  • All ordained of the Lord.
  • All accomplishing their part in the plan of God.

All welcoming the coming Light of the World.

Apart from Christ there would be no hope and no light in the world.

Christmas poem of John Wright Follett:

O Holy night, borne to us on the wings of time, From out the dark recesses of eternity,
God’s hour, the promise of eternal life and light, A gleaming jewel rests within thy dark embrace. O holy hour, the miracle of God is thine,

He clothes Himself with human form and comes to us. The bud of promise which Jehovah God once spoke Breaks into bloom and sheds its fragrance o’er the earth. Tonight the Rose of Sharon rests upon the breast

Of Mary as she holds the little Christ Child close.

God’s hour of promise has not passed but still is ours.
The night is dark, deep shadows clothe the hearts of men, But still within the manger rude, the glory shines.
O hasten with me, then, and gather at His feet.
This is the hour for which our hungry hearts were made, We need its light, its mystery and fragrance sweet.

This is God’s hour, a jewel gleaming in the dark,

God bless the Christmas night! God bless the Christmas hour.