Author Topic: Bethlehem, An Exhaustless Theme  (Read 2911 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

JimB

  • Servant
  • Assistant Administrator
  • Posts: 7302
  • Pro 12:28 in the pathway thereof there is no death
Bethlehem, An Exhaustless Theme
« on: November 14, 2014, 05:49:32 PM »
We are getting close to the Christmas season and I read this a few mornings ago and I thought it might be a good thing to think about. I don't think too many people think of the Bethlehem story as an exhaustless theme. I'm not sure I've heard it preached in such a way. But here is what the Spirit of Prophecy had to say about it.


The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." Romans 11:33. We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.  {DA 48.5} 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39619
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Bethlehem, An Exhaustless Theme
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2014, 05:59:53 PM »
Jim, what does this mean to you?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

  • Servant
  • Assistant Administrator
  • Posts: 7302
  • Pro 12:28 in the pathway thereof there is no death
Re: Bethlehem, An Exhaustless Theme
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2014, 06:09:30 AM »
As an exhaustless theme I'm not sure that I know enough to say. In the  past most have like me treated the story of His birth as a wonderful story to re-tell once a year and then move on as if it's only worthy to be spoken of once in a great while. It's the last three years of His ministry that we normally focus our attention and not His birth. I have not of heard people going back and back again talking about the wonderful new gems of truth that they've dug from the story of Christ's birth.

As for me personally I'm not sure that I can say anything better than the paragraph I've quoted. However, to think that Christ left Heaven and forever became our elder Brother in this human race is more than one can wrap their mind around. He is self-existant and all-knowing and most of all all-loving!! That He would come down to this nasty cold world for a sinner such as I is beyond comprehension. I'm guilty of spurning His grace and love more than I like to think about or acknowledge. Yet He knew that others like me would need His great help if we were to be united once again so He took on a role that no creator should ever have to do. Taunted and jeered at and spat upon. He was the object of murder not only at the close of His ministry but also at the very beginning. What a wonderfully horrible role He took on for me!!

In today's world men will follow into battle unquestioningly when they know their commander doesn't expect anything from those under him at he himself wouldn't do. Like a loving Commander He lead by example. He doesn't expect those under Him to do something that He Himself wouldn't do. He also rolled up his proverbial sleeves and got His hands dirty in this sinful, cold and dark world. He endured temptations that we will never have to endure and was victorious so we can also have victory. Unlike wordly commanders He has already fought the fight and is now willing to hand to any man who is also willing to follow the victory that is needed to be reunited.


By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39619
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Bethlehem, An Exhaustless Theme
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2014, 06:26:58 AM »
Amen, Jim!! What a story!  What a God we serve!  I am glad you brought up this truth. It is the most moving truth I have ever known. The truth goes even deeper as the article concludes. Let's take a closer look at the significance of this sacrifice. The risk taken was past our comprehension. Many have never seen it.

Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss. 

The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. "Herein is love." Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!  


How much did our heavenly Father love us when He allowed Jesus to come to this sin darkened world where Satan claimed dominion? Was it easy? No!! It was not easy to risk losing His innocent Son, or to watch Him suffer.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39619
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Bethlehem, An Exhaustless Theme
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2014, 07:10:30 AM »
Jim, I just finished reading chapter 29 in volume 2 of the testimonies. If we only half understood what has been revealed in this chapter of the matchless love of Jesus for a world soon to perish, we would surely be changed in our nature. Having a true standard by which to measure our character, self would sink into oblivion. By beholding His glory we would be changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by His Spirit. Wonder O heavens and be astonished O earth!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

  • Servant
  • Assistant Administrator
  • Posts: 7302
  • Pro 12:28 in the pathway thereof there is no death
Re: Bethlehem, An Exhaustless Theme
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2014, 10:06:27 AM »
The more I think about this the more incredible it seems to me. Even as a babe He become the object of men's hatred. The Jews chose to ignore Him and the then current herod tried to murder Him. Then heathen or maybe not-so-heathen kings came to worship Him in a lowly manger shared with farm animals. Even then He didn't have a decent place to lay His royal head. Yet He chose to endure all of this so we could have salvation if we choose it. Christ a human baby!! The weakest of the weak. This is where He started His earthly ministry. Amazing! Knowing all the risks involved He volunteered His life!
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39619
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Bethlehem, An Exhaustless Theme
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2014, 09:52:59 PM »
Amen! And our heavenly Father loves us so much, He allowed it. Such love!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

  • Servant
  • Assistant Administrator
  • Posts: 7302
  • Pro 12:28 in the pathway thereof there is no death
Re: Bethlehem, An Exhaustless Theme
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 06:36:59 AM »
Last night as I was re-reading this thread another thought came to mind. It may seem a little off topic since we are discussing Christ's birth. However, I'm thinking about the wise men from the east. How terribly disappointing it must have been to arrive and find no one as excited as they were. I can't help but wonder if satan at that point tried to harass them with doubts of their mission. Yet God spoke to them and they recognized His voice and were lead to a manger. Maybe I'm wrong and I hope I am but I can't but wonder if at that point also they had 2nd thoughts. The King of the universe in little old poor manger with only animals and his parents. I realize that God gave them a star to guide them and they must have been accustomed to hearing God's voice. They didn't even have the scriptures to help guide them. As I think about this the more my respect for these me grow. It would be wonderful one day to speak to them in Heaven.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 39619
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: Bethlehem, An Exhaustless Theme
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2014, 09:06:40 PM »
Yes, Jim, they were men of great faith. They did have some light from prophets. I believe Balaam was one that had brought light into their part of the world, if I am not mistaken.  They obeyed and were delivered from trouble that was headed their way.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

  • Servant
  • Assistant Administrator
  • Posts: 7302
  • Pro 12:28 in the pathway thereof there is no death
Re: Bethlehem, An Exhaustless Theme
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2015, 05:42:27 AM »
Thought it might be good to draw some attention to this topic. This world is fast falling apart but yet we have a Savior who humbled Himself to become a human baby in order to save us!
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}