The Incarnation: A Roadblock in Jewish Evangelism
The Christmas holiday season, when we celebrate the coming of our Messiah, is an annual reminder of the nearness of God. He is a God who knows our innermost thoughts and whose presence is never far away (Psalm 139). God was physically near His people throughout the Old Testament, but it is ultimately through Messiah that the nearness of God has found its fulfillment; He is Immanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
The Apostle John continued the theme of “God with us” when he wrote, “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). This taking on of flesh is referred to as the Incarnation. The significance that the Son of God “took on flesh” is that He entered a fully human experience during His life on earth. The author of Hebrews wrote, “He had to be made like His brethren in all things,” except without sin (Heb 2:17; 4:15). At the same time, we rejoice that “it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him” (Col 1:19). In a mysterious and awe-inspiring way, He remained the sovereign and all-powerful King of the universe while also living as a human with a human mind, body, and emotions. The Incarnation is truly the miracle of miracles!
The Place of Messiah’s Birth: Micah 5:2–5a
As we focus on the birth of our Savior and Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) during this Christmas season, it is important to recall the number of significant prophecies that Yeshua fulfilled with His first advent. These prophecies give us answers to some critical questions about the Messiah.
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
Therefore He will give them up until the time
When she who is in labor has borne a child.
Then the remainder of His brethren
Will return to the sons of Israel.
And He will arise and shepherd His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God.
And they will remain,
Because at that time He will be great
To the ends of the earth.
This One will be our peace.
Bethlehem, as the hometown of David, makes the familial connection with King David. Just as David was least among his brothers in terms of status, Bethlehem was the least honorable and one of the smallest towns in Judah. This prophecy tells us that what was possibly the most insignificant place in Judah would bring forth the most significant person for Israel, the promised Messiah. He is the One who would be ruler in Israel, the promised Son of David.