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Back to Bethlehem



As the collection comes to a close, Brad Jones takes us on a journey back to Bethlehem. He methodically lays out how all of history pointed to Jesus coming in the form of a baby in the manger and how all of the future points to His eternal reign.

Key Takeaway

A proper response to Christmas is trusting that God always has a plan and is working it out. We can have hope that His plan is for our good and we can willingly worship Him because He is the ruler of a never-ending Kingdom, not a human dynasty that will eventually come to ruin.

1. God is working out his plan.

Genesis 3 is where we get the first glimpse of a promised Savior. Genesis 49 speaks of this Savior ruling with a scepter and coming from the tribe of Judah. Numbers 24:17 declares that a ruler will come out of Jacob, who is Judah's father. 2 Samuel 7:6 and Jeremiah 33:17 both point to the eternal throne of David. Isaiah 9:6 gives us multiple names that describe Jesus, and there will be no end to David's throne. Our Savior is described and prophesied centuries before He came as a baby. This is not an accident, but instead, a well-thought-out plan.

The Bible has always been about hope for a broken world, about how good God is and how He has saved us. We can trust Him; He will accomplish His purpose in our lives.

2. God was working for our good.

The angels sang of Jesus Christ's birth, saying that a SAVIOR had been born to us in the City of David. We need a Savior! And God is a promise-keeping God, so He kept His Word, and His Son was born in the city of Bethlehem...all because we needed saving. Bethlehem means "House of Bread" in Hebrew and Aramaic. Jesus calls Himself the "Bread of Life" in John 6:35.

When you look at history, it is easy to say things were not good. David's descendants split the kingdom and both have lines of horrible, God-opposing kings, then they are attacked, then thrown into exile, and eventually have 400 years of "silence". How is this good? The prophets, while calling for repentance and warning of coming judgment, were constantly speaking of hope. During those 400 years of "silence", the Greeks established a common language and currency, the Romans developed a road system that connected the entire empire allowing for easy travel, and synagogues were set up in various places that allowed people to worship where they were and caused the faith in the One True God to spread. Paul and many other Apostles would go to these synagogues to spread the gospel.

3.  God is always working for His glory.

All human dynasties come to an end. Jesus is the King of the only Kingdom that will reign forever. God does not work on human terms, He has a far greater plan. God often chooses the least likely and unexpected people to work His plan through. He gets the most glory out of it.

God's great work pulls us out of the center of our own lives and puts Jesus back in the center. Our lives revolve around Him. In Genesis 49, we see the scepter, the ultimate symbol of power and authority, will come out of Judah. Revelation 19:15 says Jesus, the Lion of Judah is holding an iron scepter. He is worthy of all our worship. His Kingdom never ends.


"God has a plan. He's always had a plan. He accomplishes His plans. You can trust Him."

Brad Jones

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Scripture References

  • Luke 2
  • Genesis 49:10
  • Numbers 24:17
  • 2 Samuel 7:16
  • Isaiah 9:6
  • Colossians 1:16
  • Ephesians 2:10
  • John 6:35
  • Hebrews 10:19-23
  • Matthew 2:1-2
  • Micah 5:2
  • Revelation 19:11-16
  • Isaiah 45:23
  • Jeremiah 29:11
Brad Jones Passion City Church Atlanta is pastored by Brad Jones. Together, he and his wife Brittany have been a part of the Passion Movement for over a decade helping carry the heartbeat of Passion Conference and Passion City Church. They live in Atlanta with their two children, Caleb and Addy.